Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The last straw in the KwaZulu-Natal plagiarism matter?

Further to plagiarism charges with Chippy Shaik's PhD thesis at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Bronwyn Gerretsen has some additional information which includes the text:

Once the investigations and formal processes were completed, an official statement from the university would be released. Following the plagiarism allegations, Verijenko resigned from the university via email from Australia, where he is on a sabbatical.

Shaik has also since announced that he will be emigrating to Australia and cited the reports about his doctoral thesis as being the final straw. He challenged the university to prove plagiarism in his thesis.

Of the last sentence, one would hope that one can prove unattributed copying, one way or another, without difficulty.

See also previous IPBiz posts:

Another mechanical engineering plagiarism scandal


The Des Moines Register noted:

It's not always dishonesty that leads students to fail to properly credit sources. Aside from wholesale copying because they're rushed, lazy or think an assignment is stupid, they might not fully understand what plagiarism is. Even educators sometimes disagree, such as: When is a fact such common knowledge no attribution is needed?

Does this concern apply to some of the Ohio University theses?

IPBiz notes that there are other issues. For example, can there be unintentional plagiarism, wherein a later author "borrows" from an earlier author on a matter that is not common knowledge but wherein the later author "forgot about" the earlier author? Also, is there an "independent creation" defense to plagiarism, wherein the later author simply did not know about the earlier author? In the examples involving students writing on specific assigned topics, there are only so many ways to address points and a student might write in a previously expressed way, without having seen the previous work.

The Cha matter reflects still other issues. For example, what is the responsibility of later co-authors for the plagiarism of one co-author?


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

UPDATE: July 16, 07:

Noelene Barbeau discusses the situation with Professor Sarp Adali, the Turkish-born academic who co-supervised and acted as internal examiner for Chippy Shaik's controversial doctorate thesis:

Shortly after the allegations came to light, Adali denied the claims, saying Shaik's thesis was above board, with the majority of its content taken from conference and journal papers Shaik co-authored.

There were allegations that Shaik's 217-page mechanical engineering thesis was fundamentally flawed, with incorrect calculations and spelling errors.

4:48 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home