Thursday, November 15, 2007

Egregious plagiarism case in New Jersey by school principal

While views are split on the Merrill and Poshard plagiarism matters, this story from Phillipsburg, New Jersey is hard to believe:

Principal Mary Jane Deutsch doesn't believe she plagiarized when she copied the work of a Texas therapist without permission for her column in the high school newsletter.


But copying the essay is not plagiarism, she said, because, "I'm not being graded. I'm trying to provide messages for parents.

"I just don't get where this is plagiarism," she said, adding she's "not taking credit" for the column, which has her name on it. Murrah is not cited.

IPBiz: what can one say?

[The italicized material is by DOUGLAS B. BRILL of the Express-Times.]

Remember another "hard-to-believe" plagiarism story out of New Jersey:

NJ School Superintendant plagiarizes in speech given to National Honor Society students

New Jersey and you: copying together.

[IPBiz notes: "getting permission" is more related to copyright issues; "giving attribution" is the plagiarism issue.]


Note further discussion AND

Deutsch's copying of Murrah's prior work without attribution is plagiarism, much as SIU President Poshard's copying of text from a prior work into his Ph.D. thesis without attribution is plagiarism. However, note that Poshard acknowledges that his copying was an inadvertent mistake, while Deutsch seems to think copying without attribution is all right. It isn't. On a related point, note that copyright infringement and plagiarism are two different concepts, and one can infringe copyright without plagiarizing AND one can plagiarize without infringing a copyright. [see for example]
Also, allowance is made for situations in which "borrowed" material is understood to be borrowed. Thus, no one accused Abraham Lincoln of plagiarizing from the Bible when he noted that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Lawrence B. Ebert
November 17


Post a Comment

<< Home