Friday, April 25, 2008

UFlorida prof admits plagiarism

AP quotes the professor: "I have used the words of others and not properly attributed them. I am always in a hurry to get past descriptions to make my points, a hurry that has now rightly resulted in much shame and embarrassment. I have cheated by using pieces of descriptions written by others."

A more honorable response than that from SIU president Poshard, who brought us inadvertent plagiarism.

***Separately, the Harvard Crimson writes about anti-plagiarism software for JOURNALS -->

Despite the popularity of anti-plagiarism programs used on student work in college campuses, such programs are rather rare in academic publications. Many journals simply rely on experts to manually catch copied work during peer-review sessions.

“In days before electronic copies of articles, [peer reviews] were all we could rely on,” said Stuart M. Shieber ’81, a professor of computer science and a co-director of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “Now that we have computer tools, we don’t need to rely on just peer reviews.”

IPBiz suspects there might be great difficulty in such an approach, as applied to law reviews, because whole law review articles would be found to be little more than a catenation of text from the work of others.


JACK STRIPLING in an article titled Student vs. faculty plagiarism has text:

Rick Yost [Department of Chemistry, University of Florida] , chairman of UF's Faculty Senate, said the greatest consequence for faculty found to have plagiarized is reputation damage.

"I would guess the ultimate penalty for most academics would be disapproval by their peers," Yost said.

Yost added that a known plagiarist might have trouble publishing again, but Simon & Schuster officials said Friday that they would "absolutely" publish more Twitchell books.

Yost seemed to ignore the known disparity in treatment for plagiarism between faculty and students:

Given the seriousness with which student plagiarism is dealt with at UF, Yost said faculty should be treated accordingly.

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander," said Yost, a chemistry professor.

Of course, the SIU case with Poshard showed that "current" status can be the dominant factor, with Poshard's plagiarism while a student excused years later at a time when Poshard was president of SIU, with authority over the people investigating him.

[The UF matter involves James Twitchell.]


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