Saturday, June 21, 2008

Brits' handling of Persaud case shows what SIU should have done with Poshard

Both Raj Persaud and Glenn Poshard copied from the published works of others and passed it off as their own. Southern Illinois University in Carbondale created a pass for Poshard by invoking the concept of "inadvertent plagiarism," a construct that doesn't pass the straight-face test. In contrast, in Britain, the General Medical Council (GMC) found that dishonestly plagiarizing the work of colleagues brings the profession into disrepute. Poshard argued there were no clearly defined standards. The Brits invoked the standards held by ordinary people. Poshard and Persaud matters, which was handled better?

Jeremy Laurance wrote in the Independent:

Dr Anthony Morgan, the chairman of the GMC Fitness to Practise panel sitting in Manchester, told Dr Persaud: "The panel is of the view that you must have known that your actions in allowing the work of others to be seen as though it was your own would be considered dishonest by ordinary people. The panel has therefore determined that your actions were dishonest."

The punishment for Persaud is that Persaud is suspended from practising for three months. The Guardian noted: Anthony Morgan, the chairman of the fitness to practise panel, said: "The panel has determined that a three-month period of suspension is sufficient to send out a signal to you, the profession and the public that plagiarism is unacceptable behaviour."

Poshard had to revise his thesis. What signal did SIU send out to the academic profession and to the public?

See also

Page 54 of the Poshard Ph.D. thesis: a real problem as to plagiarism

And, lest we forget, an article in the Harvard Business Review wrote "plagiarize with pride."


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