Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A new, sad chapter in plagiarism at SIU unfolds

The SIU Daily Egyptian reports:

A draft of the new SIU plagiarism policy, which officials said they would like to implement by February, could give administrators the power to take action against people who make "frivolous or malicious" charges of plagiarism against chancellors or members of the president's office.

That is, create penalties for people who make charges of plagiarism against ADMINISTRATORS.

Law professor Leonard Gross took issue with this aspect. The SIUDE noted:

Gross said this provision could deter people from filing legitimate charges.

"Apparently you can file a truthful charge, but if they find it's malicious then they can charge you. This is just ridiculous in the extreme," Gross said.

Unintentional plagiarism comprises:

- Plagiarism that is due to carelessness

- A misremembering (believing some language or even a substantial portion of text is one's own creation when it is not)

- A misreading of context (believing one is producing a text within an institutionalized context when the context is actually competitive)

- An inadequate understanding of the citation requirements of authorship within a particular community.

If SIU were not already a laughingstock, this would seal the deal. Stick a fork in them, they are done.

***Side comment

IPBiz was not the first place to refer to SIU as a laughingstock. Note comments from SIUE

"I am absolutely in favor of a separation," Ware said. "I was very dismayed at the way the plagiarism scandal was handled. It brought disgrace to the university. We were a national laughingstock a year ago. A university is nothing more than its academic standards and if we don't maintain higher standards then we aren't a university."


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