Saturday, January 31, 2009

More plagiarism at SIU: in its anti-plagiarism policy!

Continuing its saga of ineptitude, Southern Illinois University [SIU] apparently plagiarized its anti-plagiarism policy from Indiana University.

Showing a degree of reciprocity, Pamela Freeman, director of the office of student ethics and anti-harassment at Indiana University-Bloomington is quoted: "I'm sure it's completely inadvertent."

One recalls that SIU's defense of plagiarism by its President, Glenn Poshard, was "inadvertent plagiarism."

Hollywood script-writers could not do better than this story, a reprise of the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Rationalizations abound: "We think this is a non-story," said David West, director of government and media relations for Southern Illinois. "It hasn't become official yet. If there's a problem with the draft, we will correct it."

[from a story Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY based on a report in Chronicle. Refer to earlier IPBiz post,
Texas professor accused of plagiarizing a grant proposal
: Chronicle has a story: 2 Universities' Plagiarism Policies Look a Lot Alike.]

In passing, the National Post has the text:

"The concept of a six-word summary of anything is catchy and popular, but it is not protectable by any of the intellectual property regimes," said McGill law professor Richard Gold, an intellectual property expert who was unaware of his university's dispute with Mr. Smith before he was contacted by the National Post.

"There is really no statutory mechanism to protect it, and for good reason. The first person to come up with the idea of having a restaurant can't prevent everyone else from opening a restaurant. We thrive on people copying ideas."

IPBiz notes the similarity to Harvard Business Review's "plagiarize with pride."

**See article at SIUDE, which includes:

Arthur M. “Lain” Adkins, who serves as director of the University Press, told the Chronicle that R. Gerald Nelms, a recognized plagiarism expert and associate professor of English at SIUC, “most likely” wrote SIU’s version.

IPBiz notes the irony in a putative "recognized expert" on plagiarism plagiarizing a definition of plagiarism.

***IPBiz notes a blog discussing a book on plagiarism -->

Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism, Thomas Mallon. Fascinating stuff. As with kleptomaniacs, the thieves don't need what the take, and often leave clues suggesting they want to be caught. E. B. White divided plagiarists into thief, dope and total recall guy. The University of Oregon plagiarized Stanford University's handbook on plagiarism. Mary Chesnut, the Civil War diarist, blew the whistle on the Reade/Reybaud cheat, but doctored her own diaries and put her thoughts into others' mouths. Joe Bide plagiarized from Neil Kinnock, R.F. Kennedy and Steinbeck. J.F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorenson stole from O.W. Holmes, who had already been robbed by Harding. This 1990s book was too early for the outrages of Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin ...

One surmises that SIU falls into the dope category.
Biden's plagiarism at Syracuse Law might be a different category.


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