Thursday, January 15, 2009

Plagiarist prof at University of Florida retires

Jack Stripling noted that admitted plagiarist UF professor James Twitchell was suspended for five years without pay, and opted to retire.

See also

A different outcome than with Glenn Poshard, plagiarist President of SIU.

Twitchell reported some instances of his plagiarism to department chair Pamela Gilbert, who did not then report them to misconduct officers at UF.


Of the comment below, IPBiz thought it had been pretty explicit about the Poshard "inadvertent plagiarism" business. Poshard did plagiarize, as that term is commonly understood, and should have suffered the consequences. Joe Biden did plagiarize in law school at Syracuse (copying five pages of a law review article), and got off very easily. Allison Routman copied fragments of four sentences and "walked the plank."

Biden is Vice-President elect and Poshard is still at SIU. The public does not deem plagiarism a "fatal" offense, at least for some people. Pamela Gilbert didn't seem bothered by plagiarism, either.

In passing, IPBiz ponders whether, by retiring, James Twitchell is permitted to collect his pension, which would likely be more than five years of "no salary."

***Recall the Chicago Tribune on Nelms on Poshard -->

A separate analysis of Poshard’s dissertation, written by SIU English professor R. Gerald Nelms and released by the university Thursday, called theerrors “minor” and “easily correctable.” He said there should be “high standards” when citing others’ writings, but that “overreaction … could havea chilling effect on scholarship generally.”
“The world can withstand a few unprosecuted citation infractions,” Nelms wrote.
Stephen Satris, executive director of the Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University, questioned whether that sends students a bad message.
“That seems to contradict the high standards. I think that’s partly what high standards are all about, not overlooking stuff,” Satris said. “The norms don’t seem to have any teeth if big shots can skirt around them and get away with them.”

***Comment to the SIUDE on 1 Feb 09-->

Of --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. --, can Mr. Adkins, or anybody else, explain what makes Professor Nelms "a recognized plagiarism expert"? In his analysis of Poshard's Ph.D. thesis, Nelms missed obvious plagiarism (and poor thinking) at page 54 of the thesis. This failure does not suggest the work of an expert. Separately, it is true that plagiarism (copying without citing) is distinct from copyright infringement. For example, one can plagiarize Shakespeare without violating copyright. Also, in the US, copyright inheres once words are fixed in a tangible medium.


Blogger Benefit of Hindsight said...

May I ask, what is your position on plagiarism? I've been reading your blog for many months and you regularly post on plagiarism, but I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish other than merely reporting on plagiarism events.

6:49 AM  

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