Thursday, July 16, 2009

"What if" Ohio University were in China?

In the past, IPBiz covered the Ohio University plagiarism business, which largely involved copying without attribution, by MS students, of background material into their theses.

A story in the Shanghai Daily on July 16 begins:

A top university official has had his PhD qualification and postgraduate tutorship revoked after an investigation confirmed he plagiarized his doctoral thesis.

The penalty was handed to vice principal Huang Qing of Southwest Jiao Tong University, in Chengdu, capital of southwest Sichuan Province, teaching staff were told at a university briefing yesterday, Chengdu Business Daily reported today.

Later in the article:

[Huang] justified the challenged content by saying the chapter included quotes from textbooks, which he believed "are all fine" to use in a thesis.

The issue, in China and in Ohio, was unattributed words from textbooks. An issue at SIU was Poshard's unattributed "summary" of past literature (lifted from a book), sadly used to cover a time period outside that of the scope of the thesis [ie, not just copied but copied in an erroneous context]. Such things are not as bad as copying from someone else and passing this off as the "original" thought of the thesis. They are bad form. In China, it appears that the consequences are worse than in the United States.

One recalls that the Ph.D. thesis of fraudster Jan-Hendrik Schon was revoked. Nothing ever happened to the co-authors of the fraudulent Schon papers. One wonders what might have happened to them if the fraud had originated in China?


How Ohio U. dealt with the plagiarized theses

Keyword: Tom Matrka


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