Saturday, January 01, 2011

Sticklen's transgression was more than plagiarizing one paragraph

Tom Gantert at Michigan Capitol Confidential summarizes the Sticklen plagiarism incident in the following way:

Mariam Sticklen, a crop sciences professor at MSU, was disciplined for plagiarizing one paragraph in an article she wrote for a journal. Wood TV-8 in Grand Rapids reported that Sticklen was barred from pay increases and grants for two years. Sticklen’s paper was retracted from Nature Reviews Genetics.

The main problem with what Sticklen did wasn't the "amount" of the copying, but the procedure by which she copied: taking material from a paper given to her confidentially for refereeing. It was through the efforts of Jonathan Gressel, the review editor of Plant Science, that this case was pursued. Gantert, by minimizing the transgression as --plagiarizing one paragraph -- misunderstands what was at issue here.

Plagiarism by Michigan State professor


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