Saturday, January 18, 2014

Plagiarism and dialogue

Note text in How plagiarism hurts knowledge-building: Obligations of scientists (part 4)

But this comparison often involves a dialogue as well. As part of the knowledge-building project, from the earliest planning of their experiments to well after results are published, scientists are engaged in asking and answering questions about the details of the experience and of the conditions under which the phenomenon was observed.

Misrepresenting someone else’s honest observation report as one’s own strips the report of accurate information for such a dialogue. It’s hard to answer questions about the little, seemingly insignificant experimental details of an experiment you didn’t actually do, or to refine a description of an experience someone else had.

This, of course, does not address the issues of self-plagiarism, wherein the observer is thinking he/she is observing something new, which is not in fact new, to the observer or the author, but does allow "dialogue". Recall the SIU business. Walter Wendler copied material he created while at Texas A&M into a proposal while he was employed at SIU.

And recall the Ward Churchill matter.

And, one wonders if various travel reviews are not salted by comments of the establishment owner/manager, praising the establishment?


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