Friday, March 30, 2018

Anonymous accuser asserts copying in doctoral thesis of Gregory J. Vincent

On 21 March 2018, an anonymous person emailed to people at Hobart and William Smith University and University of Pennsylvania accusations that the president of Hobart, Gregory J. Vincent, had plagiarized portions of his doctoral thesis at UPenn. The title of Vincent's thesis at UPenn is: Community -university partnerships in action: A case study of the Louisiana State University-Old South Baton Rouge partnership

InsideHigherEd has a discussion of some of this in its post President Investigated After Anonymous Tip Alleges Plagiarism .
The example highlighted by InsideHigherEd reveals exact copying of one paragraph without quotation marks from a work published about ten years before the thesis publication. However, there is a citation to this work, given within parentheses: (Massy and Denton, 1993).

Thus, the issue is that, although the reader knows the idea came from Massy and Denton, the reader does not know that the exact words of Massy and Denton were copied in the thesis. InsideHigherEd presented the thesis text in this highlighted example:

… combination of government and private action (Massy and Denton, 1993). Hyper segregation may be conceptualized in terms of five distinct dimensions of geographic variation. Blacks may be distributed so that they are overrepresented in some areas and underrepresented in others, leading to different degrees of unevenness; they may also be distributed so that their racial isolation is ensured by virtue of rarely sharing a neighborhood with whites. In addition, however, black neighborhoods may be tightly clustered to form one large contiguous enclave or scattered about in checkerboard fashion; they may be concentrated within a very small area or settled sparsely throughout the urban environment. Finally, they may be spatially centralized around the urban core or spread out along the periphery (Massy, and Denton, 1993).

Apart from the --exact copying-- issue, one might question how profound the idea itself is, and how the idea relates to the "case study" of the thesis itself.

IPBiz previously discussed the Poshard thesis plagiarism matter. One of the issues therein was the copying of a literature review. Not greatly discussed was that the copied literature review was temporally irrelevant to the thesis.

See the 2007 post on IPBiz:
Page 54 of the Poshard Ph.D. thesis: a real problem as to plagiarism

[Coincidentally, the "copied" material in both the Vincent and Poshard matters was about ten years old, not exactly "hot off the press."]


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