Blogs > Cliopatria > Plagiarism ...

Oct 13, 2004 4:13 am

Plagiarism ...

Yesterday, I spoke with a reporter for a major periodical who is doing a report on academic plagiarism – not the plagiarism that you find your students doing – but the plagiarism that other historians may have done or are doing in their published work. It seems likely that there are more instances of it than the half dozen cases that have recently drawn so much attention. During the conversation, the reporter spoke of the hesitation of colleagues, employees, employers, and publishers to confront literary and intellectual thieves with charges of theft. If you know of cases of plagiarism and have hesitated to identify the offending party or parties, please send information about the case to me at ralphluker at I'll need to have very specific information and be able to compare texts to verify the charge. Otherwise, do not waste your time or mine. If I find that the accusation holds up, I will forward it to the reporter. Unless you ask me to do otherwise, I'll report the finding without identifying the source or sources of the information.

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Ralph E. Luker - 10/15/2004

Actually, I'm not handling it at all. I am passing possible cases of plagiarism on to a reporter for a major periodical. I am certain that its staff will find some of them useful, some of them not, and that they will have lots of other sources of information. That seems a much more responsible approach than blanket indictments of whole communities of scholars.

Lloyd Kilford - 10/15/2004

You seem to be handling this more ... reasonably than Cl*yt*n Cr*m*r would. I think this more temperate approach is likely to be a better strategy than the other was ...

Ralph E. Luker - 10/14/2004

Actually, the audience is remarkably diverse and comes from almost everywhere in the world, where there is access to the net. More examples have come in and they are also diverse: a straightforward case of plagiarism, the theft of someone else's translation of a text, and cases of departments promulgating guidelines to students, which they've simply copped from other departments. Actually, I think the last is fairly common, but it seems odd to warn students against plagiarism with a text which is itself borrowed without attribution.

Lloyd Kilford - 10/14/2004

That's very interesting (and rather unexpected). Maybe responses will indicate who reads Cliopatria rather than the general academic population?

Ralph E. Luker - 10/14/2004

One yet unexplored but useful example, so far. Interestingly, enough, an example in French, rather than English.

Lloyd Kilford - 10/14/2004

Good luck in your search. I wonder what it will turn up?

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