Here in Germany the newspapers are still full of snippets about Germany’s ex-Minister of Defence and the stories of his plagiarised PhD papers and the consequences.
I see in my copy of the Guardian Weekly, 11.03.2011, that the stories are also still going strong in the British Press and the subject is taken up now by Mr Wikepedia himself, Jimmy Wales:
On the last day of February Andrew Sutton, over on Facebook, was also running a story on plagiarism, referring to an old posting on his blog.
CE currently has another case of public plagiarism. The last big embarrassing one came just over a year ago. I did not know what to do for the best then:
I do not now:”
Interest in his story, unlike those of zu Guttenberg and others, has died off.
Being unsure of how Facebook works and whether comments on old themes are alerted to I decided to leave this information here on my blog for Andrew and of course anyone else who is interested.
Jimmy Wales –
Correcting its own Follies -
I have the frequent experience of reading all sorts of things that I have written over the years, embedded unacknowledged in other people's texts. Often I have no objection whatsoever, and I am delighted to see these words used. This is none rerason that they were written. On other occasions I am horrified, as my stuff is jumbled uncritically and uncomprehendingly in with things that assert the diametric opposite!
What to do about this? I have no idea. It all seems an invitable outcome of the democtatisation of publishing, a process that I applaud, out into populations, professional and lay, that have no necessary apparatus criticus.
And from time totime (not just within Conductive Education) I have come across the most outrageeous examples of plagiarism – committed (yes, I do regard this as a crime) by those whose position suggests that they should and do know better.
What to do here, I still have no idea. Since I drew attention recently to my uncertainty and concern on what to de here, I have been told (by a conductor) of another outrageous theft of intellectual property in the sector. Thee are possible more.
I share Jimmy Wales' optimism that technology should in future make it harder to get away with arrant plagiarism unnoticed. Butas he himself points out, something else id needed:
'...the deeper networks coming together online. These are networks of people who know each other over a period of years, and not just online but in face-to-face meetings; networks of people who spend an enormous amount of time, as at Wikipedia, discussing, debating, learning, and passionately working to get things right
In CE we are not there yet but maybe we are on the way.
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