Plagiarism, Transparency and the Russian Ombudsman

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Feb 8, 2014 8:00:00 AM

According to a recent article on RIA Novosti, a review by the Russian State Library has confirmed earlier plagiarism allegations against Pavel Astakhov, the country’s ombudsman for children’s rights.

pavel-astakhovThe allegations were first filed in April 2013 by Dissernet, a Russian group that has been discovering and reporting on alleged plagiarisms by officials in the country. They accused Astakhov of plagiarizing his dissertation, saying that significant portions of it were lifted without citation from earlier research.


Tagged:  International

Who Should Investigate Plagiarism Allegations?

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Feb 6, 2014 7:05:00 AM

When a student in a classroom is suspected of plagiarism, the process for investigating the allegations are fairly straightforward and understood. Most schools have a rigid set of guidelines for who should conduct the investigation, how the case is decided, what appeal options there should be and so forth.


Tagged:  Academic, Best Practices

The Intersection of Copyright and Research

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jan 14, 2014 10:00:01 AM

A recent article in The Economist highlighted what is becoming a serious problem for many researchers: Copyright.


Tagged:  Scientific Technical Medical

CTRL-V Plagiarism in the News - Issue 18

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jan 7, 2014 9:42:00 AM



Melville House, Dan Clowes Plan Response to LaBeouf Plagiarism

First off this issue, Calvin Reid at Publishers Weekly reports that actor Shia LaBeouf has found himself at the center of a plagiarism controversy after the release of his short film, “”. LaBeouf released the film, which he directed, in December, but others began to suspect it was a plagiarism of an earlier graphic novel by author Daniel Clowes’, so much so that some said the graphic novel functioned like a storyboard for the movie in places. Following the allegations, LaBeouf took the film down and tweeted out a series of apologies. However, it was later revealed that those apology tweets were lifted from a response in Yahoo! Answers, which prompted LaBeouf to apologize again, this time using words from Tiger Woods and Kanye West among others. Eventually, Shia took to the skies with his apology, paying a skywriter to write “I am Sorry Daniel Clowes” over the skies of skies of Los Angeles. However, the gesture was likely symbolic as Clowes lives in Oakland. However, the apologies have not been enough to placate the publishers involved. Clowes’ publisher, Fantagraphics, has said that it is “exploring all legal options” and another publisher, Melville House, whose author Benoit Duteurtre may have had his novel “The Little Girls and the Cigarette” plagiarized earlier by LaBeouf in a mini-comic “Slate N Mate”, is also said to be looking at filing a lawsuit. LaBeouf, however, has changed his tone and, in a recent interview with Bleeding Cool News, which in and of itself contained plagiarized passages, argued that the plagiarism was intentional and that “Authorship is censorship”. He goes on to say that nothing is original and that copyright law is fundamentally flawed.

Analysis: Plagiarism is somewhat unusual in that it is both an academic and a creative concept. The scholar and the novelist can both plagiarize and it is important that artists of all types explore the concept of creative plagiarism because, in doing so, one better understands the broader concepts of creativity and originality. There’s even a type of poetry, named Cento, that is comprised of a patchwork of verses and phrases from other sources, without attribution, as part of the art form. However, there is a time and a place for this exploration. LaBeouf’s exploration, which comes right after he was accused of plagiarizing a film, was neither. Any merit that might be found in LaBeouf’s arguments is lost due to his timing. It comes across more as an attempt to save artistic face than a serious attempt to explore a deep and complex issue. To make matters worse, LaBeouf’s arguments are as stale and as recycled as many of his words. They’re the same arguments that have been used over and over again, not just by the authors he copied from, but from countless others, many of whom also stood accused of plagiarism. Whether LaBeouf is genuine with his arguments is irrelevant. In his current position he’s doing nothing to further the discussion  and is dragging out a scandal that, in truth, should have been put to bed weeks ago.


Publisher: Mark Driscoll Improperly Copied Paragraphs from Bible Commentary


Tagged:  Newsletter

Top Plagiarism Scandals of 2013

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jan 2, 2014 2:35:00 PM

In comparison to 2012, 2013 was a very busy year for plagiarism-related news. It was a year with a slew of political scandals, developing issues in research plagiarism and even a few beloved celebrities finding themselves caught up in allegations of unethical writing.

2013-woodHowever, much of the focus changed in 2013. Where 2012 was very journalism-oriented with the “Summer of Sin” and Jonah Lehrer, 2013 was much more diverse and featured plagiarism scandals from a variety of fields including politics, religion and filmmaking.

All in all, this made it very difficult to pick just five stories to cover. This list easily could have been a top 20 or more. However, the below were the five plagiarism scandals that had everyone talking in 2013 and will be remembered for a long time to come.

Top 5 Plagiarism Scandals of 2013


Tagged:  Current Events, Interviews

Shia LaBeouf’s Bizarre Plagiarism Saga

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Dec 19, 2013 10:57:00 AM

Actor Shia LaBeouf is best known for his roles in the Transformers movies as well as other major Hollywood films. But while his career in front of the camera has been overwhelmingly successful, his foray into being behind the camera has hit a fairly significant speed bump.


Tagged:  Current Events

Marc Driscoll: At the Intersection of Faith, Politics and Plagiarism

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Dec 14, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Tagged:  Current Events

CTRL-V Plagiarism in the News - Issue 17

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Dec 5, 2013 7:30:00 AM



Tagged:  Newsletter

Daily Mail Accused of Plagiarizing Emma Thompson Interview

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Nov 21, 2013 6:30:00 PM

Emma_Thompson_Césars_2009Earlier this month, freelance reporter Jon Hiscock interviewed actress Emma Thompson and Thompson revealed that, according to her, when she was young she was inappropriately kissed by a magician hired to perform at her birthday party.


Tagged:  Current Events

Why U.S. and German Plagiarism Scandals Have Unfolded So Differently

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Nov 13, 2013 11:03:00 AM

Earlier this year, we discussed the recent plagiarism scandals in Germany and analyzed why it is significant when a political figure is found to have plagiarized a dissertation or a work from their pre-political career.

appl-orange-comparisonThe country has certainly seen its share of those scandals, which have led to the resignation of an Education Minister, a Defense Minister and a slew of other politicians.

However, today it is a U.S. politician in the plagiarism spotlight, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and the allegations are very different. Rather than standing accused of plagiarizing his dissertation, Paul is accused of plagiarizing in speeches, op-eds and even a book he wrote.


Tagged:  International