Wednesday News: The Plagiarism Edition

Wednesday News: The Plagiarism Edition

The frequency of pilferings from Wikipedia suggests he viewed the site as an open-source document. Another theme: He pulled stuff from the Federal Register for his piece on the president’s swag gifts; from a “government website” for his post on “25 Amazing, Official White House Petitions”; from a U.S. Senate Web site for his piece “24 Delightful Inauguration Firsts,” a post that, according to the BuzzFeed editor’s note, should have credited that Web site “as the source for almost all of the information in this piece”; from the U.S. Botanical Garden for the piece on the giant flower — all of which suggests that Johnson felt entitled to material created with the help of his tax dollars. –Washington Post

To their credit, the Times is paying more attention this time. In an email to Gawker, spokesperson Eileen Murphy wrote: “We’re aware of the situation and are looking into it.” –Gawker

By the end of this year’s tournament, which was contested from June 23 to July 6, the 2013 annual had been removed from the Wimbledon bookshelves. It has also been removed from Wimbledon’s online shop. The book should have disappeared from circulation long before that. Months earlier, as first reported today in the U.K. magazine Private Eye (the article is not currently available online), Wimbledon employees had learned that the author, Neil Harman, had plagiarized large swaths of the 2013 book. Regardless, the title remained on sale until just before the tournament’s end, when the All England Club was confronted by a writer whose work had been pilfered. Harman, who had written the Wimbledon annual for 10 consecutive years, was not assigned that task for 2014. He did, though, still write a piece on Andy Murray for the tournament program. In addition, Wimbledon allowed him to keep his credentials, and invited him to attend the tournament’s exclusive Champions’ Dinner. The club also failed to notify writers whose work they knew had been plagiarized. –Slate

Stories of lead researchers stealing the work of their grad students is not uncommon, but this represents a major twist. It seems that in this case, a proud parent (and close friend of a college professor) encouraged his daughter to conduct a science fair project that was largely based on the work of that professor/friend’s graduate student. Arrington’s science fair project seems to have been inspired by the work of a grad student, Zack Jud, who published very similar results back in 2011 — work that Arrington’s father was an author on. –i09