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Plagiarism: you’re all guilty!

June 14, 2011

My friend Jeremy sent me this link yesterday: U of Alberta dean stole speech.

It’s easy to laugh at Dr. Philip Baker, who apparently thought he could get away with reusing a published speech by Atul Gawande, one of America’s most famous surgeons. But the fact is that many, many college faculty are guilty of plagiarism — i.e., the use of others’ work without proper attribution — even though they don’t think of it as such.

When I go to an academic talk, there’s at least a 25% chance that the speaker’s slides will include one or more images (clip art, cartoons, photos, etc.) that weren’t generated by his/her research group, but whose original source is not listed anywhere in the slide deck or mentioned orally.

It’s not a sin equal to Dr. Baker’s, but it’s still plagiarism.

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