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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 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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