I have been interested in scientific misconduct recently – partly as a result of the Hauser scandal. Consequently I was reading about a recent conference on the subject. The documents included plagiarism right up there with the more commonly accepted forms of misconduct like falsification of evidence.
Plagiarism is the use of text from others’ writing without attribution. Now I realised that this was a big issue for student assessment at universities but apparently it is also an issue for scientific journals. Many journals now use a computer programme to check out submitted papers for plagiarized content.
Just imagine, though, there is a whole field of scientific publishing where such things would not be routinely checked. I am referring to popular science articles, newspaper articles – and reports to clients, including governments.
Well, the proverbial seems to be hitting the fan for one such report – the Wegman report. Gareth at Hot Topic briefly reports this in his article Wegman investigated for plagiarism, “skepticgate” looms.