Just a handy reminder of two of UD’s most venerable truths:

1.) Plagiarists almost never plagiarize just once. Plagiarism is a compulsive, prolific act.

2.) In America, school superintendents are notorious career plagiarists. I’m not sure why this group in particular is always rising to the top; but in years of blogging, I’ve covered school superintendents more than any other group.

School Superintendent’s Apology for Plagiarism is a Run-on Sentence.

The guy probably earns around $200,000, but he’s too lazy/semi-literate to write a brief thank you note to the school community without plagiarizing it. Almost the entire letter is lifted from other sources.

Like a lot of people who do this (and for some reason school superintendents are particularly keen), he adds to his admirable traits a certainty that the fools he works with will never detect the theft.

His apology demonstrates why he stole. The man can’t write.

I know this behavior is not acceptable and minimizes my intent to tell you that I understand that last Spring and this school year have been very challenging for all of you and let you know that I truly do appreciate everything that all of you are doing to meet the needs of all our students and families and supporting each other.

The man can’t write, and he runs an entire school system. Why don’t the people of Rochester Minnesota think they deserve better than this?

Pity Magali Roques, a perfectly innocent cell biologist at the University of Bern.

She shares a name with naughty serial plagiarist Magali Roques, a medievalist who steals from just everybody. Naughty Magali plagiarizes at so high a level that she is reported to be “the sole philosopher recruited by the [prestigious] CNRS for a junior position last year.” Details here.

Can anyone be surprised that in high school Jessica Krug was already a plagiarist?

[As a high school senior, Krug was] disciplined for having plagiarized a piece that ran under her name in the school’s literary magazine.

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…

… when UD spent so much time covering academic plagiarism that she evolved a tripartite motivational structure for the act:




See details here.

A recent high-profile case falls cleanly into AMBITION. A UC Irvine professor is young, smart, already remarkably successful, and admirably ambitious for her education reform ideas to gain traction. She picks up significant material from other sources without bothering to quote it, giving the reader the impression she herself wrote it.

If this woman is like most other plagiarists, more instances of this behavior will almost certainly be found among her published works.


So far a typical Ambition case. What distinguishes this person from other non-attributors is not her silence in regard to press inquiries – everyone caught doing this sort of thing is very tight-lipped – but rather the random appearance of a colleague of hers at Irvine, who has written a threatening, semi-literate email on her behalf to Retraction Watch.

UD must say – this doesn’t seem to me a red-letter day for women’s liberation. A woman is challenged, and in gallops some guy to snarl for her.



Jane Lee, the Chinese Nationalist Party Candidate for Mayor of a Major City in Taiwan…

… plagiarized 96% of her university thesis.

(I think this means one hundred percent? I mean like let’s say she came up with her name and some acknowledgements all by herself; that still leaves the entire document.)

Here she is crying her eyes out like a big girl and saying fuck! everyone does it around here….


(UD thanks Chris.)

Psychotic Retraction

The committee called for 2528 papers to be retracted from 541 journals.

And I’m pretty sure they’re just getting started.

(Headline source.)

Some sort of distemper has gotten into the Armstrong line…

… as that name generates one shameless POS after another. There’s Lance Armstrong, of course; and now there’s Charles Armstrong, career plagiarist. Both men enjoyed hero status in their professions for decades, even as both were absolute and, to use the word again, shameless frauds. Lance doesn’t need a link over his name; everyone knows what a shameless (there it goes again) liar and cheat that American hero turned out to be. Charles, thanks to enablers like Columbia University and Cornell University Press, has a lower profile, but reputable historians have been trying to tell anyone who will listen (which didn’t, for ages, include his publisher and his employer) that he’s been fabricating and stealing forever. Charles was obviously also helped along by a disciplinary community that failed to detect (willfully overlooked?) gross irregularities in his work.

But shameless. Let me tell you about shameless. When Armstrong, back in 2016, began fielding attacks on his latest book, it went like this:

Soon after the allegations were made public, Armstrong responded … that he “did not comment on any specific issues critics have raised with the book”. On December 30, 2016, Armstrong finally directly addressed the issues raised by the critics, stating: “For those who find the book flawed, inaccurate or insufficiently researched, the answer is simple: write a better book.”

Wee lads and lassies! Obscure jealous persons! Write a better book!

The fucker got away with it for so long; his main victim endured years of ridicule and neglect for daring to question The Great and Powerful Oz. Even now, Columbia has punished him by giving him a full year sabbatical and allowing him to “retire,” while Cornell Press has said jackshit about an episode (the fools even printed a revised version that Armstrong promised was all cleaned up) that reveals a great deal about the quality of their reviewers and editors.

All plagiarism is multi-plagiarism.

In her big ol’ lawsuit against some Brazilian woman who’s been publishing romance novels plagiarized from a thousand sources (earlier post about the Brazilian bad girl here), bohemoth-of-the-bodice-rippers Nora Roberts uses the term “multi-plagiarism” to describe the crime.

While UD prefers the alliterative poly-plagiarism, she’s not sure we need either term, since in her experience (and faithful readers know we’ve been studying and tracking plagiarism on this blog for centuries), most plagiarizers not only plagiarize repeatedly from book to book, article to article, art installation to art installation; they also plagiarize far and wide within the work, gathering many prose patches in order to realize the rich tapestry, the coat of many colors, that is the stupendously simulacral artifact.

And if you think about it from the copyists’ point of view, the more bricolaged the book the better, ja? Less likely any particular plagiaree will notice… Wise word thieves also make an effort to steal from the obscure dead rather than from enraged, high profile, rich, and extant people like Nora Roberts…

Like her many Harvard precursors, Miss Brasilia blames everything on It’s hard to get good help these days.

When it comes to plagiarism, there’s a whole cathecism.

And you can hear it directly from a priest.

[I] relied on material prepared by interns.

[I did it] under the pressure of urgent media deadlines.

[I] often have many articles open on my computer at one time, and make notes by copying work between files, but I have not maliciously stolen others’ work as my own.

I’m glad someone brought it to my attention.


Hey lookee there look what I’ve been doing for the last thirty years. What a thing to have happened! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Yours truly, a high-ranking advisor to the pope.

‘I just woke up to distressing news that my work has plagiarism from other authors. I am taking down all the works I did with a ghostwriter …’

The end of an affair.


This is our last book together

This printing will soon be long ago

And in our moment of parting

This is all I want you to know

There will be many more romances like this

I’ll be stealing plots from someone new

There will be other words to copy

But there will never be another you

There will be other paragraphs to lift

But they won’t thrill me

Like yours used to do

I’ll plagiarize a million scenes

A million characters too

But there will never, ever be another you.

Harvardize! Let no one else’s work evade your eyes!

SOOOOO many Harvard professors – the latest is Jill Abramson – have plagiarized parts of their books that UD figures it’s time to update Tom Lehrer’s famous song, “Lobachevsky.” It’s not plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize! anymore: It’s Harvardize!

And why wouldn’t a Harvard professor do the deed? They suffer no consequences (“Realistically, you’re not going to fire Laurence Tribe or Charles Ogletree.“).

Ahem. As concerns the latest high-profile plagiarism story…

… recall UD‘s Tripartite A Scheme for plagiarism — i.e., plagiarism almost always falls into the category Atelier, Ambition, or Addicted (details), and it should be pretty easy for you to conclude that Jill Abramson is Atelier. Very busy successful high-profile people (Jane Goodall, Alan Dershowitz – and a raft of other Harvard law school profs – Doris Kearns Goodwin, Fareed Zakaria, Rand Paul) have ateliers of assistants who do much of their work for them, and … you know … it’s hard to find good help.

‘Ms Sushko apologised and claimed that she sometimes outsourced her editor’s letter to a trusted freelancer as she had a lot of work and could get stuck on the letter for “several days because of the big responsibility and stress.”’

If you’re an academic, it’s an evil grad student/research assistant; if you’re a magazine editor, it’s a trusted freelancer — but whoever the ghostly awful person who plagiarized and then put the product under your innocent name, the important thing, when you’re caught red-handed, is to find someone to blame it on.

But social media users were already posting previous instances of plagiarism by the [Ukrainian] Vogue editor…

BTW: Nice move, international-relations-wise, to be a Ukrainian who rips off a Russian. I mean, who needs independence?

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