April 15th, 2024
 Cynical ambition. Laziness. Incapacity.

See this post, where UD lists some of the motives for plagiarism. She forgot an obvious one: money. Expert witnesses often get paid TONS (I’m looking at you, Feinerman), and professional expert witness Fancy Harvard MD has been in the trade for awhile. As with the Georgetown Law guy in my parenthesis, Harvard’s Dipak Panigrahy knows a get rich quick scheme when he sees one. Get paid – I dunno, $500 an hour? – to get one of your underlings to plagiarize vastly in your expert report. Pad it up good with gobs of plagiarized material for more moolah and place your bigshot name upon it. Voila.

Only, as with that parenthetic Georgetown guy, someone bothered to examine the report, and discovered – in the judge’s dismissive word – a ‘mess.’

Yeah, he threw the whole thing out.

Will the dude get paid anyway?

What a deal. Thousands and thousands of dollars for … uh …

“Indeed, the plagiarism is so ubiquitous throughout the report that it is frankly overwhelming to try to make heads or tails of just what is Dr. Panigrahy’s own work,” [said Judge Dalton].

April 12th, 2024
Another One Bites the Dust.

UD does wonder, as the plagiarism pins keep falling, why people do it. Naive question, ja, but in weighing whether to

1.) ruin your career and humiliate yourself by doing something you really don’t have to do; or

2.) grind the thing out (what do they want? fifty? a hundred pages?) even though you really have to drag your ass to do it, and the result may be an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own,

doesn’t it seem obvious you should just grit your teeth and write the fucker?

Because one of the many bad things about plagiarism is that it makes people wonder whether you actually ever had the capacity to write a serious scholarly work of a certain length. Why, after all, did you plagiarize?

None of the answers is good. Cynical ambition. Laziness. Incapacity.

March 9th, 2024
One of America’s Highest-Profile Plagiarists…

… puts her pen to work again on behalf of her benefactor, Donald Trump. I wonder who wrote this opinion piece for her.

March 2nd, 2024
‘The 55-page complaint accused the official, Alade McKen, of copying material in his 2021 dissertation at Iowa State University from more than two dozen other scholars and from Wikipedia, which is written and edited by volunteers from the general public.’

See when it’s this bad, it’s on Iowa State as much as the plagiarist. To pass a dissertation that plagiarizes more than twenty-four other authors!!!! seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.

No, that’s Bracknell. Make it a contempt for the ordinary decencies of scholarly life. Make it a remarkable incuriosity about a document that must be a pretty fucking weird read. If anyone at Iowa State read it.

February 3rd, 2024
Plagiarize like an Egyptian

Wowsa. It’s rarely this glaring.

That’s Georgy Kurasov‘s work on the right. (Kurasov’s totally charming self-description is here.) The plagiarism — featured, until blasted off, in a Cairo metro station — is on the left. Ghada Wali has been sentenced to six months in prison.

January 30th, 2024
So far only rightwing publications have gone with the story…

… but if it’s true that Harvard’s chief diversity officer is a plagiarist, everyone’s gonna start talking.


Just today, a new complaint emerged against Harvard’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Sherri Ann Charleston, alleging that she, too, engaged in scholarly misconduct. (Neither Charleston nor the university has responded to a request for comment on those allegations.)

Story jumps to Atlantic mag.


The Harvard Crimson covers it today. Here’s the part that makes UD sit up.

The complaint also alleged that extensive passages in Sherri Charleston’s 2009 Ph.D. dissertation lifted language from a 2005 book written by Rebecca J. Scott, a professor of history and law at the University of Michigan. Scott co-chaired Charleston’s doctoral committee and advised Charleston on her dissertation.

Many passages describe or analyze historical events using phrases — and sometimes whole sentences — identical to those in Scott’s book. In each case, Charleston cites Scott but does not quote the shared language.

If they really were extensive, and if they were not quoted, it’s legitimate to ask why Scott didn’t notice anything.

Why no one noticed anything. The language was taken from a very high-profile book.

January 26th, 2024
John McWhorter struggles to find a phrase for lesser plagiarism – when you don’t steal ideas, but only recycle ‘boilerplate statements.’

He comes up with “cutting and pasting,” but this has, arguably, a more pejorative feel than “plagiarism.”

“Dilation and curettage”?

January 26th, 2024
Everybody’s doin’ it, doin’ it, doin’ it…

Even the Norwegians! Even the Norwegian in charge of academic integrity!

January 3rd, 2024
‘Those who are guilty [of plagiarism] … will question their accusers’ motives, they will try to silence them, they will minimize the allegations, and they will argue that everyone does it anyway. Gay’s defenders have used all of those approaches. They have pointed to the political provenance of the allegations against her; they have euphemistically described clear cases of plagiarism as “duplicative language”; they have suggested that these are things that happen routinely in academic writing; and they have publicly wondered why she is being singled out for such scrutiny… . I can understand concerns about political interference in higher education, but we cannot possibly defend against such interference by calling plagiarism “duplicative language.”‘

Even if one accepts that Gay’s transgressions are relatively trivial in themselves, the sheer number of citation errors is deeply troubling. As of this writing, dozens upon dozens of instances of “improper citation” across her published work indicate a systematic problem with the basics of academic writing. Perhaps this really does not rise to the level of research misconduct, but it constitutes strong evidence that the former president of Harvard struggles to cite properly.

Aleksandar Stević


Click on this post’s category – PLAGIARISM – to see all of these observations, and more, expanded upon over many years.

December 22nd, 2023
 ‘If she stays in her job, the optics will be that a middling publication record and chronically lackadaisical attention to crediting sources is somehow OK for a university president if she is Black. This implication will be based on a fact sad but impossible to ignore: that it is difficult to identify a white university president with a similar background. Are we to let pass a tacit idea that for Black scholars and administrators, the symbolism of our Blackness, our “diverseness,” is what matters most about us? I am unclear where the Black pride (or antiracism) is in this.’

John McWhorter calls for Harvard president Claudine Gay to step down.

December 21st, 2023
Gay Abandon

Is Harvard preparing to concede that President Gay should be let go?

The controversy swirling around Dr. Gay raises questions about what it means for a premier American university when its scholarly leader — who at Harvard has final approval on all tenure decisions — has been accused of failing to adhere to scholarly standards. The allegations against her [have] prompted some to wonder whether Harvard is treating its leader with greater latitude than it would its students.

Says the NYT. Then it takes a trip down memory lane. Devoted UD readers will recall these earlier stunningly hypocritical Harvard plagiarism cases.

In 2005, after two prominent law professors, Charles Ogletree Jr. and Laurence Tribe, were publicly accused of plagiarism, The Harvard Crimson ran an editorial decrying the “disappointing double standard,” noting that “students caught plagiarizing are routinely suspended for semesters or even entire academic years.”

In both cases, the investigations — which were led by Derek Bok, a former Harvard president, and unfolded over months — found that each had in fact committed plagiarism. The professors were publicly chastised by the administration, but Harvard did not say whether there were any sanctions, according to news reports at the time.

In an apology, Mr. Ogletree, who died this year, acknowledged that his 2004 book “All Deliberate Speed” included several paragraphs from another law professor almost verbatim, without any attribution, according to a New York Times report at the time. (He said it was the result of a mix-up by his research assistants.)

In Mr. Tribe’s case, he was deemed by Harvard’s president and the law school dean to have unintentionally included “various brief passages and phrases that echo or overlap with material” in a book by another scholar, who was not credited. Mr. Tribe, who still teaches at Harvard, apologized.

These were ATELIER plagiarism (read about UD’s tripartite scheme here], plagiarism committed by the flunkies who write your books for you because you’re far too busy and important to write them yourself. (See, among other Harvard luminaries, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jill Abramson, and Alan Dershowitz.)

The getting off scot-free bit is a prototypical instance of oligarchic privilege, an outcome no one in any of the world’s many class-based, corrupt from top to bottom, countries would have any trouble recognizing.

December 12th, 2023
And now, claims of plagiarism…

… against Harvard’s already-embattled president.


UPDATE: She will stay in her job.

August 10th, 2023
The Great Sabatini

He strides like a colossus across the American landscape, doing battle with George Santos for the country’s most powerful young MAGA voice; and, like Santos, the way he got there is nothing short of amazing.

And inspirational. A man who cannot spell Friedrich or most other words wrote a college thesis about Nietzsche! And although almost all of it was plagiarized, with several references made up, he passed with honors!

Anthony Sabatini achieved this feat by choosing an extremely old, give-a-shit thesis director who obviously didn’t cast even a teeny weeny bit of one eye on Sentence Number One (where Freidrich appears – and Nietzsche’s first name will be rendered in this way throughout) before stamping CUM LAUDE on the pile. (Says here this thesis person commuted a thousand miles for eight years to Sabatini’s university (?), so maybe therein lies an explanation for a respectable scholar granting a stupid unethical student honors.)

June 28th, 2023
This one’s AMBITION.

Recall UD’s tripartite plagiarism scheme (details here):




A very successful public intellectual from Poland is credibly accused of plagiarism.

This case, as reported, has Ambition written all over it. A young man in a hurry seems to have been far too fast-lane to bother actually writing portions of his work, starting with his graduate school thesis.

Some of the plagiarism is apparently straightforward translation from English language sources; some of it seems to draw on other sources.

This is the long, Polish-language essay about the plagiarism; not only do you have to translate it, but you can’t get far in the text without subscribing to the newspaper. But anyway it’s a close analysis of the guy’s apparently prolific lifting.

Of course he’s hysterically screaming about suing the people who claim that he plagiarizes — and good luck with that, panie.

June 6th, 2023
“They have no U.S. historians in the department.”

The purge of the last intellectuals at Hillsdalesur-Mere (formerly New College) has outdone itself: No professors of American history remain in the history department.

President Richard Corcoran, himself under pressure because his last name reminds people of Johnnie Cochran, quickly appointed his replacement, “a man whose distinguished research career speaks for itself.”

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