Marry in Haste, Repent at Leisure, Said Samuel Johnson.

And UD says:

Cut and paste
In haste,
Blame everyone else
At leisure.

Which is to say that the latest plagiarism miscreant, Jill Bialosky (read the last paragraphs of this review), is going to have to end her dignified silence pretty soon and start shoveling shit like there’s no tomorrow. My research assistant did it, my computer did it, my editor did it, my agent did it, my ex-husband did it, my publicist did it, solar storms did it.

“[I]t’s hard to imagine Bialosky’s intended audience,” writes William Logan, her plagiarism-unmasker. Yet therein lies the problem. Her “condescending” book of platitudes about poetry clearly intends to corner the high school textbook market, and really how much effort do you want to put into that? Just pick up capsule bios of the poets from the Poetry Foundation and stick them between pages of metrical triage.

Even Bialosky’s title has a familiar ring – she’s picked up her cheap urgency (Poetry Will Save Your Life) from Alain De Botton’s equally blowhardy How Proust Can Change Your Life.

If Bialosky has any sense, she will, having been caught red-handed, admit the plagiarism and have the book shredded. If she has more sense even than that, she will refrain not only from blaming others, but also from shifting into second gear when that fails: Confiding in us the dire psychological/financial/chemical problems that made her so desperate that she had to plagiarize. The less said the better, especially because plagiarists are notoriously prone to plagiarize repeatedly, and she doesn’t want our attention drawn to her other work.

The National Science Foundation Inspector General Shares her Favorite Plagiarism Excuses.

I was distracted by bird vocalizations outside my thatched roof hut, grabbed my digital camera to get pictures of the pair of woodpeckers, and when I returned to my computer where I thought I had saved my changes to the material, it had crashed with the wrong draft saved.

I guess my thinking was this person is just trying to understand what my research is about and what I’m proposing to do. And so how is letting him or her know that I got this text from this other paper, how is that going to help him understand better my project or what I’m trying to say?

I did not copy from the suggested source. We just both paraphrased from the cited author in exactly the same way.

As engineers, we do not use quotation marks around copied text.

Quotation marks are only needed for the copied words of “famous people.”

It’s only a proposal. It’s not like it’s a publication. The reviewers are smart enough to know what is my work and what is someone else’s.

My English teacher told me it’s not plagiarism if I change every seventh word.

A rogue British secretary did it.

UD‘s favorite is the engineers one.


And think about it. These are her highly selected best ones. The five thousand or so others she receives every year didn’t make the cut.

In the matter of Canadian poet Pierre DesRuisseaux, the question is not Who did he plagiarize? The question is: Who did he not?

The old and globally popular trick of publishing poems you’ve translated from one language to another as your own has caught up with the celebrated DesRuisseaux, a plagiarist who had the good sense to die last year, shortly before a careful reader noticed that if you translate one of his poems (back) into English it’s actually the work of Maya Angelou. This discovery drew the interest of Ira Lightman, a plagiarism detective.

Angelou? Ce n’est que la pointe de l’iceberg.

At latest count this poet laureate ripped off at least ten other poets – translated their work into French and put his name on it.

The book has been pulled; and, in an effort to save the guy’s ass, various supporters ask us to believe that when he wrote the book he suffered from Dementia (Inadvertent Global Plagiarism Type).

“It’s perplexing why you’d plagiarize when just introducing yourself.”

So says a commenter on this odd story, and so say all of us. Plagiarize a scholarly article, a commissioned report, a poem, yes. But a letter introducing yourself? Yourself?


They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark
She looked at him and he found the Spark

Plagiarism: The Blind Lateral Play.

Making $115,000 is easy when you’re asked to write a report for an interest group with whose policy positions you agree. It’s even easier when you figure no one actually reads policy reports like these; the interest group sends the report along to reporters and legislators and again no one reads them; or if they read them it’s rapid skimming for a quotation or two. Piece of cake.

Pity this University of Tennessee report-writer, though: He quite reasonably assumed he could cut and paste something and no one would read it and he’d get paid — end of story. But in this case it turned out to be a blind lateral move. Cuz the advocacy group hired (unknown to the original report-writer) another guy to also write a report for them. They showed this other guy our guy’s work. This other guy immediately recognized that our guy “had replicated a significant portion of work, word-for-word and without citation, from [this other guy’s] colleague.” A lawyer for the advocacy group (there’s a lawsuit, natch) adds: “The Initial Report also copied portions of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Inter-Governmental A1 Relations, Study A-121, and a brief by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

So our guy threw a blind lateral – he took from here and he took from there without glancing over to see whether his main source might be standing right here on the field right next to him.

UD‘s favorite part of this plagiarism story involves the amazing chutzpah of the plagiarist (a guy who specializes, by the way, in media ethics), who “admits,” through his lawyer, that “he tried to fix the report, adding additional footnotes and attribution, to suit the foundation and even threw in some additional research for free.”

Mes petites, you gotta love it. I mean, not just the word “fix.” Oops, just a little fine tuning needed… there! Fixed! Not just the word “additional.” Oh, all right. If you really insist, I’ll go back and futz with the report, you annoying nit-pickers…

Datz nothing! He even “threw in some additional research for free.” They should be paying him! With his first-rate research skills, he did some pro bono work for them – out of the goodness of his heart. And now they’re still suing him! And they still want their money back!

And it doesn’t end there! Our guy “is arguing that even if he is guilty of plagiarism, only the authors of the works from which he stole can pursue legal action for copyright infringement.” The foundation points out that the plagiarism is on them; if the other guy hadn’t found it and told them about it, it would have made the foundation look like … well, let’s not be unpleasant and use adjectives to characterize the sort of person who does what our guy does and then tries to clean up the mess the way our guy has… If you don’t have anything nice to say, as our mothers instructed us, don’t say anything at all…

“Titillating” doesn’t begin to describe how exciting UD finds it…

… when big ol’ macho men accused of plagiarizing counterattack. Rand Paul drew himself up to his full Randian height and spat the following out to the “hacks and haters” who exposed him:

“I take it as an insult, and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting — I have never intentionally done so and like I say, ‘If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know it’d be a duel challenge.’”

Here he is in all his finery up against Rachel Maddow. (Gets a little gross at the end.)

But now there’s David Clarke, and you just know this dude is also going to challenge someone to a duel.

So far he’s only done ye olde it’s a political smear thing. UD predicts his next move will up the ante and thrill her right down to the ground.


UPDATE: YES!! Calls guy who outed him a “sleaze bag.”

Things are coming along nicely, and UD pants for Clarke, like Rand Paul, to upgrade to direct threats.

Could Clarke take it one step further than Paul’s mere fantasies about duels? Be still my heart…


At writing, Trump’s candidate, Gorsuch
Has certainly got quite a poor touch.
But to disqualify
I’m afraid this won’t fly.
There really has got to be more such.

Double Arias at…

… the Vienna State Opera.

America’s Ready for a Plagiarist to Run the Nation’s Housing…

… but not a plagiarist to run communications.


I’ll tell you ol’ UD‘s take on it.

Crowley was a veteran, all over the place, slaphappy plagiarist. So are a lot of people. What’s scandalous here is the woman’s assumption that even after having taken the job of one of the country’s highest-profile writers, she could continue to get away with it. She didn’t even fucking disclose!

And you know why not?

Because virtually everyone in this administration, starting at the top, flagrantly plays the angles. She figured she could too.

(Carson? He apologized. He’s more high-profile, having run for prez. And being a plagiarist doesn’t have obvious and immediate implications for running housing.)


Shakespearean Limerick About Monica Crowley

Now Harper and Collins, most growly,
Suspend their edition of Crowley.
“You blackguard! Whoreson!”
Crieth vilified Mon.
“Thou playest against me most foully.”

“[V]arious Spanish media outlets have published at least 10 different examples of material allegedly plagiarized by [Francisco] Suárez, including [from] his own father, Francoist historian Luis Suárez.”

The obsessively plagiarizing president of Spain’s King Juan Carlos University allegedly steals work from his own father (author, by the way, of the “hagiographic entry for Francisco Franco in the 2011 Diccionario Biográfico Español,”), but I’m sure Dad doesn’t mind. (I wonder who he named little Francisco after?) What sort of father would object to his son stealing his work?

I bet Luis stole his work from his father. These legacy things are very Spanish.

Meanwhile, Francisco has refused a request from the regional parliament to testify about the matter. He’s way not in the mood to talk about it.

Miscreant Theater…

… is such a great phrase. It used to be the name of a New York City drama group, but I don’t think they’re active anymore. May UD use it? It could be this blog’s subtitle…


Fernando Suarez, the chancellor of Madrid’s King Juan Carlos (speaking of miscreants!) University, “has been accused of copying other historians’ work and that of his students, over a period of up to 10 years.”

Ten years? I rather doubt it. If he’s been kicking around long enough to enchancellor a university, it’s gotta be more like twenty years. Start with the dude’s dissertation, suggests UD.

Suarez is a classic plagiarizer: He’s been at it forever; he lifts from his betters, he has really pissed people like Bernard Vincent off, and he’s fiercely defending himself against this nefarious plot against his good name. He argues that aside from being the victim of said evil conspiracy, he didn’t make any money off of whatever he did or didn’t do, and it was the fault of other people and so he’s innocent.

Colleagues are currently trying to remove this big ol’ butt-boil from the Spanish university system, but as of this writing Suarez remains firmly affixed to that country’s higher education establishment.


Sign a get-rid-of-him petition here.


UPDATE: More detail on the dude’s wondrous multifarious self-defense:

Suarez fought back against the accusations on Nov. 25, when he denied that his methods constituted plagiarism, alleging that his academic publications generated no economic profit and had limited print runs.

He said that the plagiarism cases uncovered by journalists were actually “dysfunctions, because I’m human.”

“We work with avalanches of material in our research teams,” Suarez said, adding that the accusations against him were an attack against the university “by the usual suspects.”

Let’s review, shall we? I’m off the hook because

1. I made no money off of it.

2. I only printed a few copies.

3. Everyone’s human.

4. Material-avalanche.

5. Goddamn anti-intellectuals.

A word of advice for Suarez from ol’ UD, who has been covering plagiarism stories for a long, long time:

He’s pretty much out of hope at this point. Chances are excellent that he’s about to have his ass handed to him. But should Suarez opt to keep up the struggle, UD would urge him to expand on #3. Now’s the time to release biographical material about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother — a trauma so total that in order to cope he split off into two personalities, Good Suarez and Bad Suarez…

Perdonami, scusami tanto!

I reviewed your paper for the Annals of Internal Medicine, but I liked it so much I put my name on it and submitted it to another journal! Of course I made sure the other journal was obscure enough to fail to catch your attention but whooooops…. è colpa mia!… I played the angles and figured a fancy American like you wouldn’t notice an obscure Italian like me in the pages of no-name EXCLI Journal…

At least however I tried to show a fine Italian hand; you on the contrary have showed truly poor form by complaining about the matter publicly.

Dr. Michael Dansinger, of Tufts Medical Center, has taken to print to excoriate a group of researchers [Oh right. I put all my friends’ names on it too. Happy to share the credit!] in Italy who stole his data and published it as their own.

And what’s even more disappointing in your behavior is how you discovered my little mistake!

Dansinger was tipped off to their duplication while searching the internet for papers bearing his name.

Narcissism is an ugly character trait. Had I known how egotistical you are (searching the internet for your name!), I and my associates would never have chosen you. Next time forget it! Basta! You’ve put me through enough.

Yours, Mine, or Klein’s?

Faced with a famous, high-level plagiarist/physicist, a person the government just put at the head of an important scientific panel, France’s education minister has opened an inquiry into the curious cuttings and pastings of Etienne Klein.

We will see if UD is correct in identifying the source of Klein’s problem. UD suspects he hires people to write his books for him, but fails to read what they write before he puts his name on it.

If UD has said it once, she’s said it a hundred times: Keep an eye on the help.


That panel he’ll be heading?

… the mission of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology (IHEST) … is to restore trust between scientists and society.

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