From the issue dated December 17, 2004

Professor Copycat

Plagiarism is the gravest sin in the academy -- or so we have been told. Stealing someone else's words and passing them off as your own is the lowest of the low in a realm where scholarship is king.

But when the conversation turns to individual cases, the room falls strangely silent. The same professors who constantly bemoan their students' lax attitudes toward plagiarism often clam up when it is their colleagues doing the copying. Journal editors, department chairmen, and association leaders likewise become skittish, fearing lawsuits and bad publicity.

In this special report, The Chronicle examines academic plagiarism -- not the kind that procrastinating, lazy students engage in late at night, but the kind that professionals who know better attempt in order to further their careers.


Lazy students are not the only ones guilty of plagiarizing. We found four scholars who copied the work of others without giving credit. How many more plagiarists are out there?

A biology professor published his graduate student's words as his own. Is that wrong?

The responsibility for punishing plagiarism falls to any of a number of entities, few of which ever take action.
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