Monday, May 5, 2008

Plagiarism + Your Future

So, plagiarism is just a bad idea. Its slimy. Don't do it.

I recently attended a small gathering of people to hear Anirban Basu, of The Sage Policy Group, talk about the current state of affairs.....Baltimore, the US, the world. A fascinating individual and dynamic speaker. I wish I was 1/2 as smart as he is. And accessible, I had a great conversation with him and somewhere out there are pictures. (You can hear Anirban Basu daily on WYPR.)

One of the things he mentioned (that sent me running for a pen) was that if an individual is found guilty of plagiarism they can never get a US security clearance. Until moving to Maryland I would have thought "big deal". But perhaps it is a bigger deal than many of you dear readers realize. Government jobs of a certain level require a security clearance and businesses working on government jobs. I have a friend who is an information architect who works for a company that manages a government job- she had to pass a security clearance. I have another friend who translates Farsi for the government. Okay, maybe he needs a security clearance and that is obvious. (Plus if someone is motivated to learn Farsi chance they are they are stupid or lazy enough to commit plagiarism.) Observation: it seems like the natives like the Baltimore/DC region and don't readily relocate. If you weren't going to resist plagiarism just because you didn't want the slime near you, consider limiting future job opps.

From Wikipedia:
is the practice of claiming or implying original authorship of (or incorporating material from) someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one's own without adequate acknowledgement. Unlike cases of forgery, in which the authenticity of the writing, document, or some other kind of object itself is in question, plagiarism is concerned with the issue of false attribution.

Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors, or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud and offenders are subject to academic censure. In journalism, plagiarism is considered a breach of journalistic ethics, and reporters caught plagiarizing typically face disciplinary measures ranging from suspension to termination. Some individuals caught plagiarizing in academic or journalistic contexts claim that they plagiarized unintentionally, by failing to include quotations or give the appropriate citation. While plagiarism in scholarship and journalism has a centuries-old history, the development of the Internet, where articles appear as electronic text, has made the physical act of copying the work of others much easier, simply by copying and pasting text from one web page to another.

Plagiarism is different from copyright infringement. While both terms may apply to a particular act, they emphasize different aspects of the transgression. Copyright infringement is a violation of the rights of the copyright holder, when material is used without the copyright holder's consent. On the other hand, plagiarism is concerned with the unearned increment to the plagiarizing author's reputation that is achieved through false claims of authorship.

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