View Full Version : Plagiarism and Professors

Mel Siff
04-03-2002, 09:19 AM
This discussion on other aspects of plagiarism took place on the
Supertraining list and may also be of interest to others here:

Mel Siff:

You are correct! There are several ways in which academics also cheat, so by
all means, let's discuss what they do here, too! While not strictly cheating,
what many senior professors do is to publish papers with their name as the
first author and the student/s as secondary or minor authors - this is a
very popular way for many professors to collect dozens of publications every
year. What they really should do is always place the student's name as
primary author and their name after it - but this would mean that academic
circles would award scholastic "stars" to their students and not to them -
and THAT is not done, old boy, is it?

While my original comments referred to student plagiarism, I have commented
on other groups about plagiarism by staff. One example which apparently is
quite rife is the "borrowing" of ideas from papers which academic reviewers
are supposed to review confidentially and objectively. I have had several
postgraduates and professors inform me that their unique ideas clearly had
been "lifted" by reviewers of papers which they had submitted for publication
in learned journals. This is why those who are submitting papers for review
are being advised to make a notarised copy, seal it in an envelope and
address it to themselves via certified mail - then not to open it unless it
is needed for subsequent legal action. I would strongly advise that anyone
who writes any paper for publication follows this advice.


Mel Siff:

Even students should be encouraged to send themselves notarised, certified
copies of all potentially publishable work that has been submitted to such
professors - or to circulate several notarised and dated copies to other
staff or to the Dean. The student simply states in his/her covering letter
something like this: "I thought that you may be interested in this project
which I executed as part of my course in XYZ. If you have any time in your
busy schedule, then any comments would be most welcome...." You can even
create your own website to store all messages - the date stamps on these
messages offers proof of when you submitted your work. Don't let any thievin
g professors get away with it any longer - if they are going to penalise YOU
for cheating, then THEY deserve the same happening to them. Always leave a
paper or electronic trail to show that YOU were the genius, not some less
scrupulous professor!


Dr Mel C Siff
Denver, USA

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