Continuing Copygate Discussions
Posted by Jeff Condon on October 14, 2010
Climate Audit reader Geoff left this in the comments at the excellent CA copygate thread. Not sure if this is Geoff Sherrington or not.
I note the comment from the Office of Research Integrity of the US Department of Health & Human Services:
ORI’s definition of plagiarism provides the following caveat:
“ORI generally does not pursue the limited use of identical or nearly identical phrases which describe a commonly-used methodology or
previous research because ORI does not consider such use as
substantially misleading to the reader or of great significance.”
It seems a reasonable policy for basic information, especially considering how often the basics need to be repeated. All of the unreferenced stuff in the Wegman report would easily fit into this category.The link is worth a minute to follow.
Carrick made this point at the CA thread also which fits well with the above policy.
I agree with the other commenters. bigcity obviously has no experience at all with reports/documents given to businesses, if he thinks plagiarism is always discouraged there. Some reports are mere aggregations of existing work—the value added is the aggregation not the individual contents in that case.
Ironically, legal departments want you to follow existing documents, and not deviate from it (not even in formatting). I had a document I prepared a few days ago that was returned to me reformatted and reworded to more closely follow the template given to me.
Perhaps Steve McIntyre could comment further on the differences between business and academic models. (It’s certainly not true that the press avoids plagiarism, as another example—quite the opposite.)
Also, Bart Verheggen has some discussion on the matter: