I would like to bring a form of plagiarism to your attention that I have not seen mentioned on your “Professors Against Plagiarism” or similar Web sites. On occasion, I have come across instructors at Iranian universities using the lecture slides that I have prepared in connection with my textbook, without mentioning that the slides have been taken from my material, often with no change in contents whatsoever. In fact, in some cases, the instructor had removed my name from the slides and inserted his own. I have noticed the same form of dishonesty from certain instructors in China and other Asian countries as well. The fact that something is available on-line, with explicit permission given for educational uses, does not give one a license to abandon all rules of decency and use other people’s work without giving any credit to them.
At any rate, what made me write this note now is the appearance of an Inside Higher Ed article (summary and link below) that deals with a similar problem: that of abusing unpublished lab material.
Inside Higher Ed reports on "a recent plagiarism case" at Bethel University that "has plunged the college into a debate over the difference between collegial exchanges of course materials and the outright stealing of fellow professors' ideas." The case stems from Benjamin Shults, a computer science professor who "began sharing unpublished lab exercises and course materials – he calls them an online textbook – with other professors in his department." One of those professors "erased any trace of Shults's name from the documents when he used them in class, adding his own name throughout the materials," which eventually led Shults to file a grievance. However, the Grievance Review Committee found the other professor guilty only of "accidental plagiarism," and asked him to apologize. Shults has voiced concern that the decision sets a bad precedent. The article notes that there have been "past frictions" between the two professors.
Regards. ... Behrooz
Dr. Behrooz Parhami
Professor, Dept. Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Engineering
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9560, USA
Phone: +1 805 893 3211
Dept. fax: +1 805 893 3262