What are the best excuses you’ve seen for plagiarism? James Kroll, at the National Science Foundation’s Office of Inspector General, has collected a bunch over the years (click on the image to enlarge):
Bird vocalizations. Really.
Kroll’s slide was part of a 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity talk he gave on his office’s investigations into allegations of misconduct. The 3rd WCRI — the first was in Lisbon in 2006, and the second in Singapore in 2009 — gathered international leaders in research integrity for three-and-a-half days.
For example, David Wright, of the U.S. Office of Research Integrity, spoke on the incredible lengths — think faked emails — that researchers will go to hide the evidence of their fraud. And Nature executive editor Véronique Kiermer discussed the troubling and growing trend of “sloppiness” she and her colleagues have seen.
The WCRI was the final stop on a five-day trip to Montreal by Ivan earlier this month. The visit started at Concordia on May 3, where he gave a talk titled “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: What Retractions Tell Us About Scientific Integrity.” On the 5th, he spoke to the Council of Science Editors as part of a panel, “The Life of a Retraction.”
Here’s Ivan’s presentation from the WCRI. (Our French-speaking readers can take a look at this account.) Speaking of excuses for plagiarism, some of journals’ top euphemisms appear in slides 18-22 (use the forward and back buttons to watch the whole talk):