Tag Archives: plagiarism

The geography of scientific plagiarism

A review of the text of hundreds of thousands of papers submitted by scientists worldwide has revealed the countries from which plagiarism is most likely.

Researchers from countries that submit the lion’s share of arXiv papers—the United States, Canada, and a small number of industrialized countries in Europe and Asia—tend to plagiarize less often than researchers elsewhere. For example, more than 20% (38 of 186) of authors who submitted papers from Bulgaria were flagged, more than eight times the proportion from New Zealand (five of 207). In Japan, about 6% (269 of 4759) of submitting authors were flagged, compared with over 15% (164 out of 1054) from Iran.

The global map illustrating this geography at the link is quite fascinating to peruse, as it generally shows the cultural roots of plagiarism. Happily, western culture does not appear to be the source.

“2012 was the worst year for fabrication and plagiarism since I began collecting data in 2005.”

The sad state of modern journalism: “2012 was the worst year for fabrication and plagiarism since I began collecting data in 2005.”

Silverman runs the website Regret the Error, cataloging journalistic errors and misconduct. This is his summary of this past year, and it ain’t pretty. The worst part is that there were a number of journalists on this list — CNN host and Time magazine editor Fareed Zakaria being the most prominent — who were caught either faking their stories or plagiarizing the work of others who were let off with a mere slap on the wrist. Consider that the next time you listen to Zakaria on CNN.