What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

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49 Replies - 22821 Views - Last Post: 01 December 2011 - 10:47 AM

#31 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 16 March 2011 - 12:16 PM

...right b/c Dayton is straight gangsta.
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#32 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 16 March 2011 - 12:18 PM

View PostNeoTifa, on 16 March 2011 - 03:15 PM, said:

Seems to mean something else where when I come from.


FTFY

This post has been edited by Craig328: 16 March 2011 - 12:19 PM

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#33 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 16 March 2011 - 12:19 PM

Straight OG, trick.
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#34 born2c0de  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:06 PM

After almost 3 months of mental torture, I can finally say that it's over.
Along with you guys, I (surprisingly) also had the support of the CS department who told me not to give in to pressure just to avoid a plagiarism report being filed.
Although the prof was reluctant to let me go free, he had no choice but to let me go due to lack of evidence and I'm glad I can finally put this to rest.
:)
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#35 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:08 PM

This is great news!
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#36 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:10 PM

Awesome news! Glad everything worked out!
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#37 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:16 PM

View Postborn2c0de, on 04 May 2011 - 05:06 PM, said:

After almost 3 months of mental torture, I can finally say that it's over.
Along with you guys, I (surprisingly) also had the support of the CS department who told me not to give in to pressure just to avoid a plagiarism report being filed.
Although the prof was reluctant to let me go free, he had no choice but to let me go due to lack of evidence and I'm glad I can finally put this to rest.
:)


Outstanding! I don't know if you know it yet but the lesson you learned from keeping your head and standing your ground when you were in the right will be a lifelong beneficial one. Good for you!

Now...three months? Seriously, it took that long for that turd to admit his accusation was without proof? I don't know the guy but damn, what a douche. Also, "plagiarism report"? Was that the penalty had the prof's accusation stood? You didn't mention that before (I don't think). If there was to be a formal report of plagiarism kept somewhere with your records then this was indeed a major victory to you.

This post has been edited by Craig328: 04 May 2011 - 02:16 PM

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#38 born2c0de  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 21 November 2011 - 04:42 PM

@Craig:
I never thought about this until you pointed it out. You're right and I owe it all to you guys! :)
A "plagiarism report" is a formal complaint sent by a professor to the school to inform them of any academic dishonesty committed by a student. I think he submitted the report without my knowledge as I was contacted by the CS department head a few weeks later. Fortunately for me, that guy was a reasonable chap and he dropped the complaint as soon as he heard my story.
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#39 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 22 November 2011 - 06:43 AM

As soon as you have your degree parchment in hand I'd craft a blog post about this, calling out the prof by name and then make sure you circulate the URL to everyone you know, every faculty dean at your former school and then finally to the prof himself about how close he came to ruining someone's future over a falsehood.

Some of the issue is that people who live full time in academia don't live in the same reality as everyone else. The rules are different, the powers that be are different and they live within that structure not realizing that most others are just passing through and live in a completely different, much larger reality. What some asshole in academia does to your record would directly affect not just what goes on within the academic reality (what the prof had in mind) but also would leave a lifelong stain on your educational record which, while important, is only a small part of people's lives.
Despite its size though, it could have determined whether you might get a certain job or not.

An employer could see a report of academic dishonesty as one of the many, many filters that HR departments can avail themselves of to reject your application for that job that could have made your career. It seems small but small things can have major life-altering effects.
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#40 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:50 AM

Quote

As soon as you have your degree parchment in hand I'd craft a blog post about this, calling out the prof by name and then make sure you circulate the URL to everyone you know, every faculty dean at your former school and then finally to the prof himself about how close he came to ruining someone's future over a falsehood.



You know, that's actually pretty terrible advice. It makes you look like an ass and it ensures that nothing you say on the subject will ever be taken seriously. It also tends to make you look guilty, not innocent.

The situation could have been handled better all around, including by the students involved, but now it's been resolved, presumably to everyone's satisfaction. When you've resolved the situation, let it go, and move on with your life.

If you feel like there's still something to resolve, you should talk to the department about repairing their procedures and preventing this sort of thing in the future - that would be useful. But trying to make a public fight about an issue that's been settled amicably is just dumb.
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#41 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 23 November 2011 - 12:04 PM

I see. So it's your belief that an attempt to smear someone's reputation and educational achievements on the basis of nothing more than a personal opinion shouldn't be mentioned publicly and should be handled on the down low and out of view of others who might could learn something from it?

Sounding like an ass depends upon how you describe the situation and just because it resolved well for you doesn't mean you couldn't perhaps describe the issue for the future (and perhaps present) benefit of others who might suffer the same fate. Recall that it was only because this particular student decided not to simply accept this crap that the wrong was righted...otherwise, it was entirely too likely that this prof would have successfully blackmarked this kid for the rest of his academic life and possibly beyond.

Long ago I worked as a work comp fraud investigator and reported to a corporate attorney as my boss. I don't recall the specific topic of the conversation that we were having but she quoted something to me that she'd heard from one of her professors and that was: "the truth is an absolute defense". What it means is that if what you're saying is the truth (and not enhanced by subjective characterization) then not only is it okay to say publicly but nobody can really do anything about it. Calling out this prof may seem to some to be petty or vindictive and perhaps even libelous...but if it's the truth (and I assume it is as the OP hasn't given anyone reason to believe otherwise) then telling the story and delivering a glimpse of a personal lesson (and extolling the virtues of preserving one's name and reputation) ought not to be viewed by any third party as anything less than sound common sense and an example of how people should act and react.

By all means, talk to the department but keep in mind that just like in other places, the tendency in communities is to rally around ones own. You take it on faith that the department head would do something about it...when it's actually far easier for them to simply fix this one time issue and then let it slide. After all, they have to work with this schmuck and who wants to have something like that always floating around...that you scolded them on their behavior and professional deportment? You're also assuming that this kid is the first one to have had this problem when the likelihood is that he isn't and that he's merely the latest. This then assumes that possibly someone else stood up for themselves and if they did it would seem apparent that no institutional changes had been made to address the issue.

In short, I disagree. He'd be performing a community service retelling his story and warning of such behavior...not being an ass.
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#42 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 26 November 2011 - 07:09 PM

Craig, it's a basic rule of weapons that they work best when they are threats. Your goal is to compel the adversary by making it easier to comply than to resist. If you have to pull the knife, you've lost the fight. At that point you have no more threats to offer: you have to use it and win, or back off.

A public airing of your grievance is, in your best case scenario, a way to punish the administration for your failure to convince them. If you make a public fight of it, you will lose, and at best the administration will be bruised. You will lose because the administration is permanent and you are either temporary or pathetic. Therefore, they know from the start that they can wait you out and you will go away, or become irrelevant (if you don't start out as irrelevant, which is likely). If you are very, very good at rousing your rabble, the administration will be bruised because they will have to spend time and energy responding to it, and they might lose some public standing. However, in this scenario there is no reason on earth why they come out better by acceding to some soon-to-be-gone student's wild temper tantrums - and if you haven't gone in and tried to do this right from the start, your campaign is precisely that. If anything, you only guarantee that they will not consider your demands, because this would set a bad precedent for future situations.

Its also worth considering that your CS professors are the people who you're going to look to for recommendations to future positions, either in academia or in industry. It's worth acting like a grownup, even if it's not as much fun as riding around on your high horse.

Be Machiavellian. Think about what you actually want to get out of a situation, then think about what gets you that. Since what you want out of the situation is in fact what's best for all concerned - you, your fellow students, and the department - it's doubly important to try to get it, rather than indulging some self-righteous fantasy.

Of course, all of this concedes the paranoid premise that this professor has it in for his students and needs to be assailed with pikes and torches for it. It's likely that the professor honestly reviewed the work and saw evidence of plagiarism. It's very unlikely that this professor takes any pride in making false accusations, and that he would prefer to be able to resolve these things correctly.
That is, if you can convince someone that there is a problem, the professors you're talking about are likely to be interested in solving it.

Spoiler

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#43 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 30 November 2011 - 06:40 PM

Imagine a hiring manager with a pile of CVs. The lunatic who rants and raves about his professors in his blog is an easy one to eliminate.
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#44 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 30 November 2011 - 06:59 PM

Rant and rave = relates their story, now? I get it that in order to help your viewpoint that you need to cast the other side as a "lunatic" but it doesn't make your point any more valid.

I've hired quite a few people and viewed more resumes than I care to recall. Someone who showed character and stood up for themselves isn't viewed as a lunatic or "ranting and raving".

Then again, it's this kind of attitude (not speaking up about institutional insulated injustice) that Penn State is dealing with right now. Faculty member does wrong and it's all handled on the inside on the down low. Yep, everyone shutting up about it and going on with business as usual sure stopped THAT crap from going on, right?

Or not.
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#45 DimitriV  Icon User is offline

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Re: What to do when falsely accused of plagiarism?

Posted 30 November 2011 - 07:06 PM

You could always take it to the leading body of your school unit or complex, get written proof from parents or guardians. At universities in Australia they have all adopted a scanning system that compares the data submitted with Wikipedia and known online plagurism sources, and if there are even slight similarities the student is awarded 0.
Appeal if you can.
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