Friday, May 9, 2014

The "P" Word--Plagiarism

A recent email on one of my listserves got me thinking about plagiarism and the ways people attempt to sugarcoat it. The word "plagiarism" itself seems euphemistic--a nice way of saying: stealing someone else's work and passing it off as your own.

Lawyers are encouraged--even required--to take language from cases, statutes, treatises, and the like to support their positions. But lawyers, like journalists and scientists, must be careful to properly cite their authorities. 

The Lab Times has compiled a list of euphemisms scientific journals have used in retraction notices. The short list can be found here.

My favorite from the Lab Times list: "significant originality issue"

Some other plagiarism euphemisms:

-recycled from other works...
-borrowed language from another...
-paid homage to the writing of...
-appropriated the work of...

Happy Friday!

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