Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Anonymous Attack Blog Makes WORLD!

WORLD on the web, the WORLD Magazine blog, has picked up the Steve Wilkins’ plagiarism story, reporting it in a piece titled “New/old plagiarism scandal.” Hmmm, I wonder what principle of justice WORLD violated. Perhaps Bhagwan Shree Wilsoneesh could inform us.

Thank you.


Andy Gilman said...

I read the World Magazine Blog entry, and looked at your plagiarism website. Your evidence looks pretty damning at first glance, but I did notice a couple of cases where you highlighted sections of Wilkins book where he appears to have cited his source (I don't have the book so can't verify). For example, on page 29 of the Prologue there is a section Wilkins has footnoted with a 7, which you have highlighted. Unless that footnote does not attribute that section to Jones, it would appear you have improperly highlighted that section.

Mark T. said...


Thank you for your comment, and the confusion here is my fault because I have not explained why I highlighted those passages.

You’ll notice that Wilkins oftentimes footnotes dialogue, which leaves the impression that he’s citing his source. However, most of those quotations should be set in double quotes because he is in fact taking the text verbatim from another source. Moreover, if you look closely, oftentimes he’ll paraphrase his source up to the point where the quotations begin, which indicates his intent to cite the source of his quote, and no more, which is dishonest all the way.

The Palouse is crawling with academics and I am friends with many of them. My non-scientific poll of several of them (which includes sitting professors, professors emeriti, and high-ranking administrators) has them split down the middle on this one. The hardliners call it plagiarism, the others call it “sloppy citation.” Both agree, however, that the student would fail and, more importantly, both agree that the Wilkins has a clear pattern in these instances, which appears to include an intent to deceive.

Either way, I believe these passages underscore his total reliance on other men’s words, thoughts, and outlines, without appropriate citation.