Abi has collected a couple of news items reporting on the withdrawal by the Mashelkar committee of its report. Here are the earlier posts in this blog on the issue: post 1, post 2, and post 3.

A couple of nice things about the entire affair: Dr. Mashelkar accepts (a) the plagiarism allegations (and a sub group is blamed for the misconduct) and (b) complete responsibility for the fallout; further, the committee has asked for three months to redo the report.

So, this probably is a good time to give a few links to all the information you always wanted to know about plagiarism, but were afraid to ask:

  1. A plagiarism pamphlet from Indiana University Writing Tutorial Services;
  2. The OWL at Purdue on plagiarism;
  3. Of course, the Wiki page on plagiarism is full of links on all sorts of plagiarism resources;
  4. Here is a review of a book on plagiarism which argues that plagiarism is a moral offence though not a legal one. Unfortunately, Posner’s article in The Atlantic is behind the paywall;
  5. Finally, an essay from Harpers which, in his own words, the author “stole, warped, and cobbled together”.

Before I end my post, here is a quote from Asimov‘s memoir I. Asimov, which clearly brings out the angst that scholars experience with respect to plagiarism (emphasis in the original):

One of the plagues of the prolific writer is the constant concern over the possibility of plagiarism, which is the appropriation of someone else’s words with the pretense that they are your own. This is, in my opinion, the greatest crime that a writer can commit, and there isn’t any change at all I’ll ever do that. The trouble is that I want to avoid even the appearance of plagiarism and I write so much that this is sometimes difficult.

And, on a funny note, you should listen (mp3) to Tom Lehrer‘s Lobachevsky, which has these classic lines:

One man deserves the credit,
One man deserves the blame,
and Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name. Oy!
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobache…

I am never forget the day I first meet the great Lobachevsky.
In one word he told me secret of success in mathematics: Plagiarize!

Let no one else’s work evade your eyes,
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
So don’t shade your eyes,
But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize…
Only be sure always to call it please, “research“.

Have fun 🙂