Eventually, you fly into your own backside, which is pretty much what this guy seems to have done:
The co-authors of Miami Dade College’s main communications department textbook have been embroiled in accusations that some of the text may have been plagiarized.
One of those sections, ironically, deals with the very definition of plagiarism.
It’s there on page 37 of The Freedom to Communicate textbook: Plagiarism is taking someone else’s work without giving them credit. It is, the textbook states, “a serious problem in today’s society.”
That’s what Isabel del Pino-Allen, a communications professor at MDC, charged that her colleague and co-author Adam Vellone did with a handful of passages including lifting language nearly word-for-word from a paper defining 10 different types of plagiarism produced by the anti-plagiarism software company Turnitin, without providing proper credit.
The school’s own investigation didn’t go so far as to charge Vellone with plagiarism, but did identify several passages as needing clarification, and suggested that the book’s publisher may have contributed to the matter by reformatting citations. In this particular instance:
None of the references at the end of MDC’s textbook refers directly back to the Turnitin paper but there is a trail albeit circuitous that does link back to the original source: The textbook cites an MDC library guide, which does not contain the actual original text but does link to the website plagiarism.org. Although that link itself is defunct, plagiarism.org does link to the original Turnitin paper.
The head of the faculty union one of the five co-authors of the text says that the matter should be considered closed.
Isabel del Pino-Allen left the following comment on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s article regarding this matter:
More important than the plagiarism in the book, which Jason Chu [education director at Turnitin] labels “sloppy scholarship” and “unethical and improper,” there were several test questions that Mr. Vellone appropriated from other books and used in his chapters’ test bank. An example of one of this questions is: “A speech on how to assemble the electrical circuitry in a basic refrigerator motor would likely use which pattern of organization?” (this question came from Judy Pearson’s and Paul Nelson’s An Introduction to Human Communication). Mr. Vellone slightly altered the question to: “A speech that explains how to assemble the electrical circuitry in a basic refrigerator motor would likely use which pattern of organization?” In other words he substituted “on how” for “that explains.” As I wrote to another colleague today, what Mr. Vellone did is “the type of vulgar plagiarism that we would expect from a marginal student,” not from a college professor. The MDC administration, in its report, stated that because the test questions were on-line, they would most likely be “in the public domain.” I disagree!
You’d be surprised or maybe you wouldn’t how many people think that something is fair game just because it’s on the Web.