A few months ago I learned about a blog called “Plagiaristas.” The blog provides evidence of plagiarism in a 2004 doctoral dissertation by a Purdue graduate. Out of curiosity, I obtained the dissertation from Proquest, and I started doing some checking of my own. I now consider this plagiarism case to be one of the worst abuses of the U.S higher education system I have seen. Extensive copying (including some research results) indicates that the graduate only sought a title, and she made no effort to become a scholar like a true PhD student. Additionally, publication of the fraudulent dissertation without bothering to correct basic problems such as cited sources not in the bibliography or an incoherent sentence due to careless copying raises concerns that Purdue professors might frequently overlook academic misconduct.
I compared the 2004 Purdue dissertation to two Virginia Tech dissertations published in 1998 and 1999. I highlighted duplicate text in blue and orange corresponding to the source documents. The highlighted pages can be downloaded here.
There have been a couple news articles indicating that Purdue is reviewing the evidence, but more important to me, the doctoral graduate denies wrongdoing. I would be very interested in hearing her explanation proving no wrongdoing. Until then, I only see a selfish liar who is so arrogant she thinks she deserves a doctoral degree without the education. She lies about her qualifications to keep an advanced position and she does not care about others with honest qualifications whom she causes to be excluded from an earned job opportunity. By maintaining that she did not plagiarize, she is essentially saying Lynn Amedy and Jude Isaacson plagiarized from her.
Purdue and their graduate are facing very serious problems, and I hope both realize candid honesty is the only option to gain control of their futures.
I am very interested in thoughts from anyone familiar with Purdue’s situation or affected by it. I am curious to see how comments and recommendations for both Purdue and the graduate compare to Ohio University’s choices which caused their ongoing floundering. Does anyone besides me suspect this is the tip of the iceberg, or did Plagiaristas just happen to find the single Purdue dissertation with falsified data?