Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ohio Univ. not role model despite claims

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?


Plagiaristas said...

I am speechless. After finding some of the problems with chapters one and two, I didn't think that anyone would be so bold as to copy from the actual research sections of another's dissertation. You have done yeoman's work. Thank you for your diligence on behalf of ethics and integrity in higher and public education (K12). If this person is allowed to continue to serve on the Indiana State Board of Education, I will be even more dumbfounded.

Anonymous said...

The plagiarism you posted is not so surprising me. I teach at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where the same Ph.D. student committed plagiarism for 4 times in a year and still stay. He will finish his coursework this year and will write dissertaion soon.

By the way, I have seen so many Ph.D. students here who have a baby in the middle of teh semester, found a spouse by spending time on Match Dot Com, have a parent visit and went on vacation for a week in the middle of a semester earn an A in almost all Ph.D. courses.

Did I mention a student who supposed to use the laptop in a class to perform statsitical procedures to browse website and another student who slept through the entire smester, got a degree and won teaching award later?

Is it the time for declining America?

Anonymous said...

Oh, my, Omaha does have problems! Creighton University's Werner Institute Director Arthur Pearlstein plagiarized from someone's Ph.D. dissertation in an Ohio State law journal--so yes, America is indeed in decline! (See http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/ohjdpr22&div=28&id=&page=)

Gwynne said...

Have you seen this article about a student at Columbia not only plagiarizing, but also making up data. http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/89/i28/8928notw1.html
Sorry to post it in your comments of another topic. I didn't know how to find your e-mail.

Tom Matrka said...

Sorry for my delay in thanking you for alerting me and other readers about the Columbia student. It's pretty scary to think Purdue and Columbia might made OU look good. I wonder how many other universities are tricking the public by only pretending to educate students.

Just in case you still want my email address, it is matrka.4@buckeyemail.osu.edu. I will probably delete it in a few days though.

Thanks again for directing me to the C&EN report.

Brian Manhire said...

As I commented earlier (5 November 2009) on this blog, “… I believe that the plagiarism scandal Tom Matrka has discovered at OU is also widespread across colleges and universities in America and abroad – and why should anyone think otherwise nowadays?”

Another Distinguished Professor Approves Plagiarism

Sulara said...

Did I mention a dissertation writing student who supposed to use the laptop in a dissertation class to perform statsitical procedures to browse website and another student who slept through the entire dissertation smester, got a degree and won teaching award later?

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