So the editors of Research Policy, perhaps the most renowned outlet for research into research, have uncovered a case of naked plagiarism in the recent past. Here is a link to the whole story, the abstract is over the fold.
I wonder if in the near future someone will load up all academic works and do a search for commonality of the kind that we already see for student assignments. I suspect much more come out of the woodwork.
Keeping plagiarism at bay—A salutary tale
Ben R. Martin and other Editors of Research Policy
This editorial examines the question of whether plagiarism may be on the increase in the social sciences and, if so, what needs to be done to keep the problem in check. It was prompted by the discovery of an alert reader in June 2007 that a 1993 paper in Research Policy appeared to have plagiarised a 1980 article in the Journal of Business. The allegation was investigated, and it was agreed by the Editors that the 1993 paper constituted a clear and serious case of plagiarism. However, the author concerned has published over 100 articles and books. Already, two other publications have been judged by the editors of the journals concerned to have plagiarised previous publications. Two more are under investigation, but the great majority of the remainder still remain to be checked. The fact that academic misconduct on this scale has gone unchecked over such a prolonged period raises serious issues about the efficacy of the processes used to police the conduct of researchers. Furthermore, the unexpected discovery that a paper by the author under investigation appears itself to have been plagiarised poses a fundamental question as to whether plagiarism may be far more common than previously assumed. The editorial concludes that a measured degree of vigilance and a greater willingness to pursue any well-founded suspicions of research misconduct are required by editors, referees, publishers and the wider academic community if the scourge of plagiarism is to be kept at bay.