Sunday, December 19

More Cheating Spines

Thanks for all the comments.

Regarding the “Car-Deer” woman: The hospital gave me no grief for bringing her in like I did. We do not have a field spinal clearance protocol, though I have read many and go through them in checking out any patient who may have this type of injury.

Regarding the plagiarism cases: Several years ago “intent” was removed from the definition of plagiarism. If you turn in work that improperly cites where information came from, you have plagiarized. Professors have the option to decide that something is sloppy scholarship and to handle things without the Conduct Board. And the disciplinary officer (who has a Ph.D. in the humanities from Harvard, so she knows a thing or too about writing) is good about communicating with faculty and getting them to see something isn’t “plagiarism” as much as bad scholarship. But, in the end, if the faculty member wants to charge someone with plagiarism, the board will hear the case. While not official, there are several factors that the board seems to take into consideration when determining sanctions:

1) What year is the student? Citing the correct sources but not putting something in quotes that should be is not acceptable, but it is certainly easier to understand how it can happen with a first year than a senior.

2) How egregious is the act? One sentence in a 25 page paper is a bit different than 20+ pages in a 30 page paper (yep, I’ve seen it).

3) Does the person seem to know what they did wrong and do they have a plan to keep it from happening again?

I should have mentioned in my last post that the standard by which a decision is reached is “more likely than not” by a simple majority of the board.

I leave the conduct board meetings stressed. It is very important work, but it is HARD to deal with these issues on a case-by-case basis. It really is the ugly underside of academia (or at least one of them...).

I was on call for 30 hours from Friday through Saturday without a single call. I thought this was supposed to be trauma season…