[INDOLOGY] Plagiarism in general (not Malhotra)

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at uni-muenchen.de
Mon Jul 20 14:35:53 UTC 2015

On Jul 20, 2015, at 13:14 , Dean Michael Anderson <eastwestcultural at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I think we need to look at plagiarism and how to deal with it in light of two criteria: intent and extent.
> 1) Intent
> As Dominik pointed out, unintentional plagiarism is still plagiarism, using the example of manslaughter. But that is also why manslaughter is usually not punished as severely as murder.

I am not sure whether this parallel is really valid. Manslaughter can occur when the intention is to merely hurt somebody but strikes the other too hard, resulting in the other's death.

What we see in the case of Malhotra is not mere conscious copying, but also tinkering with the precise wording. One cannot do this if one honestly wishes to quote another author. If one believes that the language of a quote is faulty, one adds "[sic]"; if one wants to skip over something, one inserts "[...]". We all know these standard practices.

Therefore, the intention is clear.

> If the plagiarism is unintentional, then an apology and a commitment to make a correction should be sufficient. It would be better if the apology were not grudgingly given.

Dominik has already sent a link to Sruthi Radhakrishnan's comment "It doesn’t hurt to say sorry" (http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/on-owning-up-to-mistakes-in-the-public-sphere/article7434214.ece). Malhotra simply does not apologize but, on the contrary, launches a ridiculous counter-attack.

This means that he was caught and that he knows it but does not have the character to admit that he was caught. (Can anyone give a different explanation? If so, let's hear it.)

> If the plagiarism it is intentional, then the penalties should be greater. Intentional plagiarism is not the same as murder, but it might be considered suicide – at least professionally speaking.

Yes. If anybody in academia took him seriously before, such persons can only make public fools of themselves if they do so now.

> Best,

Robert Zydenbos

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