Plagiarism checking by crowd sourcing

Following a tweet from Tris:

pigironjoe RT @public_uni: Was Gadaffi’s plagiarism overlooked because of his £1.5million donation to the LSE? http://bit.ly/gCyrRV Email the #LSE  …

I had a quick look at this story (most of the original accusations appear to be in the FT but that’s behind a paywall). Gadaffi’s son is accused of plagiarising his PhD thesis, examined at LSE. What I find interesting here, is that the thesis is publicly available as a google doc and a group has set up a wikia wiki site to share sections that they believe match to third party sources without acknowledgement.

The advent of the open access British Library ethos database of PhD Theses that first started me thinking about plagiarism in PhD’s a while ago. I wonder if the thesis came from the Ethos database? [update: I assume it did, as it is on there] Could anyone have their thesis open to public scrutiny in this way once it is available for download from ethos? This raises some interesting issues and once again makes me concerned that our processes and practices in Higher Education for examination of PhD theses need some careful attention.

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2 thoughts on “Plagiarism checking by crowd sourcing”

  1. Hi Jo.

    I am always wary when I hear people getting qualifications within a yer or so of a large donatino of this sort – not that i’m saying it is or has happened, I jsut feel it too coincidental to sit comfortably with.

    Saying this I believe in openness, so will happily submit my work to any and all scrutiny and hope I have referenced and quoted correctly as I want those who have given my ideas and/or words to get credit … as I hope I am credited in their work.

    All the best, David

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