Students who plagiarize papers and other assignments might face failing grades, formal reprimands, suspensions, and even expulsions, especially for repeat offenses. But schools aren’t the only institutions that levy some serious consequences for plagiarism. Accusations of plagiarism happen all the time and can put professionals in court—or out of a job—even if they plagiarized a piece way back when they were students themselves. Here are a handful of plagiarism cases that have made headlines this year.
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Filip Miucin, Video Game Reviewer
This writer was fired from his job with the website IGN after the gamer behind the YouTube channel Boomstick Gaming pointed out some significant similarities between Miucin’s IGN review of “Dead Cells” and his evaluation of the same game. Later IGN editors and others discovered additional examples of Miucin copiously copying from reviews on sites including Polygon and NeoGAF, prompting IGN to pull his posts. Miucin initially posted a video response on his own YouTube channel defending his work and criticizing another writer for reporting his firing, but his channel has since been deleted.
H. Gilbert Welch, Professor and Researcher
This Dartmouth College professor and health policy expert resigned this year after an investigation by the school concluded he committed plagiarism. The Dartmouth investigation found that Welch did not give credit to another Dartmouth professor and a researcher from UCLA for some data and methodologies used in a 2016 paper published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The journal, however, hasn’t retracted the report because it contends the issue is an authorship dispute rather than a clear case of plagiarism.
Carmen Montón, Spanish Politicians
Several Spanish politicians’ academic credentials have been questioned in recent months, causing a wave of consequences. The nation’s minister of health, Carmen Montón, resigned in September after evidence emerged that she’d plagiarized parts of a thesis submitted for her master’s degree at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.
Academic experts say that Montón’s case—along with other recent degree scandals amongst Spanish politicians—are symptoms of a bigger issue at some schools in Spain, which lacks a nationwide system for quality assurance at universities.
Anne Blythe, Reporter
This North Carolina newspaper reporter lost her job at the Raleigh News & Observer after editors there found she’s used unattributed material from other publications. A complaint from another reporter prompted editors to examine more than 600 stories Blythe had written, where they found “at least a dozen that contained phrases, sentences or, in some cases, whole paragraphs, lifted from other publications,” according to a note to readers published in July of this year.
Blythe’s lawyer issued a statement that supervisors hadn’t given her an adequate opportunity to review and respond to the accusations before publishing the findings, adding that she intended to address the allegations later, which appears to be the latest development in the case.
So classrooms aren’t the only places plagiarism is a problem. And those who plagiarized papers in their student days can still face consequences later in life. Plagiarism just doesn’t pay. ‘Nuff said.