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“A Christmas Carol” as applied to plagiarism

John Mashey sends me this delightful video (not in English but it has subtitles) from the University of Bergen (link comes from this page from Elsevier but I don’t see any direct connection between the controversial academic publisher and the Bergen group).

Part of me believes, deep down, that if someone were to send this link to Edward Wegman, he will repent, that he’ll just break down, confess, and apologize to everybody involved.

I can’t understand the psychology of such people. I mean, I can understand someone being lazy enough to plagiarize and to deny if accused. But to keep denying after you’ve been caught and everyone knows you did it—I simply can’t see how someone can do that.

But this surely reflects my nerd-like lack of understanding of human nature, more than anything else. It’s a bit scary that someone such as myself who has such poor intuitions about human behavior can become a prominent social scientist, but I suppose it takes all kinds.

P.S. At least I’m not the only nerd involved in politics!


  1. Corey says:

    Is it just me, or is the music playing over the credits (starting at 4:15) a total ripoff of I’m Super, Thanks For Asking?

  2. […] Kahan writes on what seems to be the topic of the week: In reflecting on Lehrer, I [Kahan] have to wonder why the sanction is so much more […]

  3. John Mashey says:

    Elseiver posted a link to the video, that’s the only connection I know of.

    Despite any other issues they may have, they responded promptly and correctly to complaints and retracted a paper, over Wegman’s strong objections and resistance from the Editor. That’s better than Wiley or Springer have done, see relevant notes in See No Evil at GMU.

    Generally, Elsevier seems OK on plagiarism resources and advice, and I think they just liked the video, enough to highlight it.

    I’ve read masses of earnest advice on plagiarism … but had never seen a video on it, certainly nothing like this, which actually had some decent production values and seemed pretty clever.

  4. […] came across the video from the blog of Andrew Gelman, who has long chronicled plagiarism and other forms of scientific misconduct. From his post, I also […]

  5. Kjetil Halvorsen says:

    There is one thing I dont understand here, the title of the video seems unconnected: (my translation):” The feminism of the west is dead, says Phyllis Chesler”.

  6. Eli Rabett says:

    First day of class material!:)

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