Unconscious plagiarism does exist, but writers who don't take proactive steps to avoid it are often either being lazy, or they have a diminished fear of being caught. Driving is a good model: it is easy enough to drift over the speed limit without being aware of it, but vigilant drivers can prevent the habit by forcing themselves to pay conscious attention to the problem. And just as not knowing one's speed won't save one from a ticket, the fact that unconscious plagiarism isn't outright fraud doesn't make "It was cryptomnesia!" much of an excuse. Unconscious plagiarism may not be a "felony," said Schneider, but it's still a journalistic "misdemeanor."Readers' responses to the article have been compiled here.
Friday, July 10, 2009
It Was Only Cryptomnesia!
Could some alleged plagiarists be guilty of psychological sloppiness rather than fraud, asks Russ Juskalian in a very interesting piece at Newsweek, but concludes :