Plagiarism for Professors

For some reason, there is suddenly enhanced interest in my courses and talks on plagiarism. It is getting to the point where I am refusing some speaking engagements, either on the grounds of them not even paying me trainfare, let alone a modest fee, or because I already have one out-of-town engagement that month. This is my new rule: only leave town on business once a month.

But I do, of course, give courses in Berlin on the topic. I've had some with just a few people, suddenly I have a full house! There were 12 professors from 3 other schools in Berlin at my school on Friday, taking my course.

It was quite a different course than normal! 12 professors have 14 differing opinions on any subject, and they were not shy about asking questions or making statements. It turned into a wonderful debate on questions of scientific ethics, teaching responsibilities and our cultural understanding of plagiarism. It turns out that different fields of study have different views on the necessity and use of footnotes, for example. In law people use footnotes to demonstrate what authorities they are calling on. Historians use footnotes to record where they find stuff. Computer people tend to use foot notes for recording URLs.

Our exercise session seemed to be more of a Google-use session, but that was okay, because that is something they all need to learn!

I'm looking forward to the next course - nice, wenn I myself learn something in a course I give.

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