About two weeks ago, I wrote a post regarding a possible case of plagiarism committed by the Times Higher Education (THE) paper, in which I detailed how certain parts of the THE article contained verbatim copying of a Wikipedia article.
I wrote a comment to the editors, and surprisingly, Ann Mroz, the editor of the paper itself, responded promptly to my comments. In fact, she was even willing to talk to me over the phone to discuss the matter, but I told her that since I’m in the US and the THE is in the UK, the phone might not be the best medium of communcation. Nonetheless, this really showed me that the THE is dedicated to its journalistic integrity and takes any possible instances of its violation very seriously.
Anyways, Ann Mroz told me that she will investigate the matter and let me know the outcome. She thought the whole thing is probably just editorial intern who was pressed for time and thought he/she could get away with it, and that it was nothing sinister. I agreed with her, but still, I awaited the outcome of the investigation.
This morning, I get an email from Ann telling me that it was indeed some intern who was pressed for time. The usual practice for THE, when it is writing the author profile of a book, is to interview the author before publication. However, in the case of Sheldon Wolin, THE was unable to reach him before the review was published, so some intern probably got assigned to write the author profile section, and that intern was pressed for time. She assured me that this kind of thing won’t happen again.
I am more than satsified with her, and the THE’s, efforts to address any possible instance of the violation of journalistic integrity. This whole thing really showed me how dedicated they are, as a publication, to make sure that they adhere to the highest professional standards.
This might sound really nerdy and/or pretentious, but this whole thing made my day today. I am not sure I am justified in feeling this way–after all, I don’t even live in the same country as the publication–but in another sense, I feel like I made a contribution, however slight, to the quality of a paper that I and thousands of other people read.
But unfortunately, I probably got some intern into a lot of trouble.