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Plagiarism and Lecturer

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    In one of my exam questions, it asked that we innovate/developed a new model based on a given traditional model, and if you could answer the question, you'll get a grand 40% mark!

    Now assuming you answered the question extremely well since you've thought about the particular topic for months before (you're able to answer the question because you love the traditional model/topic and you have ideas to improve it), and in 1-2 years after the exam, you found out your lecturer who teaches you the subject published a work based on the exact written answer you've jotted down on the exam script; isn't this plagiarism? stolen ideas?

    What would you do in this situation?
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    yeah, i think that's plagiarism but it would be hard to confront the lecturer about it. would probably sort it out through an independent body.
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    1 or 2 years?

    It can take a few years to get work published. Chances are if they set that question then it was in their own area of research.

    In which case I doubt they stole your idea.
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    (Original post by Politics Student)
    1 or 2 years?

    It can take a few years to get work published. Chances are if they set that question then it was in their own area of research.

    In which case I doubt they stole your idea.
    Not necessarily. I'm in the midst of sending my paper to be published and that took me a few months. It might be their own research, but the solution doesn't make it theirs if they didn't invent it now does it?
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    Assuming that I had some way of proving that he wasn't working on the area prior to reading my exam answer, I'd pursue the issue in the same that any other academic would upon finding out that their work has been plagiarised (incidentally, I have no idea what route this would be... )
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    (Original post by kka25)
    Not necessarily. I'm in the midst of sending my paper to be published and that took me a few months. It might be their own research, but the solution doesn't make it theirs if they didn't invent it now does it?
    Honestly I am in doubt that they copied you or if they are even exactly the same.

    If they ran lectures or seminars on the topic then they could have easily influenced you to produce that answer as their own research bias on the topic might have been put across in the seminars/lectures.

    There is also the question of whether they even marked your exam paper. Does it have their name as a marker on your returned paper?
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    (Original post by kka25)
    In one of my exam questions, it asked that we innovate/developed a new model based on a given traditional model, and if you could answer the question, you'll get a grand 40% mark!

    Now assuming you answered the question extremely well since you've thought about the particular topic for months before (you're able to answer the question because you love the traditional model/topic and you have ideas to improve it), and in 1-2 years after the exam, you found out your lecturer who teaches you the subject published a work based on the exact written answer you've jotted down on the exam script; isn't this plagiarism? stolen ideas?

    What would you do in this situation?
    You cannot be guilty of plagiarism for stealing an idea, and even if you could I think you would have a very hard job proving that someone's published work (presumably very long and taking months or years to write) is based on a very short exam answer (written in minutes and based on a few minutes' worth of thought). Maybe the exam question was based (as seems likely) on the lecturer's work at that point, in which case you would be dead in the water before you start (even if you could copyright an idea, which you can't).
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    You cannot be guilty of plagiarism for stealing an idea
    Doesn't this contradict the very definition of plagiarism? :confused:

    and even if you could I think you would have a very hard job proving that someone's published work (presumably very long and taking months or years to write) is based on a very short exam answer (written in minutes and based on a few minutes' worth of thought). Maybe the exam question was based (as seems likely) on the lecturer's work at that point, in which case you would be dead in the water before you start (even if you could copyright an idea, which you can't).
    But as I mentioned before, the answer itself came from a well thought-out reasoning and extensive reading. Remember that a PhD abstract itself is a very short statement of what you've found and that alone could tell a novel idea has been produced.

    Yeah, the last part I'd agree. It's going to be difficult to prove. Wonder what people would do in these situations :/
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    (Original post by kka25)
    Doesn't this contradict the very definition of plagiarism? :confused:



    But as I mentioned before, the answer itself came from a well thought-out reasoning and extensive reading. Remember that a PhD abstract itself is a very short statement of what you've found and that alone could tell a novel idea has been produced.

    Yeah, the last part I'd agree. It's going to be difficult to prove. Wonder what people would do in these situations :/
    All work should be from well thought-out reasoning

    How about linking the article in question?

    My advice would be to drop it as I don't think that:

    A - I doubt that they stole the idea from you, as Good Bloke pointed out that you are claiming a stolen idea from a very short answer written in a short time period.

    B - Making that kind of accusation will burn bridges with previous academic contacts and damage future networking opportunities. There is also the chance that current academic contacts may get funny with you if they are made aware. Quite a big risk for something that is hard to prove.

    C - coincidences can happen - did that lecturer even mark your exam? I only ask this as there has been times when work has been given to lectures who have not taught on a unit due to other commitments.

    On an off topic note - a really amazing coincidence http://www.onebitbeyond.com/?p=229 Two games designed separately and both made public on the same day using the same concept of an exploding main character and both using 2.5D platform game play.
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    (Original post by Politics Student)
    All work should be from well thought-out reasoning

    How about linking the article in question?

    My advice would be to drop it as I don't think that:

    A - I doubt that they stole the idea from you, as Good Bloke pointed out that you are claiming a stolen idea from a very short answer written in a short time period.

    B - Making that kind of accusation will burn bridges with previous academic contacts and damage future networking opportunities. There is also the chance that current academic contacts may get funny with you if they are made aware. Quite a big risk for something that is hard to prove.

    C - coincidences can happen - did that lecturer even mark your exam? I only ask this as there has been times when work has been given to lectures who have not taught on a unit due to other commitments.

    On an off topic note - a really amazing coincidence http://www.onebitbeyond.com/?p=229 Two games designed separately and both made public on the same day using the same concept of an exploding main character and both using 2.5D platform game play.
    Not all of them are well thought aren't they? Well, assume that it's a thoroughly well thought researched answer.

    Article? Sorry?

    A - Hurm, that's why I inserted the PhD-abstract example. A PhD abstract is short, but it can contain the novel work that the particular candidate has worked on.

    B - Yeah. True :/

    C - Hurm... lets assuming the lecturer did.

    I'll read the article you posted later. Thanks
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    (Original post by kka25)
    Not all of them are well thought aren't they? Well, assume that it's a thoroughly well thought researched answer.

    Article? Sorry?

    A - Hurm, that's why I inserted the PhD-abstract example. A PhD abstract is short, but it can contain the novel work that the particular candidate has worked on.

    B - Yeah. True :/

    C - Hurm... lets assuming the lecturer did.

    I'll read the article you posted later. Thanks
    I understand what you are saying but I just don't see the comparison between a PhD abstract which is something that normally takes a long time to write, proof read, edit, rework etc... compared with a short exam question (I presumes short if it was only worth 40% of the paper)

    Do you have the exam feedback sheet which would state who marked it? Also do you have a copy of the marked exam paper? I mean these two things will have to be your key evidence if you were to even make the claim.
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    (Original post by Politics Student)
    I understand what you are saying but I just don't see the comparison between a PhD abstract which is something that normally takes a long time to write, proof read, edit, rework etc... compared with a short exam question (I presumes short if it was only worth 40% of the paper)

    Do you have the exam feedback sheet which would state who marked it? Also do you have a copy of the marked exam paper? I mean these two things will have to be your key evidence if you were to even make the claim.
    Hurm, alright.

    Ah, no unfortunately. It's something that I had been thinking for quite a long time really.
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    (Original post by kka25)
    Doesn't this contradict the very definition of plagiarism?
    How? You cannot copyright an idea - you can only copyright the expression of an idea. If you could there wouldn't be many plays, novels and films written as they all based on a very few original ideas.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    How? You cannot copyright an idea - you can only copyright the expression of an idea. If you could there wouldn't be many plays, novels and films written as they all based on a very few original ideas.
    Yes, but academic plagiarism is not based on the law of copyright. Almost all academic institutions and publishers require others' ideas to be credited to them, whether or not the other's words are used.
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    (Original post by mja)
    Yes, but academic plagiarism is not based on the law of copyright. Almost all academic institutions and publishers require others' ideas to be credited to them, whether or not the other's words are used.
    But only if they are following, and only for publishged work. In this instance it would seem highly unlikely that a researcher who decides to set an exam question based on his area of expertise hasn't thought of what a student might come up with as an answer in that exam.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    But only if they are following, and only for publishged work. In this instance it would seem highly unlikely that a researcher who decides to set an exam question based on his area of expertise hasn't thought of what a student might come up with as an answer in that exam.
    Of course. If you come up with an idea independently, then you aren't using someone else's so no need to cite. And I agree re the likelihood of an examiner having already considered the possible answers to a question he has set.

    But in my experience an innocent but erroneous belief in the novelty of one's own work and ideas is typical of undergraduates. It is often only during graduate studies that the student realises that most of what they have thought and done so far has been thought and said by others already.
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    (Original post by mja)
    Of course. If you come up with an idea independently, then you aren't using someone else's so no need to cite. And I agree re the likelihood of an examiner having already considered the possible answers to a question he has set.

    But in my experience an innocent but erroneous belief in the novelty of one's own work and ideas is typical of undergraduates. It is often only during graduate studies that the student realises that most of what they have thought and done so far has been thought and said by others already.
    I would agree with that being a common belief with undergraduates and can be completely understandable when you consider that the content is new to them.

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