Plagiarism updates

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(For background, see April 6 entry, in which I announced having been plagiarized, along with 18 of my colleagues, by a writer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s student paper.)

This week’s “Snide Remarks” column addresses the plagiarist and his wanton ways. It can be viewed by everyone, not just “Snide Remarks” subscribers (though by all means, you should still subscribe).

– The student newspaper in question comes out on Mondays, and sure enough, today’s issue contains the apology we asked for, along with a list of which reviews were stolen and from whom. The reviews were removed from the paper’s online archives over the weekend. The plagiarist, Samir Patel, resigned Thursday from his positions at the paper, but as far as we know still teaches a writing class in the English Department.

– The just-linked apology notice, written by the paper’s editor-in-chief, says that Patel wrote this in his resignation e-mail: “While I do feel there may have been somewhat of a misunderstanding, I apologize to the readers and am resigning due to my actions.”

Dear Samir: What part of this is a “misunderstanding,” exactly? Are there huge chunks of my writing that you only SEEMED to copy and paste into your reviews? Have I misunderstood some key factor which, if you were to explain it to me, would make me say, “Oh, OK! I understand now! It’s not plagiarism after all!”?

– The story has been linked at Movie City News, Jim Romenesko’s column (left sidebar) at journalism site Poynter Online, TotalFark.com (requires subscription), and at the blogs of film critic friends of mine (Sean Means, Shawn Levy and Dawn Taylor). The Kansas City Star is allegedly doing a news story about it (a reporter talked to me on Friday); I’ll of course link to it here when/if it happens. (UPDATE: Here it is, from Tuesday’s paper. I’m not quoted, but I am the “West Coast editor” referred to.)

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