Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Plagiarism: all in the family

Father-daughter plagiarism accusations, in today's New York Times:

Jacqueline R. Griffith seemed to be flourishing as a tenured assistant professor in economics and finance at Kean University in New Jersey -- that is, until another member of her department accused her of having plagiarized sizable portions of her doctoral dissertation.

Déjà vu? Flash back to 1982, when her father, Claude Jonnard, a business school professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, also in New Jersey, was accused of copying government documents in a book under his own name, without citing any of them.
My favorite sentence from this article:
Asked in a telephone interview whether she had copied her dissertation, Ms. Griffith said, "I don’t believe so," adding, "But let me call you back."
Don't overlook the article's sidebar, which compares passages from a 1995 dissertation by Helen B. Mason and Griffith's 2001 dissertation (or better, the 2001 dissertation that bears Griffith's name). The Times is careful to note that spelling and punctuation have not been changed:
The purpose of the research is to identify and explain the relationship between institutional investor ownership and firm stock splitting behavior. (Helen B. Mason, 1995)

The purpose of the research is to identify and explain the relationship between institutional investor ownership, firm stock splitting behavior and market price changes do to dividend increases. (Jacqueline R. Griffith, 2001)

In a Charge of Plagiarism, an Echo of a Father’s Case (New York Times)

comments: 2

jim said...

Someone ought to publish the names of Dr. Griffith's dissertation committee! Anyway, that's what spell check'll due too you.

Michael Leddy said...

Her advisor's name -- Alan Gart -- is in the Times article. Dissertation Abstracts Online gives only his name, not the names of the readers. Professor Gart is now in the Department of Finance and Legal Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Your comment made me curious enough to look up the two dissertations -- whereupon I found what appears to be plagiarism in Griffith's abstract. I've posted the passages here: Jacqueline R. Griffith again.

Dr. Griffith might soon be Ms. Griffith again. Don't you think sew to?