News and CommentScientific Misconduct

The Internet: A Powerful Tool for Plagiarism Sleuths

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Science  23 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5350, pp. 474
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5350.474

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It's a safe bet that the Polish chemical engineer accused of plagiarism could have retired quietly from a long research career without facing charges had it not been for the Internet. It was thanks to the Net's remarkable power to link scholars and libraries across continents and to serve up instantaneous comparisons of texts that his accuser was able to unearth a trove of 30 allegedly plagiarized medical papers last year (see main text).