Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CSIS to Investigate Plagiarism

Writes the Washington Post:
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said this afternoon that it will investigate the work of Arnaud de Borchgrave, one of the think tank’s program directors and a columnist for the Washington Times and United Press International.
“We were unaware of any plagiarism until I saw your piece, and we take it very seriously. We will be conducting an internal review,” says H. Andrew Schwartz, CSIS’s senior vice president for external relations.
Damning side-by-side text is something of a shock to the CSIS’s system. The outfit, says Schwartz, has never had a problem with literary attribution, perhaps because of strongly worded internal warnings on the matter.
You can view the allegedly copied text at the link above.  Arnaud de Borchgrave is the Director and Senior Adviser of CSIS's Transnational Threats Project.  He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).  His son-in-law, Dr. Robin Niblett, was previously an Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of CSIS.  Dr. Niblett now is the Director of Chatham House.

Here is what WPost's Think Tanked blog has to say:
How CSIS rules on the matter could make for a hypocritical decision — or it could show exactly how forgiving the think tank is when it comes to plagiarism.
In October 2011, CSIS brought on Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Germany’s former minister of defense and minister of economy, as a “distinguished statesman.”
Guttenberg had become known as the “cut and paste minister” or the “minister of plagiarism” for allegedly plagiarizing much of his 2009 doctoral dissertation at Germany’s University of Bayreuth.
While he never clearly stated that he plagiarized his dissertation, he did ask the university to withdraw his doctor title. The investigating university committee found that “the standards of good scientific practice were obviously grossly abused and it was obvious that plagiarism was involved.”
CSIS president and chief executive John Hamre told Think Tanked at the time that he saw no reason to punish Guttenberg “just because some people wish to chain him to his transgression as part of their political agenda.”
Plagiarism.org has statistics saying that 84% of college students admitted to cheating on written exams.  The Online Education Database notes an informal poll saying that 60.8% of college students admitted to cheating.