Alice Hutchison & Black Dog Publishing: it’s time to shoulder Responsibility for the Blatant Plagiarism you committed!

Bild: "I can't stand it any more" / Boersenblatt: re-writing biography / Plagiarism gets  international attention / ERL: how to write a dissertation? (Source: ToonPool) / Tricomix: acting under pressure (Source: ToonPool)

We have repeatedly noted here the plagiarism committed by ex-Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. At the same time, we have pointed out that the plagiarism on the part of author Alice Hutchison and London-based Black Dog Publishing was much worse. Guttenberg’s big mistake was not to immediately admit to the plagiarism and offer his resignation. Had he done that, he might still have been able to save his job.

Please click here for the German version of this report

But Alice Hutchison and Black Dog Publishing are behaving even worse. Years after the exposure of their plagiarism, they remain unwilling to confess to the violation, let alone assume liability for the damage.

It is not enough for the president of the Humboldt University of Berlin to condemn the plagiarism by Alice Hutchison and Black Dog Publishing. This plagiarism – and even more so, the refusal to take responsibility for it – must be condemned in the clearest terms by the German and international publics. Authors and partners of Black Dog Publishing should understand who they are dealing with before they sign on to work with the company.

Guttenberg has finally been held to account, but what this incident shows is that Germany needs to thoroughly reexamine the problem of plagiarism. It runs much deeper than this - our personal experience suggests it may be pervasive, given the inability to enforce justice for violations.

Moreover, while there is no shortage of experts lamenting the propensity of students to plagiarize, almost nobody talks about the opposite problem - authors and scholars cribbing from students, exploiting their youthfulness, their limited resources, or their dependence on the thief for career reasons.

More on the plagiarism case:

Plagiat Guttenberg ist schlimm genug; Plagiat Alice Hutchison ist noch viel schlimmer! / Guttenberg’s plagiarism was bad enough – author Alice Hutchison’s is even worse


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