Plagiarism Kills

Well, it kills magazines anyway.

First see Gawker:  Magazine Editor Steals Article, Tells Writer ‘You Should Compensate Me!’ wherein one will find the following written by the editor of Cook Source magazine to an author who found her article published in the magazine without being notified:

But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace.

Yes, it does happen and when it happens in one of my classes you fail the course.  The notion that anything on the web is public domain is a rather remarkable one.

Well, after much negative publicity, the magazine appears set to close down.  See the Statement by Judith Griggs, editor of the magazine and author of the above quoted e-mail.

I will have to remember this one as yet another example of why plagiarism has real and serious consequences.

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Ken says:

    Character is destiny.

  2. SarahWW says:

    I’m still skeptical this magazine was ever really distributed in a serious way online or elsewhere. The web history was really squirrely and seems to indicate the magazine was a recent invention.

    I think it’s some kind of cooked-up drama. Even the parting letter seems designed to draw out righteous indignation, a pastime of some well-known groups of internet agitators. Seriously.

  3. Dustin says:

    While Judith is likely right that the editing of emails obfuscated parts that may have changed the tone some, she’s not much acknowledging her own responsibility in the issue, and presenting her side as if it was a one-off mistake.

    The internet is a strange beast, in one moment it will reveal the ugliest aspects among us, as Judith obviously received, but in other moments, it an amazingly powerful force that was very easily, very quickly, able to find numerous examples of Cooks Source lifting material without permission from other internet sources (including Food Network) just as they did to Monica.