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Agent Orange: the new controversy (Brian Martin 1986)0

Posted by Admin in on January 13, 2016

“A year after the final report of the Agent Orange Royal Commission, the federal government has responded to the concern of Vietnam veterans by reopening the issue that the commission considered closed. Conflicting scientific evidence and interpretation are back in the melting pot. But in this case there is an added factor – the conduct of the commission itself.

When the report of a royal commission contains hundreds of pages copied without acknowledgement straight from the submission of one of the interested parties, what are the implications? This problem will quickly become pressing in any reevaluation of the Report of the Royal Commission on the Use and Effects of Chemical Agents on Australian Personnel in Vietnam.

Claims by Vietnam veterans that some of their health problems have been caused by exposure to the multitude of chemical agents used in the war are politically explosive. A judgement in favour of the veterans would provide support to the Vietnamese government in pursuing claims against the United States government for the effects of chemical warfare. The chemical industry has most to lose from a decision in favour of the veterans. For example, the ingredients of Agent Orange itself, 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T with some admixture of TCDD or ‘dioxin’, have long been used as herbicides in agriculture and elsewhere. A decision against the chemicals would be a body blow to the chemical industry both financially and ideologically.”

Brian Martin. Agent Orange: the new controversy. Australian Society, Vol. 5, No. 11, November 1986, pp. 25-26. On the Agent Orange Royal Commission’s plagiarism of Monsanto’s submission.

Plagiarism and responsibility (Papers: Brian Martin 1984)0

Posted by Admin in on January 13, 2016

“Plagiarism is more prevalent in academia than normally acknowledged. Because it is a “taboo” topic, administrations are ill-equipped to investigate allegations of plagiarism. Two Australian examples are used to illustrate the need for more openness about and better procedures for dealing with this academic problem.

Plagiarism is not uncommon in academia, but its occurrence has received scant attention in public forums and hardly any in the scholarly literature. In this article I first describe the nature and extent of plagiarism in academia, and then use two Australian examples to illustrate the potential problems this poses for administrators.

The Nature of Plagiarism

Plagiarism has been defined as “the taking and using as one’s own of the thoughts, writings, or inventions of another”.[1] There are many varieties and degrees of plagiarism. I will deal here with plagiarism of written work in academia and science, although the problem is not limited to these areas.[2]”

Brian Martin. Plagiarism and responsibility. Journal of Tertiary Educational Administration, Vol. 6, No. 2, October 1984, pp. 183-190.

Exploiting the academic peons (Papers: Brian Martin 1984)0

Posted by Admin in on January 13, 2016

“For academics, credit for research work is important. It serves as a form of currency for obtaining jobs, promotions, grants and prestige. Not surprisingly, credit for original ideas as well as for the end result of painstaking experimentation, data collection and mustering of arguments, is zealously guarded.

Plagiarism is the most blatant example of stealing credit. It is much more common than is usually recognised.[1] Closely related to plagiarism is faking of results, which in effect claims credit for work not done. Faking is also more common than is usually recognised.[2]

What I call here academic exploitation is the taking of credit for work done by a person in a subordinate position. A variant is pressure on the subordinate to do work of a type or in a way which allows the superior to obtain undue credit. The exploiter’s greater power in the relationship is used in establishing and retaining the unfair distribution of credit. An implicit or explicit threat of reprisals, such as a bad recommendation, is used to deter objections.”

Brian Martin. Exploiting the academic peons. Australian Society, Vol. 2, No. 9, pp. 28-29 (1 October 1983). Reprinted as: Academic exploitation. In: Brian Martin, C. M. Ann Baker, Clyde Manwell and Cedric Pugh (eds.), Intellectual Suppression: Australian Case Histories, Analysis and Responses (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1986), pp. 59-62.

(News from Brazil) Sharp rise in scientific paper retractions – University World News (Rodrigo de Oliveira Andrade 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on January 12, 2016

“Cases of scientific malpractice in Brazil increased significantly between 2009 and 2012, according to a study looking at article retraction in scientific journals.

The study, published in Science and Engineering Ethics, says that this could threaten the country’s growing popularity as a research partner.

The paper looked at retracted research articles in two major Latin American and Caribbean databases: the Scientific Electronic Library Online, or SciELO, and the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information, or LILACS. Out of 2,000 articles from around the world published in the databases between 2009 and 2014, 31 were later pulled back, including 25 articles from Brazil, the researchers found.”

University  World News. (2015). Sharp rise in scientific paper retractions. Retrieved 13 January, from