In cooperation with its community of authors, editors, and peer reviewers, Brill safeguards the quality and integrity of its publications. We recently corresponded with Michael V. Dougherty, Professor of Philosophy at Ohio Dominican University and publication ethics expert, as part of our ongoing effort to deepen our understanding of publication ethics and of some of the most pressing challenges faced by the publishing community today.
This great discussion is a recommended read for ECRs and indeed all researchers.
While writing a book on medieval ethics in 2009, I noticed the verbatim identity between a well-regarded journal article and portions of an older, somewhat obscure Finnish dissertation by a different author. I was in a bind: citing the article would commend fraudulent work to readers, but ignoring it would make my book appear unengaged with the relevant published research. I decided that I had a professional obligation to seek a retraction. Since then, with several colleagues, I have been requesting retractions for plagiarizing books and articles in philosophy and related disciplines. These requests have generated dozens of retractions, and some have been covered by the journalists at Retraction Watch. I have come to understand that this kind of work is unusual, so I wrote a book on post-publication responses to academic plagiarism in humanities disciplines. Right now, I am finishing a book on disguised forms of plagiarism. Some varieties of plagiarism are extremely subtle, so I am setting forth a typology with case studies that I hope will be useful to researchers, editors, and publishers.