Notorious statistics professor (damn!) Ed Wegman has been caught in another case of copying-large-blocks-of-text-without-attribution.
In his defense, he might try
stealing inadvertently copying some lines from a famous historian:
I failed to provide quotation marks for phrases that I had taken verbatim, having assumed that these phrases, drawn from my notes, were my words, not his. . . . The larger question for those of us who write statistics is to understand how citation mistakes can happen.
It’s a big mystery, eh? How could these things possibly happen?? Further research is needed, for sure.
In the meantime, here’s my quick attempt at a top 10 excuses for copying-large-blocks-of-text-without-attribution.
10. Someone snuck into my house and edited the file while I was in the shower. So sue me!
9. Out of loyalty to my hard-working graduate students, I refuse to pin the blame on them, even though it’s their fault. I take full responsibility.
8. Even a monkey tying at random, if he were to write more than 160 papers and five books, might occasionally To be or not to be, that is the qjuiosusdfu79lkjew.
7. I didn’t plagiarize them, they anticipated me!
6. If I don’t publish a new article or book this year, a puppy will die. Sorry–that’s just the way it is.
5. Sure, I could’ve copied the original document word-for-word, but that would’ve been really boring. Also, I changed the font.
4. Nobody complained when Dr. King did it.
3. Hey–look over there! Is that a yellow-bellied sapsucker?
2. Somebody hacked my twitter account.
I’ve never done a Top Ten list before so feel free to mock me in the comments. More to the point, maybe you can do better and we can prepare a list to help any future Frank Fischers who turn up?