NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM Case Number: A-05110075 11 Page 1 of 1 We received an allegation1 that the subject's NSF proposal2 contained plagiarized text. Our review of the subject's proposal revealed a small amount text apparently copied from five different source documents. Although the subject referenced most of the apparently copied text in the proposal, he did not distinguish the copied text from that of his own. We wrote to the subject requesting a response concerning the apparently copied text. The subject's response stated that he thought he made every attempt to credit the authors of the original sources in the NSF proposal. He explained that, except for a couple of incorrect sources cited in the proposal, an accident, he cited the source documents for the copied text. He argued that he followed guidelines he learned for citing material from other sources - the use of parenthetical citations to attribute credits to the original source or authors. In addition, in response to our question concerning any other copied text in any of his earlier submitted NSF proposals, the subject provided a copy of an earlier NSF proposal, noting two lines of copied text. We discussed the entire issue of plagiarism with the subject personally, explaining the differences between the two types of plagiarism - intellectual theft and verbatim copying. We also discussed the potential seriousness of both forms of plagiarism in proposals as well as in j ournal articles and other documents. Because the amount of copied text was small, we wrote to the subject, emphasizing the importance of differentiating words copied from other sources from his own words in proposals as well as publications. This case is closed and no fbrther action will be taken. SF OIG Form 2 (1 1/02)
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2006-01-11.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)