NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM Case Number: A12060046 Page 1 of 1 Our office received an allegation of plagiarism in an NSF proposal. 1 Specifically, it was alleged that the proposal contained plagiarized text from a previously-declined proposal 2 that the PI (Subject) 3 had reviewed. Our review identified material that was similar to content from the previous proposal as well as material copied from two other sources. We contacted the Subject regarding the allegation. The Subject said he destroyed the proposal he reviewed following the review and had not discussed its content with the current proposal's Co-PI. 4 He explained he used written notes to prepare the proposal and did not realize they included material from the reviewed proposal until he received our letter. Regarding the other copied text, the Subject acknowledged he was responsible for including material from one of the sources, but said the Co-PI was responsible for including material from the other source. He said the two sources were referenced near the copied text and that he received permission to use some of the questioned text. Overall, the Subject expressed regret for his "inattentive actions." We determined the amount of text attributed to the Co-PI was de mininis and required no action be taken. We further determined that the minimal amount oftext the Subject copied, the fact that the copied material was similar but not identical to the source material, and the inclusion of references near the copied text mitigated the Subject's actions. We sent the Subject a Questionable Practice Letter reminding him of his responsibility to adequately cite all material he includes in his proposal. Accordingly, this case is closed with no further action taken. NSF OIG Form 2 (1 1/02)
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2012-08-17.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)