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Plagiarism means stealing words or ideas from someone else's work without giving that person appropriate credit in some form of documentation. This entry examines three issues related to plagiarism: what kind of information has to be documented, whether the plagiarism must be intentional, and whether the accused is entitled to due process.

The General Knowledge Defense

A person who is charged with plagiarism may raise the defense that material allegedly plagiarized is general knowledge. That defense was used by a university professor whose article about a poem caught the eye of a colleague, who thought parts of the article had been copied from an earlier book by another author. A committee reviewing the charge found several questionable similarities between book and article.

In the ensuing litigation, Newman v. ...

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