Conference Board of Canada recalls reports after plagiarism charges
The Conference Board of Canada has recalled three reports on intellectual property rights that it published last week, after initially defending one of them from accusations of plagiarism.
The "non-partisan" think-tank released a statement today (May 28):
The Conference Board of Canada has recalled three reports: Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Economy; National Innovation Performance and Intellectual Property Rights: A Comparative Analysis; and Intellectual Property Rights—Creating Value and Stimulating Investment. An internal review has determined that these reports did not follow the high quality research standards of The Conference Board of Canada.
On May 25, Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, charged the Conference Board with issuing a "deceptive, plagiarized report".
Geist pointed out that Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Economy "copied text from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (the primary movie, music, and software lobby in the U.S.), at times without full attribution".
The Conference Board had initially responded:
While Mr. Geist charges the Board with lack of attribution in several instances, in fact, only one citation is missing. We have corrected the missing citation in the report and we apologize for the oversight. All other instances, referred to in the blog, include sources. We also acknowledge that some of the cited paragraphs closely approximate the wording of a source document.
There's no doubt that the irony of a report on intellectual property rights being singled out for questions of academic dishonesty hasn't been lost on many observers.
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