Wegman plagiarism again

Retraction Watch have an article up about the Wegman plagiarism stuff (also covered by Eli).

GMU aren't making the full report public, though, doubtless to protect the guilty (which I think largely means the shoddiness of the report). There is an oddity in what they have released:

As sanction, Professor Wegman has been asked to apologize to the journal involved, while retracting the article; and I am placing an official letter of reprimand in his file

How can Wegman retract the article? It was retracted by the editors some time ago, on the grounds of plagiarism.

Don't forget, though, that Wegman plagiarised, but there is worse.


* GMU still paralyzed; Wegman, Rapp still paranoid - DSB
* GMU contradictory decisions on Wegman: Plagiarism in CSDA, but not in 2006 congressional report

More like this

[May 26th: Pulled to the top to update with the Nature editorial which, as well as noting the paper being pulled, also notes the mysteriously dilatory George Mason University investigation. June 3rd: And pulled again, since Science have a piece on the actual retraction, and again note the GMU lack…
Dan Vergano reports that Social networks of author-coauthor relationships by Said, Wegman, Sharabati and Rigsby has been retracted by Computational Statistics and Data Analysis. Deep Climate has more details, but I want to highlight one particular thing: "Neither Dr. Wegman nor Dr. Said has ever…
Dan Vergano in USA Today reports: Officials at George Mason University confirmed Thursday that they are investigating plagiarism and misconduct charges made against a noted climate science critic. "I'm very well aware of the report, but I have been asked by the university not to comment until all…
My general feeling about Judith Curry's stuff over at Collide-a-scape was that it was all tolerably vague. But there was one specfic. Over there, she copied Bishop Hill and proposed "Jones 1998 and Osborn and Briffa 2006" as key neglected papers. More directly she has proposed: 1. The Spatial…

Of course, see the discussion at the original discovery point, Deep Climate, whose first page shows the side-by-side that was good enough to be declared plagiarism in CSDA, but not the Wegman Report.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 24 Feb 2012 #permalink

Well, this explains the Gleick affair. That whole thing was obviously ginned up to draw attention away from Wegman's disgrace.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 24 Feb 2012 #permalink

GMU FINALLY did something about this? Nice.

By Katharine (not verified) on 25 Feb 2012 #permalink

GMU handled this masterfully - from their point of view.

Sit on the case until most people have forgotten about it. Then issue a split decision that gives a wrist-tap sanction to Wegman so that no one can accuse them of a whitewash. Finding that Wegman had given spurious testimony to Congress would have been a Really Big Deal, so they gave him a pass on that one and sanctioned him on the paper.

The fact that GMU instructed Wegman to withdraw a paper that the journal had already retracted is especially interesting. Two possibilities come to mind. One is that their investigation was so slipshod that they were unaware of the journal retraction. The other is that the decision was made long ago (i.e., before the journal retraction), and they waited for the right moment to release it so that it would get as little attention as possible. By announcing the decision now, it gets lost in the noise of the Heartland-Gleick brouhaha instead of being a singular event.

[I hadn't thought of the idea that they'd made the decision much earlier - that seems a possibility. Or, agreed, they could just be really really shipshod, though that seems hard to believe (I think another reason they gave in on that paper was because they already knew it was lost) -W]

By The Bishop of … (not verified) on 25 Feb 2012 #permalink

Of course they made the decision a while ago.
SIGMU p.6 summarizes GMU' (weak) policy.

252 days: investigation committee wites report, up to 120 days after start.
282 days (+30): allow for appeal
382 days (+100 more) President writes decision on appeal.
so they could have decided 120+30+100 days ago.

As seen in STaE, Wegman was fighting tooth and nail, and the Force was with him.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 25 Feb 2012 #permalink