WUWT readers may recall “copygate” surrounding the Wegman report and all of the accusations of plagiarism from the man behind the curtain “Deep Climate”, and John Mashey. This item from Wednesday got lost in all the opening furor over Fakegate.
Bishop hill reports that:
The accusation of plagiarism against Edward Wegman, author of one of the Congressional reports into the Hockey Stick, appears to have been upheld, but I think it’s fair to say the university hasn’t treated it as a capital offence, presumably because the passages in question were background material.
In a statement to GMU faculty, provost Peter Stearns said that one investigation committee unanimously found that “no misconduct was involved” in the 2006 Congressional report. “Extensive paraphrasing of another work did occur, in a background section, but the work was repeatedly referenced and the committee found that the paraphrasing did not constitute misconduct,” he said, in the statement.
A second university committee found unanimously, “that plagiarism occurred in contextual sections of the (CSDA) article, as a result of poor judgment for which Professor Wegman, as team leader, must bear responsibility.” Wegman will receive an “official letter of reprimand”, Stearns said, as sanction for the plagiarism.
The Chronicle of Higher Education says:
George Mason U. Professor Reprimanded Over Climate Paper
February 23, 2012, 2:43 pm
George Mason University has issued a reprimand to Edward J. Wegman, a professor of data sciences and applied statistics, after more than a year of investigation into accusations that Mr. Wegman included plagiarized material in a 2006 report that congressional Republicans used to challenge scientific findings about global warming. The reprimand followed the unanimous vote of a faculty committee that plagiarism occurred and that it was the result of “poor judgment” attributable to Mr. Wegman, USA Today reported. A second faculty committee also reviewed the matter and concluded unanimously that Mr. Wegman’s report contained “extensive paraphrasing” but no misconduct, the newspaper said.
One committe says some plagiarism occurred in backup material (probably due to lack of citations) while a second committee says “poor judgement, but no misconduct”.
According to USA Today, Mike Mann’s hockey team member Bradley is upset:
“This is an absurd decision,” Bradley says, noting the university committees split on essentially similar instances of copied text. “It must give lots of encouragement to students at GMU who think that copying somebody else’s work without attribution is acceptable.”
Despite filing the complaint, “I have not been told about this decision by GMU directly — I was notified by others,” Bradley says. “Pretty shabby.”
In the phone interview, GMU’s Stearns [said]:
Stearns says the university is not investigating any other complaints.