Thursday, January 24, 2008

Econlinks for 24-01-'08

  • Interesting thoughts on how to deal with plagiarism in the academe. Nevertheless, I think the power of the market is downplayed too much in this argument; the market has in fact been remarkably good at solving such issues. I don't think that we deal with serious market inefficiencies in this context and hence, that external interventions are necessary.


Rodicutza said...

Hey! Maybe being highly aware of its happening and learning to deal with plagiarism is a useful skill, maybe that is why they stopped trying to punish and prevent it in the academia. They might think of it as of a usefull skill... worth cultivating!.

It would be funny to compare level of “intellectual theft” in different socio-economic classes (as they do happen in every single one of them) so that correlation between level of scrupulouslessness and trades stop being just myths :))

And if your “socio-economic class” could possibly take an advice from the microelectronics world: instead of trying to prevent plagiarism to happen you should hope it happens and cash on it. Our “reverse engineering” group brings in dozens of millions of dollars on which we count quarterly as on any other fair source of revenue. What they do is: take other companies chips, slice the silicon in as fine as a couple of hundreds of angstroms thick slices and figure whether what is printed on silicon can be related to any of our patents… you can figure out the rest.

Sebi Buhai said...

There is a serious difference between this topic and what you're hinting to. That being said, I still appreciate the comment.

But let's figure it out. You are talking about spillovers from no copyrights and the like. Totally different and nothing to do with plagiarism as understood here, where something is attributed to somebody else rather than the original author.

Moreover, this has nothing to do with any 'class' (what is a "socio-economic class" in this context, by the way?) and is not, for that matter, unique to one displicine. It is pervasive in all the academe.

Just to clarify some things :-). For the rest, there is a lot of literature (multi-disciplinary, though you need a cost-benefit economics analysis to get somewhere, in the context) on patenting or not, copyrighting or not, pros and cons and the like. This particular post had nothing to do with that :-).

Anonymous said...

What's crazy is that according to his footnote that paper was his undergrad thesis. :-)

Sebi Buhai said...

Yep, I noticed that. Not bad, I'd say. Though "being based on an undergrad thesis" might still mean a lot of ex post changes. That is clear also looking to the final date of publication and the date of his undergrad thesis. Nothing unusual for a ReStud publication, if you think about it :-).