This scenario discusses issues of credit and plagiarism.
A student Lin did all his previous work in China and is now in his second year of our Graduate School Program. He is enjoying his studies, is very successful with his course work, but still worries about the quality of his written English. In the spring, he is asked to write a paper about transpodons in his molecular biology course. He reads many sources, and uses some of the language from review articles that he has read. He cites the reference but does not use quotation marks around the "borrowed" language.
A year later, Lin is writing a proposal for his Second Exam. He knows how careful he must be about plagiarism and exercises such care. However, still worried about his English, he asks his roommate to edit the English (not the science) of his proposal. At his exam his committee accuses him of plagiarism.
Rev is an advanced student in a busy lab. The lab chief gets a paper to review from a journal and asks Rev to read the paper and write the review. Rev does this. Later in the year, at a meeting, the associate editor from the journal is talking to Rev's boss and they are talking about one of the rather good ideas that Rev had put into the review. Rev feels kind of bad, but cannot quite figure out the wrongs and rights of having done the review in the first place, not getting credit for the idea.
by Terry Ann Krulwich, Dean of Graduate School
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY