A Test Case for Published Corrections: The Discipline of Philosophy

  • M. V. Dougherty
Part of the Research Ethics Forum book series (REFF, volume 6)


Individuals discovered to have engaged in wide-scale serial plagiarism in philosophy are relatively few, but the academic publishers falling victim to them are many. Some of the most respected publishing houses in philosophy have recently faced the issue of having published plagiarized material. The chapter uses a specific context of serial plagiarism involving 43 articles and book chapters by one author of record as a test case. The various responses by these publishers to this instance of serial plagiarism provide a real-time snapshot of the practices for correcting the scholarly record in the discipline of philosophy. I propose a new rubric for evaluating published corrections of the scholarly record for cases of demonstrated plagiarism. On this rubric, the highest-scoring corrections are those that: (1) unambiguously declare that a plagiarized work is plagiarized, (2) clearly credit the original source material misappropriated in the act of plagiarism, and (3) are easily accessible to the scholarly community without registration barriers or paywalls. This analysis yields a twofold conclusion: first, relatively little uniformity exists among publishers in philosophy for responding to plagiarism; and second, the discipline of philosophy often falls short of the accepted practices for correcting the scholarly record in contrast to the natural sciences. This chapter considers only public, documented cases of academic plagiarism in philosophy and makes no new allegations of plagiarism.


Academic publishing Plagiarism Retractions Expressions of concern Philosophy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. V. Dougherty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyOhio Dominican UniversityColumbusUSA

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