Blog Archive

Saturday, March 26, 2011

New plagiarism by Wegman (of George Mason University) and Said -- they have gotten away with it so far, so why not just continue and even make some money while doing so?

Wegman and Said 2011: Dubious Scholarship in Full Colour, part 1

The ides of March recently passed, along with the first anniversary of “hockey stick” co-author Ray Bradley’s complaint against George Mason University statistics professor Edward Wegman. The ensuing proceeding at GMU shows no sign of resolution and seems to be stuck in a limbo of endless inquiry. Similarly absent is any indication of the release of code and data, promised by Wegman back in 2006, not to mention an explanation for the now obvious problems permeating the Wegman Report’s core statistical analysis.
But through it all there has been one obvious question: if the Wegman Reportand the follow up federally funded Said et al  on co-author social networksshowed clear evidence of cut-and-paste scholarship, what might a close examination of other recent (or even not so recent) scholarship from the Wegman group reveal? To be sure, we’ve already had hints at the answer, what with problems in PhD dissertations from Said and others at GMU, and theinsertion of a couple of paragraphs from the PhD dissertation of computer scientist David Grossman into Wegman et al’s 1996 technical report Statistical Software, Siftware and Astronomy.
A recent article by Wegman and Said in WIREs Computational Statistics opens up a whole new avenue of inquiry – and reveals a remarkable pattern of “flow through” cut-and-paste that goes even beyond Said et al 2008. Colour Design and Theory (published online in February) is based largely on a 2002 course lecture by Wegman. However, this is no case of simple recycling of material, for most of the earlier lecture material came from obscure websites on colour theory and was simply copied verbatim. Now much of it has shown up, virtually unchanged, nine years later. But there is also some new “research” from the pair, as the old material has been augmented with figures and text from several more decidedly non-scholarly sources, including – wait for it – five different Wikipedia articles.

No comments: