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Complainant Name:
Professor Stephen Kent

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Independent

Complaint:

Professor Stephen Kent of the University of Alberta complained that the newspaper had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy). The complainant explained that, in November 2005, the newspaper had published an article by Dr Raj Persaud which appeared to plagiarise an academic article that he had written. The complainant had contacted the newspaper at the time, and had been told that Dr Persaud had included reference to the complainantís article in his original copy, but that this had been cut due to a production error. The newspaper had published a statement to this effect. However, the complainant had subsequently been contacted by the General Medical Council about a plagiarism hearing concerning Dr Persaud, and had read that his article was one of several that Dr Persaud had admitted to plagiarising. The statement published by the newspaper was therefore, he argued, misleading.

Resolution:

The newspaper explained that the published apology represented the state of knowledge at the time: when the complainant had raised the issue of plagiarism, the newspaper had contacted Dr Persaud who claimed that he had acknowledged the complainantís work in his initial submission, and offered to resend it; a member of staff indicated that he recalled the acknowledgements; and the newspaper subsequently published the clarification containing reference to the production error. In light of this, the newspaper did not understand how Dr Persaud later came to admit plagiarism over the article. However, it offered to remove the clarification from its website. The complainant accepted this explanation and the removal of the clarification as a resolution to his complaint.

Report: 77



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