Academia

Plagiarism and Research Integrity

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Professors and students in the university setting can face a host of potentially serious issues. With modern plagiarism detection software, many universities are levying never-before-seen charges against professors and students alike based on the results of plagiarism software results. At the research level, professors must now guard against allegations of plagiarism (even self plagiarism) or research misconduct in their grant applications. Once allegations against a professor or student arise, universities generally begin an administrative inquiry, investigation, and appeal process. Sanctions for students can involve everything from minor reprimand to expulsion. Even students who have already earned their degrees can have their degrees revoked even years later.

Role of Lawyers in Plagiarism and Research Integrity Investigations

Universities often make it appear that the administrative inquiry, investigation, and appeals process is simple enough to handle without an attorney. Rarely are students or professors advised to seek legal counsel. As a result, many students and professors make the mistake of not taking the allegations serious enough, which can lead to disastrous results. By the time a serious sanction is on the table–such as expulsion or termination–it is often too late for a proper defense to be put forth. Obtaining the assistance of a lawyer early in the administrative process is crucial. Lawyers will often engage expert witnesses to analyze the alleged work-product and present compelling evidence in defense of the allegations. Where there is no reasonable defense available, a lawyer’s role often becomes that of an advocate for remediation over punishment. Many of the allegations students and professors face involve conduct that the university made little to no attempt to prevent. Punishment of one unlucky student or professor is hardly deterrence for future conduct.

Types of Cases Handled

Hamid Jabbar represents students and professors in a variety of university administrative proceedings. The most serious of such cases involve allegations of plagiarism or research misconduct. Please contact Hamid to discuss the particulars of your individual case.