I recently read a dissertation where I recognized sentences that appeared in earlier papers but are not cited in the dissertation. Here are some of these sentences. He also appears to be copying from flashcards , also without citations.

Does this constitute plagiarism?

  • 1
    Was it all from the same author?
    – Buffy
    Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 21:28
  • 1
    Depends on what you mean. The sentences are all in his thesis but none originates with him. He has republished parts of his thesis but that is irrelevant.
    – MSD
    Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 22:59
  • 1
    I would say yes. The last example is particularly egregious.
    – user117751
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 0:43

1 Answer 1


Yes, the use of unattributed material, or use of quotes without indicating they are quotes even with attribution, is plagiarism.

If it's just a few sentences in a long dissertation, it's plausible that some of it was due to lazy note-taking, like copying the words of others into an intermediate document and not realizing months or years later that they were copied. However, laziness is not really a defense. Maybe a mitigating factor.

  • I am not sure if it's due to lazy note-taking. The person who did it has a history of plagiarism. It seems to me that he did his appropration of sentences quite skillfully in his thesis since plagiarism detectors find rather few copied material but a manual sentence by sentence (or parts of a sentence) search reveals that he took a lot of sentences (consecutive 7-9 words) without citation . What is the likely outcome if I report this to the dept chair of the university of his thesis?
    – MSD
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 6:54
  • @MSD That depends entirely on the dept chair.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 13:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .