33 votes

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior?

As a general rule, if you send a letter stating that you believe a fact X to be true, and later get new information causing you to no longer believe what you previously wrote, it is completely ethical ...
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  • 169k
25 votes

Is it possible for a professor to write a negative letter of recommendation?

Yes. Letters of recommendation are sometimes called letters of reference, to emphasise that they can contain both positive and negative remarks on person's performance, achievement and character. Most ...
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15 votes

Conflict of Interest regarding research question and company ownership

It’s curious that you are trying to do the ethical thing and avoid putting yourself in a compromising situation vis-a-vis the conflict of interest, but you’re going about it in a way that is itself ...
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  • 169k
14 votes

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior?

Sending a negative letter would put the student at an unfair disadvantage because students strive to have the most positive letters of recommendation that they can have. If you no longer hold a ...
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  • 2,770
14 votes

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior?

You cannot ethically change your recommendation without first discussing it with the student. So, if you decide to make a change, please arrange to talk with the student. The student presumably has ...
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  • 25.3k
12 votes

Is it possible for a professor to write a negative letter of recommendation?

If a letter of recommendation doesn't affect the student's academic career negatively, then it's not actually a negative letter of recommendation (LOR). It is perfectly fine to add minor negative ...
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  • 14.1k
10 votes
Accepted

Impact of 'canned' recommendation letter

Since a candidate might only get to submit 3 LORs, if one is worthless, that can't possibly be as good as 3 strong ones offering actual reasons why they're such a great candidate. So, yes, I think it ...
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9 votes

Conflict of Interest regarding research question and company ownership

Your institution almost certainly has a policy regarding conflicts of interest that requires you to disclose potential conflicts and develop a management plan if conflicts exist. Note that conflicts ...
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  • 67.1k
9 votes

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior?

You wrote the personal recommendation in good faith on the evidence available to you at the time you wrote. A decision was taken on her master's course. It seems unethical to seek to later modify such ...
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  • 1,101
6 votes
Accepted

After Nikita Den Haag, should graduate schools consider also asking for peer-student references?

First, let's not change a whole system of how we write letters of reference just because "there once was this one case". Letters of reference are written for what must surely be hundreds of ...
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6 votes

Impact of 'canned' recommendation letter

To add to Buffy's good answer: It also depends on the reputation of the professor. If a Nobel price laureate writes a letter that means something. Since they get so many requests, they will not be ...
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  • 3,685
5 votes

Impact of 'canned' recommendation letter

This probably varies by place. If LoRs are relatively unimportant then such a thing is probably fine. This student isn't an idiot. But in a place like the US, where LoRs are quite important, such a ...
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  • 263k
5 votes

Is it possible for a professor to write a negative letter of recommendation?

Sure, it's possible. If you're asked to write a letter of recommendation then it is open to you to do so, and to write a negative recommendation if you think that is warranted. In practice this is ...
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  • 44.7k
4 votes

Is it possible for a professor to write a negative letter of recommendation?

tldr; Many letters have varying comments, it won't necessarily sink an application. I have written many letters and read many as part of our graduate admissions committee. I'd say that there are a ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Seeking recommendation letter from faculty member you don't know

Your question suggests that she's asking that you write a letter to her giving the information she'll need for the LOR to the masters program; most of what's below is also applicable for a job ...
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  • 25.3k
4 votes

Does the addition of a mildly impersonal recommendation letter hurt your application for grad school?

An admission committee will have to make a decision based on the information provided. If the "well accomplished individual" offers you a letter of recommendation, it will presumably recite ...
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  • 3,685
4 votes

I have just realized that my PhD supervisor is probably going to provide a bad recommandation letter? How can I stop him?

There are a number of questions on this site from graduating students who have a toxic relationship with their advisor and as a result feel the advisor can’t or won’t write them a good letter of ...
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  • 169k
3 votes

I have just realized that my PhD supervisor is probably going to provide a bad recommandation letter? How can I stop him?

We are just anonymous people on the internet, we know only your side of the story, so apologizes if maybe I am missing your point. The bad news is that you have a difficult path in front of you, the ...
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  • 6,131
3 votes

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior?

Suppose you sent her transcript to the other university, then later discovered that she had broken into the registrar's server and changed her grades. The correct action in such a case would obviously ...
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  • 1,950
2 votes

Does the addition of a mildly impersonal recommendation letter hurt your application for grad school?

The best letters are likely to come from people who know you and your work well enough to say something specific about it as well as to predict your success. A letter from some luminary who doesn't ...
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  • 263k
1 vote

Does the addition of a mildly impersonal recommendation letter hurt your application for grad school?

Whether you want the letter depends on the reputation of the letter writer. An impersonal letter from a highly accomplished and well-known scholar in your field can an exceptional addition to your ...
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1 vote

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior?

First, academia is based around the search for and discovery of truth. This often requires changing positions and conclusions to fit new observations, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient that ...
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1 vote

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior?

Should I change my submitted recommendation letter due to the student's unethical behavior? No. Because once sent, you can't change a submitted recommendation letter. You can write a second letter, ...
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  • 1,367
1 vote

Is it possible for a professor to write a negative letter of recommendation?

I don't know about negative, but you can certainly write a lukewarm letter of recommendation which is basically not a recommendation. I knew a mathematician who I won't name, but he/she had a famous ...
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  • 2,389
1 vote

Recommendation Letter for grad school without academic connections

Compared to PhD programs, applying to a masters program is usually low stake, so that works in your favor. If you're applying to department that offers a PhD in the same area, the masters students in ...
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