Plagiarism, misrepresentation, and exploitation by established professionals: Power and tactics
Many academics and other professionals are implicated in plagiarism, misrepresentation, and exploitation, yet research about this is limited compared to the large body of research on student cheating. In what can be called competitive plagiarism, academics, judges, politicians, journalists, and others use the words and ideas of others without adequate acknowledgment. Misrepresentation occurs when professionals inflate or manufacture their credentials and achievements in curricula vitae, job applications, and media releases. Intellectual exploitation involves taking credit for the work of others in a routine fashion. Examples include ghostwriting and managers taking credit for the writings and ideas of subordinates. This sort of exploitation fits the normal definitions of plagiarism but this label is seldom applied; it can be called institutionalized plagiarism. Understanding the persistence of intellectual exploitation can be understood by examining the tactics commonly used by plagiarizers to reduce outrage over their actions. These include cover-up, devaluation, reinterpretation, official channels, intimidation, and rewards. Powerful plagiarizers have access to most or all of these techniques, whereas student plagiarizers usually can use only cover-up and reinterpretation. The existence of institutionalized plagiarism depends on a lack of questioning of exploitative systems.