Note from the EditorFollowing a meeting of the Managing Board of The Tech this weekend, the Board voted to remove Alexander Del Nido from staff permanently for the article [“The Party’s Over,” Oct. 15] he plagiarized from a column in The Washington Monthly [“Party Down,” October 2004, Benjamin Wallace-Wells]. Del Nido essentially rewrote The Washington Monthly’s article by paraphrasing it, retaining the ideas and structure almost identically in places. The one reference he made to his source was in the middle of the article, attributing a specific quote, and was entirely insufficient to indicate the degree to which he relied on the Monthly’s article.
Del Nido expressed contrition and told the Managing Board that he was unaware that the unacknowledged use of another’s ideas constituted plagiarism. Although the Board believes that Del Nido acted in good faith and out of ignorance, it also believes that such ignorance is not acceptable in either a journalistic or academic environment.
We apologize for publishing this column in our opinion section. To ensure that no member of The Tech inadvertently plagiarizes in the future, the Managing Board also has adopted the following addition to the Staff Policies, which will be given to all current and new staff members:
“Plagiarism is the theft of another person’s or institution’s intellectual work, including but not limited to that person’s or institution’s words, ideas, theories and concepts. The following is a non-exhaustive list of plagiaristic acts:
-- Failure to put the actual words of another within quotation marks and to identify the speaker or writer of those words.
-- Failure to attribute paraphrases of another’s words.
-- Failure to attribute the use of ideas, theories or concepts created by another.
Plagiarism is unacceptable. The Editor in Chief and Managing Board shall investigate all claims of plagiarism. If the Editor in Chief determines that a person has committed plagiarism, that person shall be suspended immediately. There shall be a meeting of the Managing Board not more than two weeks after such a suspension, where the person may contest the charge of plagiarism. If a majority of the Managing Board determines that a person has committed plagiarism, it shall vote on a punishment that may include permanent expulsion from the organization and/or a referral of the matter to the MIT Committee on Discipline. Not later than two issues after this meeting, The Tech shall publish a statement identifying the plagiarist, listing the specific instances of plagiarism, and giving proper credit to the source of the plagiarized material. This statement shall be permanently available on The Tech’s web-based archives.”
--Beckett W. Sterner
Editor in Chief