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Monday 17 December 2012

Patricia Covarrubia

Accusing your co-author of plagiarism: have you heard of it?

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From Mexico comes the news that an electoral counselor, Blanca Castaneyra Chavez accused her coauthor, Dominguez Gudini, of plagiarizing an article that they wrote together and was published in the magazine ‘Diurna’. The article, entitled ‘The socioeconomic factor at the top of campaigns: cheaper elections’ published in a magazine which is edited by the Consejo General del Instituto Electoral Veracruzano (IEV) (General Council Electoral Institute of Veracruz), was used by Dominguez Gudini to be published in a compendium of electoral law procedure of the Ministry of Interior.

Mr Dominguez has apologized and explained the following: I was “invited by the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a publication ... in no time I claim that experience like mine, it's like someone writing on constitutional law and says he wrote the constitution. As a matter of a personal nature I do not like to quote myself”.

For the compendium the title was changed to: ‘Governor’s funding and control of campaigns, the Veracruz experience’. The text was attributed to only Mr Dominguez.

Castaneyra Chavez lamented the fact and said she will proceed legally against Mr Dominguez. She explains that the material which was published in the magazine Diurna was owned by IEV and that Mr Dominguez should have cited the source of the text used and should have given credit to the co-author.

Well, I guess this is not the first time this type of issue happens – not that they are normal! What captures my attention is Mr Dominguez statement that he does not like to quote himself…what about given the credit to his co-author then? The info comes from the newspaper ‘El Universal’ and so, there is not much detail of the grounds of the to-be case. We could speculate that it will be IEV the one that brings the proceedings, as the owner of the publication; and the author could bring also proceeding but in that case would be under moral rights ie paternity rights.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia