“Plagiarism” is the name of the collective neurosis of academic life – and it’s only getting worse.
Academics worry endlessly about both being plagiarised and being accused of plagiarism. The concern has even extended to self-plagiarism, which in a saner world would be regarded as an ordinary exercise of the author’s copyright. Moreover, the neurosis has spread from the research to the teaching side of academia. Customised computer systems now monitor students’ work to ensure that they haven’t cut and pasted from anyone, including themselves…
Many if not most academics fancy themselves as “anti-capitalist”, but that may be because they are the last feudal lords. They alone take the metaphors “domain of knowledge” and “field of research” literally, which ultimately explains the fixation on plagiarism. However, in our multiply sourced, interconnected world, the plausibility that the practitioners of a discipline might “own” the knowledge they professionally pursue is rapidly disappearing.Steve Fuller, “Plagiarism hunters, please lay down your weapons” at Times Higher Education
They probably like harassing people anyway.