Namnezia is sorely provoking YHN.

I do the best imitation of myself

So why is it plagiarism? Because you are copying text of something that already has been published. And since most journals own the copyright to your manuscripts, re-using your own text verbatim is likely a copyright violation. It’s a bit silly, but apparently that’s the way it is and according to the article in The Scientist, papers have been retracted by journals because of this. My approach that I tell people in my lab is that it’s OK to take the old methods and change them around a bit, but that the introduction should be written from scratch. They can read an old introduction and then replicate it by memory, and this is usually enough to make the two texts sufficiently different, but they should never cut and paste text form their old papers.

No, no, NO! This is NOT plagiarism. There is no intent to deceive and academic papers are not supposed to contain lyrical text of overwhelming genius and originality. NOT. The text is there to service understanding the data, how it was collected and to advance the scientific interpretations. Which might be repeated over and over again.

“…which all supports Darwin’s conception of the Origin of Species”. This is science. We all create unique studies to address issues of common interest. We use common techniques. For common reasons. There are only so may ways to say “dopamine overflow in the nucleus accumbens” for chrissakes! Or to say “the rat presses the lever to get an intravenous infusion of drug”.

On Expanding Diversity

For the most part, in these programs the definition of enhancing diversity in sciences and other academic fields means increasing participation of minorities (and women) within the sciences. However, I’ve started to think that this is a somewhat narrow view of what diversity should mean. In my view, the current rationale for providing programs to help minority students is that these students traditionally don’t have access to the same type of educational resources as non-minorities do. This is due in part to the fact that many come from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas which simply do not have the same resources and academic support networks. Yet, there are several other people who also do not have access to these resources because they also come from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, but just not happen to be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority group.

Straw-man. I’m sorry but if your University has not clued into the need to include first-generation college students and other indicators of impoverished background into the diversity effort, it has been living under a policy rock for at least 5-8 years, maybe more.

Take the wording of the NIH program traditionally shorthanded as “Minority Supplements”.

Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds which are defined as:

1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at . For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such candidates have qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

2. Come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career. Eligibility related to a disadvantaged background is most applicable to high school and perhaps to undergraduate candidates, but would be more difficult to justify for individuals beyond that level of academic achievement.

That’s the 2005 Notice which replaced the older 2001 Notice which did not contain this sort of language and was apparently exclusive to ethnic minorities. So ever since 2005 even the NIH has been on board with this. I am aware of University level revisions of diversity language that date to at least five years before that. The times have changed so people who keep banging on about how this is needed are a bit out of step. If your local University hasn’t adapted, it needs to get with the program pronto.

Given my understanding of this change in the reality of diversity efforts in modern academia, it rings quite jarringly in my ears to bang on with the “what about the poor white folks” line. That, my friend, is falling right into anti-diversity talking points. Are you sure you want to align yourself with those folks?
Grrr, Namnezia-Goat Gruff. Grr.