UPDATE, 10/19: Technician editor in chief Laura Wilkinson has posted an apologetic letter from the editor informing readers of a “case of plagiarism.”
“One columnist letting you down means I am letting you down,” she wrote. “We are nothing without the truth and we are nothing without our readers.”
While Karpur was not named in the letter, the letter says “the columnist responsible is no longer allowed to contribute to any Student Media publication and the publications the columnist took material from are in the process of being notified. ”
All of Karpur’s columns were also deleted from the Technician website.
ORIGINAL POST: North Carolina State University student newspaper Technician published a column Monday under the headline “Homework — making time to make time.” It carried the byline of Dileep Karpur, who is listed as a staff columnist.
It appears Dileep Karpur did not write that column.
That column was written by Diamondback columnist Jessica Jimenez and was published last Thursday, under the same headline. The two pieces are nearly identical, and The Diamondback alerted Technician editors about the situation Tuesday afternoon. The editors didn’t have to look hard — all but one column published under Karpur’s name appears to have been filched from college newspapers around the country and as far away as Hawaii.
They are all listed here — though paragraphs and sentences did move around between versions, a Google search of almost any lengthy phrase reveals the duplicates:
- Oct. 12: Karpur’s “Inspiration from Jobs’s death” borrows heavily from a column in Penn State’s Daily Collegian published two days earlier.
- Oct. 9: Karpur’s “How to ease college stress” is taken from a column in the University of Hawaii at Manoa student paper Ka Leo The Voice published Aug. 11.
- Oct. 2: Karpur’s “Are office hours utilized completely?” is taken almost verbatim from a column in USC’s Daily Trojan published Sept. 27.
- Sept. 29: Karpur’s “A well-balanced schedule” comes from a column in Arizona State’s State Press published Aug. 28.
- Sept. 20: We could not find evidence that Karpur’s “Stop pointing fingers at social media” appeared anywhere else online. It may actually be 486 words of original writing.
- Sept. 11: Karpur’s “Remembering 9/11” is taken from a column in Kansas University’s University Daily Kansan published Sept. 8.
- Sept. 6: Karpur’s “Don’t let your education get in the way of your education,” is taken from a column in Ohio State University’s The Lantern published June 5.
- Aug. 30: Karpur’s “Fear, a common mania for students” is taken from a column in USC’s Daily Trojan published last September.
- Aug. 28: Karpur’s “Is your cell phone really your best friend,” Karpur’s first column on the Technician website, is more creatively paraphrased than the others, but appears to borrow heavily from a column in Washington University’s Student Life published in April.
In response to an email sent by a Diamondback columnist, Technician editor in chief Laura Wilkinson wrote at about 5:30 p.m. that she and another editor had found similar evidence of plagiarism in “every single one of his columns,” and they are “bringing the columnist into our office within the hour and firing him.”