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Abstract

The unattributed incorporation of the work of others into an academic publication is widely regarded as seriously inappropriate behavior. Yet imitation is fundamental to many things that people do, even in academic disciplines. This paper examines the range of activities in which academics engage, including a detailed study of the authoring of textbooks. It concludes that a more fine-grained analysis of plagiarism is needed, in order to distinguish copying that is harmful to the intellectual process, and that which is important to it.

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