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Scholar at Columbia University Under Fire for Alleged Plagiarism

Scholar at Columbia University Under Fire for Alleged Plagiarism

“currently on sabbatical and will retire at the end of 2020”

The accusations against him have ruined his career.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Fake Citations Kill a Career

Charles Armstrong, Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences at Columbia University, plagiarized parts of his award-winning book on North Korea, Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950-1992. He’s currently on sabbatical and will retire at the end of 2020, the university told Armstrong’s colleagues this week.

“These findings were made in accordance with our policy, which required a confidential preliminary review by an inquiry committee, an investigation by a separate ad hoc faculty committee, oversight and recommendations by the university’s standing Committee on the Conduct of Research, and final decisions by the executive vice president for research and the provost,” Maya Tolstoy, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, wrote in an email to professors that was obtained by Inside Higher Ed.

Findings of research misconduct are generally “communicated to the public through retractions or corrections published in the scholarly literature,” Tolstoy wrote. “Where such a retraction is not feasible, the university may choose to notify the relevant community.”

Armstrong declined to comment.

But the findings certainly aren’t a surprise to him or many others who study North Korea. Talk of research misconduct has dogged Armstrong since 2016, when Balazs Szalontai, a professor of North Korean studies at Korea University, publicly accused Armstrong of fabricating dozens of citations in Tyranny of the Weak. His ultimate list of alleged instances of misconduct in the book numbered 90.


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The Friendly Grizzly | September 16, 2019 at 8:00 am

A “studies” professor. I’m shocked! (Actually, no, I am not.)

Notice how a University makes a decision. Inquiry committee, then ad how faculty committee, then committee on conduct of research and then decision by VP research and then provost. Imagine the process if the offense had some real significance in the world as opposed to a professor taking credit for other persons work.