Toronto Star purchases plagiarism-detection software

Toronto Star

Two plagiarism cases that occurred at the Toronto Star in the past week “demand serious action,” Public Editor Kathy English writes. Star reporter Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew lifted from a Globe and Mail report, and now-former Toronto school board director Chris Spence plagiarized in an op-ed. Spence resigned after readers and reporters found his other published work, including his doctoral thesis, were filled with plagiarized material.

Acharya-Tom Yew, on the other hand, wasn’t “deliberately dishonest,” English says.

In reporting on the Entertainment One takeover of Alliance Films, she did not talk to any sources, as good reporting demands. Her 10-paragragh story was written entirely from information from the wires and the Star’s files, as well as a Globe and Mail online piece written earlier that day by its media writer, Steve Ladurantaye.

English writes that the Star has now purchased plagiarism detection software (in an email to Poynter, she says it’s iThenticate) that will “facilitate fuller investigation of Acharya-Tom Yew’s work and be used whenever we receive allegations of plagiarism. We were in the process of examining more of Spence’s work when he resigned.”

Related: Toronto Star corrections up 50 percent so far in 2012 | Toronto Star accidentally closes a business, delays correction

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