February 25, 2016

Nic Cavell, a former reporting fellow for WIRED, has been fired from the magazine after editors were alerted to a pattern of plagiarism in four of his stories.

The plagiarism came to light last week, after WIRED articles editor Adam Rogers received a direct message on Twitter from freelance journalist Christina Larson, according to the correction sleuthing website Retraction Watch:

“She was gracious, just asking for a link back in the future, said she loved WIRED,” Rogers told Retraction Watch by phone this afternoon. It was early morning in San Francisco, so Rogers thanked her for bringing the issue to his attention, and said he’d look at it more closely when he arrived at his desk some 45 minutes later.

Ultimately, Rogers and his colleagues uncovered problems in four of Cavell’s stories, which have each been tagged with the following editor’s note:

THIS STORY DOES not meet WIRED’s journalistic standards as it reproduces material published elsewhere. We’ve chosen to keep the story online for archival purposes and the public record.

Here are the stories:

WIRED has investigated suspect copy before. In 2012, science journalist Charles Seife revealed that 17 blog posts written by Jonah Lehrer for the magazine had problems ranging from plagiarism to recycling to factual issues.

See also: Is it original? An editor’s guide to identifying plagiarism

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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