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A famous professor and historian blamed plagiarism

A famous professor and historian blamed plagiarism

Star historian Laurent Turcotte has been suspended for plagiarism and summoned by his university last fall, but has escaped penalties.

Professor in the Department of History at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres (UQTR), Mr. Turcot is regularly invited by the media. On Radio Canada as on TVA.

The star historian (center) on Salut Bonjour, 2018.

photo courtesy

The star historian (center) on Salut Bonjour, 2018.

For the government institution, he produced, among other things, a podcast called Fan d’histoire in which he discussed with figures such as Guylaine Tremblay and Guy A. Lepage. On YouTube, he hosts a channel called History that more than 375,000 subscribers will tell us about.

Laurent Turcot (left) at Tout le monde en parle in 2020.

photo courtesy

Laurent Turcot (left) at Tout le monde en parle in 2020.

Laurent Turcot's YouTube channel has over 375,000 subscribers.

screenshot

Laurent Turcot’s YouTube channel has over 375,000 subscribers.

In the summer of 2021, an anonymous complaint was submitted to the Social and Human Sciences Research Council (SSHRC), a federal grant agency.

The complaint was about his book Sports and Leisure: A History from Origin to the Present Day, It was published in 2016 by Gallimard Editions.

Editor criticizes

The South Sudan Human Rights Commission alerted the UQTR, which deemed the complaint “acceptable” and formed a panel of three academics to investigate 13 sections of the book.

Mr. Turcot defended himself as follows: His book was made from course notes, which included sentences copied elsewhere without reference to them.

He also asserted that if speaking with the editor, he might have inadvertently, while trying to “broadcast” the text, removed references to footnotes, quotes, and references.

The UQTR panel’s ruling, released in October, was that there had already been a “breach of responsible research conduct”.

In a “formal letter” addressed to Mr. Turcot sent to register By UQTR, University Vice President for Research Sebastian Charles wrote: “Some of the quotes in your book are not presented as such. […], which constitutes plagiarism. »

“Very dangerous”

However, “in view of all the facts”, it was decided not to punish Mr. Turcot. The commission ruled in its report that there was “no intentional and malicious use” of plagiarism register It had access (but a section of it was redacted).

In an interview with NewspaperCharles asserts that the allegations of plagiarism are “extremely serious” and that the professor showed “inaccuracies in writing and editing the book”.

Hence the “official letter” of Mr. Turcot reminding him “of the importance of hard work in preparation [ses] the post “.

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join Newspaper Twice, Laurent Turcotte admitted that “some mistakes were made”, but insisted: All this was done without “bad faith”.

Turcot was summoned by the university to contact the publisher “to agree corrective actions”. Gallimard later assured us that corrections would be made in a reissue.

“Use all or part of someone else’s text by passing it on as their own or without references,” according to the regulations of the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres.

Results

for students

  • “Course Failed
  • Suspension of the program for one or more sessions for a maximum period of 24 months
  • “Temporary or permanent exclusion from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres,” according to the foundation.

for teachers

  • Penalties vary. In 2012, UQAM recommended the dismissal of Professor Robert Robillard, from the Department of Accounting. An outside expert decided that he had plagiarized. In 2014, an arbitrator ruled that a six-month suspension was sufficient, which the Supreme Court upheld the following year.

In the book of Turcot

“Put social communication par excellence in all strata of society, the Parisian café of the nineteenth centuryAnd The century also finds a place for choice in French literature: from the most luxurious to the most modest, no one has escaped an accurate description of the spirit that moved them. A place where one sees and is seen, a scene in itself, it is a kind of theater. »

original excerpt

“Put social communication par excellence in all strata of society, the Parisian café of the nineteenth centuryAnd The century has found a place of choice in French literature: from the most luxurious to the most modest, no one has escaped an accurate description of the spirit that moved them. The place where one sees and where one sees, is a scene in itself, it is a kind of theater [sic]. »

Source: Laurent Portes, “Cafés, bistros, caboulots…”, 2013, Digital article on BNF . Gallica

In the book of Turcot

“The golden age of balls in the middle of the century and the institutions that organize them are not only places for socializing; they also lend themselves to physical relaxation, even to sporting achievements. Evidenced by the release of “gallops”, “polkas” or “French cancans”, the “exotic” excursions of famous dancers such as Grille d’Égout or Valentin le Désossé. High places for dancing are as essential as the Mabille Ball, the Closerie des Lilas, the Moulin Rouge or the Moulin de la Galette.”

original excerpt

The golden age of football in the middle of the century […] A place of sociability as it lends itself to physical relaxation and even sporting achievements. Evidenced by the release of gallops, polkas, or French cancans, the “exotic” excursions of famous dancers such as the Grille d’Égout or Valentin le Désossé. […] High places for dancing are as essential as the Mabille Ball, Closerie des Lilas, Moulin Rouge or Moulin de la Galette. »

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Source: Paul Gerbaud, “On Parisian Entertainment in the Nineteenth Century”), French Ethnology, Volume 23, No. 4, 1993, p. 616

In the book of Turcot

“Of the about 230 calves and agitators included, there is only one driver of free birth.”

“In twenty-four years of his career, he has won no less than 4,257 races.”

original excerpt

“Of the about 230 calves and agitators included, there is only one driver of free birth.”

“In his 24 years of operation, he participated in 4,257 races. »

Source: Jocelyn Nellis Clément, “Circus Professions, From Rome to Byzantium: Between Text and Image”, Cahiers du center Gustave Glotz, Vol. 13, 2002, p. 274

Wrongly pays “in good faith”

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In his first interview with NewspaperLaurent Turcotte has denied any responsibility for the stolen passages in his book.

On a second call, the academic admitted that “mistakes” may have been made by him and the others.

“We are always responsible for our script,” says Mr. Turcot.

He insists that he never wanted to “fit” the work of others.

The complaint stems, he said, from a vendetta by a “colleague” who had “harassed” him for seven years.

He attacked me physically and verbally! “, launch.

The omission of quotation marks and references in incriminating passages is often explained, he says.

He insists that these “course notes” have been turned into a “collection book”, “the general public”.

Moreover, he was in the middle of a course on sports history and leisure as he decided to turn his notes into a book. Since then, he could have been “more accurate” in what he referred to.

letter of attorney

In many of the issues raised, Mr. Turcot believes the publisher is responsible for the problem, swearing that the quotation marks were already in the initial version of the manuscript. This was not sent to register As we requested.

On March 23, he sent us a letter from his lawyer Jean-François Bertrand in which he attempted to explain 13 cases:

  • As for three passages copied from a website, Mr. Turkot asserts that they are in fact from previously published books, books he had consulted and that he quotes from elsewhere in his work. But he argues that these three notes would unfortunately have disappeared during the editing work.
  • Seven other passages were copied and used without quotes from works cited elsewhere in Sports and Entertainment, he argued. Mr. Turcot sees this as evidence that he did not try to conceal his sources.
  • According to our analysis, for the other three excerpts, Turcot could not provide any clear explanation.
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When he learned that a complaint had been filed against him, the historian asserted that he acted quickly. In August, he posted an extended bibliography on a website (laurentturcot.ca) including 13 missing references. In his eyes, this “set the record straight.”

In the eyes of the editor responsible for Laurent Turcotte’s book, the errors the university is accusing the professor of are nothing but “fatal mistakes”.

“All this is out of proportion to the mistake made,” Sophie Kokoiannis, head of the Folio History Collections at Gallimard, said when contacted in Paris.

It is, in his view, a “common mistake”.

“The author thought he was doing the right thing, cutting off quotes and sources that weighted the topic and the publisher didn’t realize that kind of cut. So there is a common mistake because the author shouldn’t have done it. And the publisher should have seen it.”

In addition, she added, “no author or publisher” of the stolen works has addressed any “complaints about this book.”

Laurent Turcotte says the university looked into his book and didn’t find any additional examples of plagiarism.

“These are the only 13 cases,” he insisted.

He specified that UQTR has “the software that makes it possible to know where parts of a book come from”.

But at the university’s agency for research, the process was set right.

“For the sake of sifting, it’s probably a bit strong,” replied Vice-Chancellor Sebastian Charles.

Furthermore, the file has been sent to register It included 13 cases of plagiarism analyzed by UQTR. But paragraph 14 has been added to these, which is precisely a paragraph without a footnote and is very similar to the excerpt from a website that Mr. Turcot did not mention in his book.

Additionally, on March 23, Newspaper Receiving another anonymous request exposes a similar situation regarding another website. So it’s 15And A possible case of plagiarism.

Witnesses similar cases? Write to me confidentially at [email protected]