Harvard Plagiarism Archive


"[T]he problem of writers . . . passing off the work of others as their own . . . [is] a phenomenon of some significance."
PROFESSOR LAURENCE TRIBE, e-mail to Dean Lawrence Velvel, 9/13/2004

"'I . . . delegated too much responsibility to others . . .,' [Prof. Charles Ogletree] said. 'I was negligent
in not overseeing more carefully the final product that carries my name.' * * * Ogletree told The Crimson that
he had not read the passage of Balkin’s book that appears in his own work. An assistant inserted the material
into a manuscript . . . . But Ogletree said he was closely involved in most of the drafting of the book . . . ."

STEVEN MARKS, "Ogletree Faces Discipline for Copying Text," The Harvard Crimson, 9/13/2004

"'Ronald Klain . . . then only a first-year student at Harvard law . . . spent most of his time with
Tribe working on Tribe's [1985] book God Save This Honorable Court,'" the Legal Times added in 1993.
* * * 'Many of Klain's friends and former colleagues say that he wrote large sections of the book . . . .'"

JOSEPH BOTTUM, "The Big Mahatma," The Weekly Standard, 10/4/2004

"[A]fter several plagiarism scandals broke over distinguished faculty members at Harvard's law school, including
Laurence Tribe,a group of students there set up a blog, Harvard Plagiarism Archive, to follow the University's
handling of the problem. They believe that the University, President Summers, and Dean Elena Kagan
essentially white-washed the scandal and are demanding further action.

PROF. RALPH LUKER, History News Network's "Cliopatria" blog,4/26/2005

“The Tribe and Ogletree matters have catalyzed bitter complaints from Harvard students that the university
employs a double standard. . . . The students have every right to be incensed over this gross double standard.
They in fact ought to raise hell peacefully about it: a constant barrage of letters, emails, statements . . . .”

DEAN LAWRENCE VELVEL, "Velvel on National Affairs" blog, 4/28/2005

"If you want to keep track of this story, I recommend the new Harvard Plagiarism Archive. . . . [I]t's pretty thorough."
TIMOTHY NOAH, Slate's "Chatterbox" blog,9/28/2004

"[Y]ou have done a wonderful service to all by operating the AuthorSkeptics website . . . a fine public service."
DEAN LAWRENCE VELVEL, author of "Velvel on National Affairs," e-mail to AuthorSkeptics, 4/19/2005



Saturday, July 10, 2010

Update on National Review article and Harvard Parody project

A week ago we reported on the June 28 National Review article by Robert VerBruggen (article here) revealing important new evidence supporting what we have long contended:  that Professor Laurence Tribe has for years run a ghostwriting mill in which his books and articles (including his career-making constitutional law treatise) are drafted for him by his current and former students, with Tribe serving mostly as a compiler of material written by others, not as an actual "author" of the works bearing his name.

One of our most important posts on this point, dated Feb. 2, 2006, discussed an essay by Dean Lawrence Velvel touching on our "ghostwriting mill" description of Tribe's method of producing books. See here.  In particular, we quoted Dean Velvel's comment that a law professor he knows had recently told him that while a student at Harvard Law School he had been asked "to work on American Constitutional Law" and "he knew several people who had done so.  . . .  The people who had worked for Tribe, said this professor, had written large tracts of Tribe's treatise."

As we mentioned last week, we first learned of the National Review article from one of the Harvard Parody bloggers.  They ended up doing a lengthy video (which we provided significant help with), explaining in detail the Larry Tribe ghostwriting/plagiarism scandal which Dean Elena Kagan was instrumental in whitewashing, entitled:  "I'm Larry Tribe":  The Story Behind the Parody. The end of the video includes highly entertaining audio, photos, and lyrics of the 2005 live performance of the "I'm Larry Tribe" parody skit.  (If you want to watch only the skit, it's available as a discrete clip on YouTube, here.)

The full video is posted at the new Harvard Parody site on WordPress.com (which apparently has video hosting capabilities not available on the old Harvard Parody platform). [7/12 update: a reader suggested we embed the video; here it is]



[7/15 UPDATE: In case you have difficulty viewing the Harvard Parody videos, either as embedded on this blog or at HarvardParody.wordpress.com, the videos are also posted on YouTube on the Harvard Parody channel, here: http://www.youtube.com/user/harvardparody]

One final point.  In response to our post of last week, "R.O. Denver" e-mailed us about the new evidence of plagiarism by Tribe discussed in the National Review article, of which he had quite detailed knowledge.  Denver was the law professor who tipped off the Harvard Crimson to new evidence of plagiarism by Charles Ogletree in 2006.  See here.  Denver immediately supplied us with very helpful background information (particularly on the research assistant singled out by Tribe) which we used in helping put together the video.  Denver recently informed us that he plans to launch a website (similar to the one he created on the new evidence of Ogletree's plagiarism, see here) setting forth that background information and fully documenting the new evidence of plagiarism by Tribe, complete with images of the relevant pages of Tribe's treatise and of the sources which were copied into Tribe's treatise.  We greatly appreciate his assistance, which will minimize our burden in keeping this blog up to date. We will post a link to his website once it is available.