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I want to notify a user that would I am worried will flabbergast his education opportunity, having more chance of if the answers also forget this. I maybe overreacting, sorry.

An user asked this question that his about a draft that seems to be plagarized from a book; and now he is finding advice: My PhD advisor sent me a plagiarized draft

A condensed version of his question:

While working on a paper, my PhD advisor sent revisions that included three pages plagiarized from a book. Thankfully I caught this before the paper was submitted,it could have had terrible consequences.

I've brought up the issue with my advisor, who claimed it was an accidental mistake. We only talked once besides a few emails. Whether or not this was a mistake, I feel hurt, cheated, and I have lost trust in my advisor.

Am I overreacting to the situation? I know I was in a vulnerable state before this happened, so it's definitely hitting me hard. But I'm also trying to not overreact.

My options at this point are to:

  1. quit my PhD
  2. change advisor and research field
  3. find a co-advisor and stay in the same field

Option 1 is very appealing. Option 2 is scary to me. Option 3 would be easiest in terms of finishing my PhD, as long as I can get my productivity back up while regularly interacting with my current advisor.

I am not gonna advice about what he is going to do with the 3 options, But all 3 is made on the state of "He plagiarized from a book".

What I am worried is this comment:

It's someone else's book. The three pages were almost copied verbatim, with only slight changes to fit in our paper. As I was working on improing the text, I noticed that some of the language didn't really fit with the rest of our paper, so I googled a few sentence bits. I found it was copied from the book. A plagiarism detection tool then showed that three whole continuous pages were plagiarized.

So how did he find out that the paper was copied?

  1. Searched few sentences on Google (why: because the language didn't fit in (?))
    • I found it was copied from the book
  2. Then used a plagiarism detection Tool and found out that
    • that three whole continuous pages were plagiarized.

I know for a lot of time that half of the tools in the world (online) are either false or not exact. If he used something like findplagiarismcheck.com; The site will show false reports to show it is working and to preferably say to buy its premium version/license. So It might be the case that This asker is going to lose its PhD (and a job, if you know what I mean) based on false results.

I am not worried if he used a reputed service like Turnitin.

So what should I do? do nothing or notify him? (I don't have the rep level do it)

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By design, Stack Exchange does not allow direct messaging between users, but only communications through comments and chats, which, however, require a minimum of reputation.

However, you’re overthinking this and missing an important bit from the linked question:

I've brought up the issue with my advisor, who claimed it was an accidental mistake.

That is, the advisor recognised that that piece of writing was plagiarised, even though they claimed to be accidental plagiarism, and there’s no need to warn the OP that anti-plagiarism tools and searches on the Internet may be imperfect (something the OP probably knows already).

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    +1. Not a exact comment about your answer: Don't you think that the word accidental is a bit Gothic or an-overkill-adjective-for-apologizing? I mean how is copying accidental? the advisor clearly had to think and do it - Our brain doesn't inject things-we-have-read randomly to what we write? Also word mistake is a bit non-aligning... Oct 11 at 9:18
  • By design, Stack Exchange does not allow direct messaging between users, but only communications through comments and chats, which, however, require a minimum of reputation I knew the both :); not sure about direct-messaging however, there is this thing called "gallery", anyway. Oct 11 at 9:20
  • "By design, Stack Exchange does not allow direct messaging between users" Technically, if the OP were to become a moderator, they would be able to direct message users. Oct 12 at 16:03
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    @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica It would be highly unusual to use the moderator message tools for this sort of thing.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Oct 12 at 16:37

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