A couple of weeks ago a colleague of mine emailed a report to our team that he'd been working on, and I only got to reading it today.
It seemed pretty well written initially, but as I worked through it I noticed that the table numbers didn't add up, the formatting was inconsistent, and no references were supplied. On a hunch, I copied and pasted a paragraph of text into google, and it came up verbatim from a website. I copied and pasted other bits of it, and approx 50% of it is lifted verbatim from various places around the web. Wikipedia, books, and various websites.
There were no references, no citations, no quotes, nothing indicating that these were not his words. In some places, the copied text ended and his own words continued in the same paragraph, with no indication of what he'd written and what he hadn't.
I also don't know how to approach this, how much of a big deal to make? I can't imagine any scenario where this would be OK, but perhaps I'm just making a big deal out if it. Do I approach our boss? or my collegue? I don't want to blow things out of proportion.
Details from the comments:
The task was to provide a summary of the specific technology (our boss' wording), he didn't indicate that it was/wasn't his own words when he sent the email. I had the impression that it was his own words.
Our team is basically in R/D and works with research papers all the time, we all have at least a BSc, so I don't really understand why he didn't just link to a whole bunch of websites/sources instead. Even if he'd said "here's some stuff I found online" I wouldn't have had any issues with it.
I'm not expecting fancy citations, just putting quotes around the relevant paragraph with a link to a website would be fine, it wouldn't take any extra time and would be useful to actually read the website.
I like the guy, I'm not out to get him in trouble. I just want to understand why he did this, it seems really weird.