More on Ruhlman

Kevin asks: "What I don't understand is why they didn't send the manuscript to Marvel for review. Marvel's book on Andersonville is considered by many to be the definitive study; it's not as if there are a significant number of historians who focus on Civil War prisons."

He is answered in part by Peter Carmichael of the University of Tennessee Press: "I can't imagine how one checks for plagiarism when reviewing a manuscript. Unless you happen to be familiar with a book (like Marvel was with his own study of Andersonville) it is not realistic to expect a press or a reviewer to catch plagiarism."

But he has been told how to check. And there is another way too. The University of Tennessee's academics have access to (and may use) software that checks for student plagiarism. It's simple software that searches using strings from the student's paper. Academics who don't have such software will use Google to do the same thing.

Eric Wittenberg says: "I also hope that the UT Press gets over its black eye, but that it tightens things up a bit to ensure that this sort of flagrant rip-off doesn’t happen again."

But Peter is telling us they can't and therefore won't.

Isn't he? I smell budgets!