A term that one seldom hears outside the world of academics but which therein is important out of all proportion.

It will be noted that accusations of plagiarism carry dire consequences for students, who face expulsion, and junior faculty, who face the tenure board.

Plagiarism may have very little sting for the more established however, as they are likely to enjoy the protections of tenure or be sufficiently secure in their connections to the real world, which in most cases cares not a whit for the matter. This seems ironic, since a student plagiarizing an essay has basically no effect on anything, except insofar as his teacher without justification feels disrespected (and moreover these projects never call for original thought as opposed to recitation of some literature in some varied order).

Quite the contrary occurs when a famous name appropriates some novel idea as his own work.