Rachel Reeves acknowledges errors following allegations of plagiarism in her latest publication.
Rachel Reeves has admitted to making errors in her recently published book on female economists, following accusations of plagiarism.
The shadow chancellor acknowledged on Thursday that certain sentences in her book, The Women Who Made Modern Economics, lacked proper referencing in the bibliography.
The Financial Times investigated the book and discovered over 20 instances where passages from other sources were used without proper credit. These passages were either copied completely or altered with only small modifications.
The paper referenced various sources, such as an obituary from the Guardian, multiple Wikipedia articles, and a statement from another Labour frontbencher.
The publisher, Basic Books, stated that certain sentences should have been revised and cited correctly. They promised to double-check all of the sources used in the book. However, they also clarified that the author, Rachel, did not intend to present these facts as her own original research.
The text stated that there is a large list of over 200 books, articles, and interviews that have been carefully selected. When information is gathered from multiple sources, it is not necessary for the author to cite each one. However, when information is directly taken from primary sources, it should be rewritten and properly cited. The author acknowledges that this was not done in every instance.
During an interview with BBC Broadcasting House, Reeves acknowledged that there were sentences in the book that were not appropriately cited in the bibliography. As the author, he takes responsibility for this and admits that he could have done a better job.
When questioned about the mistakes, she responded, “While I did have research assistants, I am accountable for all the content in the book.”
My intention was to gather the narratives of these women. If I am guilty of simply copying and pasting information about these remarkable women and transforming it into a book that is read, then I take great pride in that accomplishment.
“I will rectify this issue by ensuring that all references are properly cited in the bibliography for any future reprints. This is crucial to me, and I am committed to correcting these errors.”
The Financial Times noted that the book highlights the issue of not giving proper credit to the contributions of female economists.
The party at Carlton Gardens on Wednesday night marked the launch of the book, with the presence of several members from the shadow cabinet such as Wes Streeting and Hilary Benn.
One of the passages in the book that seems to have been altered without proper credit is a foreword written by Benn for Tony Blair’s Global Change thinktank, included in a 2021 report on global development.
In 1997, Benn stated that the amount of aid given as a percentage of national income had decreased by half in the 18 years prior, reaching just 0.26%. During their time in office, they were working towards the goal of reaching 0.7% and this progress was thanks to the efforts of political leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who prioritized the well-being of the world’s most impoverished individuals within the government.
According to Reeves’s book, the percentage of aid given by the UK as a proportion of our national income decreased by half over 18 years before Labour’s election in 1997, reaching a low of 0.26%. However, by the time Labour’s term ended in 2010, progress had been made towards reaching the 0.7% target. This was attributed to the leadership of Blair and Gordon Brown, as well as Clare Short, who served as first secretary of state for international development from 1997 to 2002 and brought attention to the needs of the world’s poorest individuals within the government.
The Financial Times also discovered a section in Reeves’s book discussing philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe that bore a striking resemblance to an obituary released in the Guardian in 2001.
The obituary, by Jane O’Grady, says: “Once, entering a smart restaurant in Boston, she was told that ladies were not admitted in trousers. She simply took them off.”
According to Reeves’ book, on one occasion, while attempting to enter a fancy restaurant in Boston, she was informed that women were not allowed to wear pants. As a result, she promptly removed them.
According to the Financial Times, they discovered the resemblances without utilizing plagiarism detection technology. They referenced various instances from Wikipedia, such as a description of a disagreement between author HG Wells and Beatrice Webb, a prominent figure in the Fabian Society and social reform movement.
According to Reeves’ book, Beatrice expressed her disapproval of Wells’ involvement with the daughter of a senior member of the Fabian Society. In response, Wells ridiculed the couple in his novel The New Machiavelli (1911), portraying them as Altiora and Oscar Bailey, a pair of myopic and manipulative middle-class individuals.
According to the Wikipedia page about Webb, Beatrice expressed disapproval of Wells’ scandalous involvement with the daughter of a prominent Fabian member, Sydney Olivier. In response, Wells portrayed the couple in a satirical manner in his 1911 novel, The New Machiavelli, as Altiora and Oscar Bailey, two narrow-minded, middle-class manipulators.