How do you know who to trust when even the Oxford University Press is plagiarizing Wikipedia? Wikipedia is famous as a source of knowledge on almost anything, but it's also infamous for its unreliability. In the past, journalists and writers have been disgraced for copying Wikipedia, but now even the most reputable sources are under fire for doing it.
James Heilman, a doctor and Wikipedia editor who works on the encyclopedic site's medical entries, thought he'd caught Wikipedia plagiarizing "The Oxford Textbook of Zoonoses" when he was reading the book and found a passage he recognized about Ebola. (Zoonoses, according to Wikipedia, are infectious diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans.) But he was wrong.
When he looked at the Ebola entry on Wikipedia to see who the plagiarists were, he found they'd written their entry in 2006 and updated it in 2010. The Oxford book was published in 2011. The Oxford author had swiped a section from Wikipedia.
According to Gizmodo, Heilman also caught an Indian textbook publisher stealing passages about AIDS from Wikipedia back in 2012. Plagiarism is practically a crime for serious writers, and the practice is most often career ending. Want to make sure you or a student in your household aren't plagiarizing? Click here for a handy online tool that'll check for you.