I tend to agree with "Plagiarism obvious", Keith Davis, and "After reading more carefully". Jonathan Gresset's note reinforces my judgment. As it's not my area of specialty either, it took several readings to get above the unfamiliar terms and the lay or literary meaning of plagiarism.\n\nSeveral commentators here, who "can't see it", are using the narrow definition of plagiarism in the literary context as in; "Unless one's caught using the exact words in the same order, one can't be accused of plagiarism". Rather, as a scientist, my training and hard-earned experience in having my own ideas "lifted" brought me to strongly hold Gresset's opinion that "... plagiarism can be of ideas, and does not require fully identical text." That moves the analysis of the two paragraphs presented to another level which makes the offense more obvious - and "paraphrase without attribution" just another synonym for plagiarism. \n\nTo further clarify the issue, I would narrow Gresset's general statement to more tightly fit the case at hand. Here, we are not talking about literary plagiarism, where turn-of-phrase may well be the precious object, but science, where ideas are the things of importance - regardless of their phrasing. That is why, in science, less ambiguous empirical measure or mathematical statement is preferred to literary description whenever possible. Such confusion between literary and scientific use and meaning of the same terms is common when dealing with the lay public. For another common example, the scientific use of "significant" to mean only "not attributable to typical or random variation" (i. e., statistically significant) and the too often erroneous interpretation of that word, in the literary sense, to mean important, substantial, meaningful etc (the latter requiring justification beyond the statistical finding).\n\nAs Gresset's note illustrates, there's more to be told and IMO, when told, likely to make the university's and publisher's stand on the matter more understandable and acceptable. As for matters in extenuation and mitigation, it is best to let the writings and time-line speak to the issue of plagiarism (or not), and those matters, to the appropriate punishment which, it appears, the institutions have done. That said and regarding the claim of mental incoherence, I find the high literary coherence of the Sticklen paragraph (composed at the time of the incident) to be at odds with that claim. If anything, even for an early draft, it's Abramson et. al that seem to be in need of serious editing. \n\nDisclaimer: I'm not involved, in any way, with any of the institutions or people under discussion.