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Ann Coulter to be Investigated for Plagiarism

NEW YORK- Universal Press Syndicate issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying it might look into the plagiarism allegations against Ann Coulter in two possible ways.

“We’ll see what we can find on our own,” said Kathie Kerr, the syndicate’s director of communications, noting that Universal would use the information referenced in Sunday’s New York Post article. That story quoted John Barrie, creator of the iThenticate plagiarism-probing system, who said he had easily found several examples of alleged plagiarism in Coulter’s new “Godless” book and in her Universal columns from the past year. Several blogs had earlier found these and other examples.

Kerr added that Universal may also use a plagiarism-finding tool from Barrie’s company.

The Universal spokeswoman said Barrie has yet to return her call (he hasn’t returned E&P’s calls either), but added that she did hear from a sales-division person at the iParadigms company with which Barrie is affiliated. Kerr said she was told that iParadigms wasn’t sure if it “could provide the same information about Coulter as was given to the Post,” but that the syndicate “could subscribe to the service that provided the information” to that newspaper.

“This tool is a service sold through subscription on LexisNexis,” said Kerr. “We use the research tool on LexisNexis quite a bit. The plagiarism tool is called Copyguard and is about a year old. We’ll want to set up a trial period and of course get pricing on this tool, but it sounds like something that would benefit us. I don’t know how long it will take to get a trial period set up.”

Universal syndicates Coulter’s column to more than 100 newspapers.

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