Sunday 4 February 2024

She's still at it

 

Some people may think that Carla Rossi has done the sensible thing and slipped quietly into well-deserved obscurity, hoping that memories are short and people will forget that she was exposed as serial plagiarist by several independent newspapers, other organisations, and many individual scholars from at least six different countries.

Perhaps encouraged by the fact that for several months I have not bothered to respond to, or refute, her tediously repetitive and lengthy screeds of falsification, lies, and playing the victim, she has in fact continued to attempt to gaslight anyone who will read her words, e.g. on the Oprom website here: https://www.oprom.eu/mefaitscontrenous

I would prefer to just forget about her and not waste any more time on the issue, but as she is unwilling to let the matter drop, she has prompted me to start responding again. (This could become the first of many posts!)

First, you may enjoy her short-lived attempt at starting a blog, which involved writing two posts on 28 December, and three more on 7 January, but nothing since then. Maybe writing blogs is harder work than she realised?

The first blogpost, "Who is Mr. Peter Kidd?", begins, like a trashy tabloid newspaper attempting to sound like serious investigative journalism, with "Here's what we have discovered about Peter Kidd" (illustrated with a picture of me wearing all-white clothes, because I have just won a Real Tennis [Wikipedia] competition; she chose not to use the photo from her source in which I am holding the silver trophy). The blogpost is here: https://receptiogate.blogspot.com/2023/12/peter-kidd-fact-checker.html; archived at Archive.org and here.

And what have these cunning investigative sleuths unearthed about my shady behaviour? Well, they seem to base their findings almost entirely on my own homepage (here) and reach the following damning conclusion:

My work as a medieval manuscript cataloguer for the Bodleian Library, for the British Library, and as Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library,  was "a position that requires neither exceptional aptitude nor specific academic credentials", and it follows from this, apparently, that I am unqualified "to critically assess the scholarly work of an academic who has attained her titles and honors through a rigorous series of university evaluations". 

This completely ignores the fact that a large number of other scholars have independently concluded that there is overwhelming evidence to show that Carla Rossi is a serial plagiarist.

I won't go through each blogpost in turn, as you can do that for yourself (but if anyone has specific questions about any of the points she makes I will try to answer them).  As any trashy tabloid knows, you can splash the word "HOAX" across something and some of your readers (the really stupid ones) will believe that this proves something is a hoax:

 

Another attempt to spread the false narrative can be found here: https://www.comunicatistampa.net/difesa-patrimonio-culturale-europeo/ (archived here) At first glance you might think that this is a news site, but it is not: it is a site where anyone who wants to, can simply pay a fee and upload a "Press Release" of self-aggrandising garbage.


A third screed of lies can be found at on the Oprom website here:  https://www.oprom.eu/receptiogate archived here

Here she claims that I falsified a version of her book about the so-called De Roucey Hours (even though all my copies of this book were downloaded from her own websites), and she can "prove" my falsification by reference to a (doctored) copy of the book available through Google Books, here. The implication is that this represents the original version of her book, uploaded before the late-2022 exposé of her plagiarism. But the Google Books version (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kRDgEAAAQBAJ) includes two very significant details.

First, the title includes the words "First Edition". Of course there is no need for this statement unless a second edition exists, and the second edition was not issued until 2023, so this version cannot have been added to Google Books until long after the scandal broke:

 Second, the author is listed as "Carla Rossi Bellotto":

This name does not appear in the book itself, though it is a name that she used in the mid-1990s, during her first marriage, but none of her publications since then use that name.

In the embedded metadata, the name "Rossi" does not even appear -- even though it is the name on the front cover and title-page!:

@book{bellotto2022book,
  title={The Book of Hours of Louis De Roucy: First Edition},
  author={Bellotto, C.R.},
  url={https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kRDgEAAAQBAJ},
  year={2022},
  publisher={Receptio Academic Press}

Her Academia.edu page has, coincidentally, been changed very recently to give her name as "Carla Rossi (-Bellotto)":

It is as if someone wants to dissociate themself from the name of the well-known plagiarist, "Carla Rossi"!

 You do not need to be a Sherlock Holmes to see that someone is attempting to rewrite history, and fabricate evidence to support the newly invented version. (In case you are wondering, anyone -- including you, me, or Rossi -- can easily upload a book to have it included in Google Books: the instructions are here).


I love this next bit of "evidence"! In support of her contentions, she cites her "verified sources" like this:

"[Verified sources: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; Studj Romanzi, Academic Journal; Organisation pour la Protection des Manuscrits Médiévaux, Paris; TPC contacts]"

That is the equivalent of me writing "Peter Kidd is a genuis": "Verified Sources: Oxford University; Medium Ævum journal; The Peter Kidd Appreciation Society; the www.mssprovenance blog". Only an idiot would describe such things as "verified sources"!


In support of her own marvellous academic credentials she cites an old version of her Wikipedia page, from 2015 (not a more recent version of the page, such as this one, in which some of the plagiarism is discussed and footnoted).

It is suggestive to look at the names of the people who wrote most of the Wikipedia page: one is "ProfCarlaRossi" another is "dave93b". The only stated interest of "dave93b" on Wikipedia is music, so it is weird that he devoted so much effort to editing the Carla Rossi page, and it is probably just a coincidence that Rossi's husband is called David and runs a website dedicated to the musician Morrissey.

[Click to enlarge]

The bit I have highlighted at the bottom reads:

"Ho notato che la mia biografia su Wikipedia è stata recentemente alterata (non so chi si sia permesso di intervenire). Desidero che vengano citati dati di fatto e non illazioni (a quale scopo poi?). Grazie, Prof. C. Rossi"

i.e.:  the Wikipedia editor using the name "ProfCarlaRossi" claims that this is her own bio page, and signs herself as "Prof. C. Rossi".

It is also interesting to note that the Wikipedia editor using the name "ProfCarlaRossi" has been blocked by Wikipedia (this is a sanction usually used to limit the damage done by editors who vandalise Wikipedia pages and/or harass other editors):



"It is absolutely fake news that the center does not exist."

Rossi frequently claims that I have stated that her centre does not exist. This is simply untrue. I am sure the centre does, or did, exist as a legal entity with a premises in Lugano. I have seen persuasive evidence of this, and therefore I believe it. I have, however, pointed out that some of the claims made about its supposed London premises were false, and that several of the staff listed on the Receptio website are unlikely to be real people, as they have no online presence outside of Receptio, and even if some of them do exist, their portrait photos on the Receptio website were demonstrably (and entertainingly) false.


"the scholar was forced to defend herself against a plagiarism accusation leveled by blogger Peter Kidd, who claimed that technical terms such as “Annunciation,” “Deposition,” “Announcement to the Shepherds,” and other typical art historical nomenclatures used to define scenes depicted in miniatures are copyrighted by him as they are used on his blog."

Again, this is simply not true. Except perhaps with more fabricated "evidence", she cannot show that I have ever made such a claim, so I have no qualms about calling it a libellous lie.

Rossi has published online other lies that I can discuss and publicise -- and I will do so if she gives me reason to -- but this blogpost is already long enough.


Finally, I think it is worth underscoring a very important point. Rossi desperately wants to focus the narrative on me, because this is the only way to distract people from the most egregious examples of plagiarism, such as the article about Michelangelo that still appears under Rossi's name on the website of Zurich University. As demonstrated by the Dutch fact-checking site nieuwscheckers.nl, this 40-page article is almost entirely the work of two other scholars, one of whom is quoted as saying that 'Rossi's article is very largely the result of extensive, systematic, literal plagiarism of mine'.

But in addition to attacking me, she has an ongoing legal case against an Italian scholar who had the temerity to criticise some of Rossi's work on Twitter, and Rossi has also attacked online the Swiss National Science Foundation (from whom she received funding on several occasions), the Dutch fact-checking site mentioned above, the highly-respected Fragmentarium project, the Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America, and the authors of several articles and newspapers and journals that exposed or discussed her plagiarism. Basically, she lashes out at anyone who does not recognise that she is a "stable genius". Like Trump, she seems unable to accept good advice, to stop making provably-false claims, and stop trying to harass people using the legal system

6 comments:

  1. Peter, very sorry that you have to go through all this. In my own areas of literary research, I have also come across many very difficult people, who are clearly and demonstrably not who they pretend to be. In one case, a group consisting of an author (who uses a pseudonym), a lecturer and a political figure formed a group to spread disinformation in order to promote their own publications.

    In another, a person paid for peer review from a shill "peer generator" online "publisher", and then promoted their own work around the web using this false credit. They also use pseudonyms to falsely promote and "rate" their own output.

    This things are quite common, in many fields. And I have had to repel many lies and disinformation about myself... even, threats! It is crazy world out there, and these things are an unfortunate reality of life.

    Best of luck in your efforts to negate this slanderous campaign against you.

    Rich SantaColoma

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Peter,
    I am very sorry that you are having to deal with this affair at all. I can only emphasise that the whole story is definitely not about "you and her"; as many scholars have extensively documented, several of Rossi's works contain passages taken verbatim from various sources without crediting the respective authors; you are but one of many scholars whose work Rossi chose to use this way. All the other absurdities of the whole affair should not detract from this blatant breach of academic standards.
    Yours sincerely,
    Christof

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Mr. Kidd,
    Just the other day I was wondering what had happened to Prof. Rossi and now I know. It’s a shame that people like her, who are clearly in the wrong, refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Instead, they choose to try to denigrate the persons who point out their errors. I continue to support you and wish you the best.
    Kind regards,
    MariaTeresa Penna

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Mr. Kidd,

    I'm someone who followed ReceptioGate since it first started in late 2022. I had no idea Rossi was STILL going on with all of this and thought this had all been dropped, until today; I was informed two of my research streams and a video I made on Receptio were recently blocked in Italy due to a court order. I was stunned it took so long (I thought she would attempt to take them down earlier), but seeing that she's in a legal battle against an Italian scholar, it makes sense that they've been blocked in Italy now. You mentioned she stopped posting blogs after January 7th; it might've been because she is now pursuing this legally to some degree and has been advised to stop talking about this on her blog (This is just speculation).

    I think it's very silly of her to continue targeting you while ignoring all the other people pointing out the plagiarism. I've been reading her blog posts and other articles relating to ReceptioGate and she keeps mentioning you and you alone, sometimes one other person by name, but it's mainly focused on you. I'm really sorry you have to deal with this and that your name is being slandered. While I do not study manuscripts, I know it holds much importance and that your work is very important and impactful. I only hope that this year, this will be put to rest and you can continue life without fretting about Rossi.

    Ngā mihi (Kind regards),
    Tacey Fitzgerald

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Peter, I am very sorry that you are once again dealing with this nonsense. I would much rather read your immensely knowledgeable and exciting comments on provenances, collections, manuscripts and fragments with miniatures than comments on such unbelievable and brazen plagiarism and pseudo-scientific projects. PD Dr Rossi (the academic title of professor from Zurich seems to have "disappeared" from the university pages, and not without good reason; she is now a private lecturer again and her own page has no content, cf. https://www.mediaevistik.uzh.ch/de/personen/romanistik.html) and her great institute are an outgrowth of the crisis in the academic system, in which the search for funding, so-called third-party funding, is more about applications than results and it is apparently even possible to succeed with primitively falsified results.
    As someone who has been intensively involved with your, dear Peter, printed and online research for many years and has always benefited from it - scientifically, of course - it is completely incomprehensible how anyone who has only spent a few minutes travelling in the brave new Rossi world can even think of taking this nonsense seriously. Quare fremuerunt gentes, et populi meditati sunt inania? Surely this citation is also a genuine work of PD Dr Rossi ... Best regards Mark Mersiowsky, University of Stuttgart

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sir --
    All good wishes from a random person not associated with the field. It is a shame you have to deal with this painful nonsense. A thank you, as well, as I discovered your site through ReceptioGate, but since then I've learnt things about manuscripts that I didn't even know I was interested in!
    -- Eric C.

    ReplyDelete

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