Sunday, October 16, 2011

This is why blogging is great?

A post at chicagomag by Whet Moser titled Kendra Marr, Plagiarism, and the Journalistic Ecosystem includes the text:

This is why blogging is great, but it's not like referring to the work that led you down a certain path is some newfangled 21st-century invention. It's the basis of most other forms of nonfiction, particularly academic work, which places a premium on integrating prior research. (...)
Nothing is stolen, information and work isn't unnecessarily duplicated, and the reader has a path of information to follow, connecting information instead of atomizing it. Don't reuse or recycle; reinterpret.

IPBiz notes that a lot of academics tend to avoid citing the prior research closest to their own work in an effort to suggest the novelty of their work. For example, see "Trolls on top?" or how not to cite relevant work?. While this a bit of a sport in academic work, the practice is a bit problematic in the patent world, wherein failure to cite the closest prior art can get one in trouble. [Note the Therasense case; Therasense v. Becton, Dickinson: the death of Rule 56?

Separately, in the Ohio University plagiarism problems, the work that was copied was (primarily) in the background sections of the Masters theses. The students were not copying as to their asserted original work, but they were copying as to prior research. At least, the prior research was accurately stated, albeit copied without proper citation. In the Glenn Poshard business at SIU, the summary of prior work was copied from a paper published before the relevant time claimed to be summarized. There was copying without attribution AND the copied text was not accurately represented (ie, time lapse problem).


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