16 August 2012

could not help but write about it

I have read about the plagiarism of a blog which is an issue in the Philippines right now.

Read the links below:

This reminds me of a couple of major events in my research life when this also happened to me.

First was way back in the early 90s, when the results of my experiments were copied by another researcher for his paper. These were the results of part 1 of my trials which he was not at all involved. I did not even know him during this period. But later on during part 2 of my trials, he was involved a bit only. I have already graduated and working for a few months when his draft came out. My boss saw it that he copied my results and put them on a table in his paper. Without citing the source, i.e. my thesis. Maybe he thought since it was not published as a paper then he could use it and claim it as his own. The nerve. I was still a young researcher and so innocent that I was not so adamant about it. But my boss was. He talked to him and told him to either cite the source and give credit to me, or make me as a co-author. I as so gentle that time that I just told him to reference my thesis as his source. He is now a well-known person in his field but oh well ... what can I say?

The second one happened a couple of years ago. Somebody (within the project team based in another country) copied my work for her research paper. As I was reading the draft, the sentences were just so familiar, that I knew it was my own writing. I knew it so I brought attention to it. That person did not even apologise to me directly. And she had some other excuses, as if it was just a light matter. But the fact remained that she copied what I had written and considered it as her own. Maybe she thought she was more superior than I am and my written work was less important than hers, so she could copy it as much as she wanted. Oh well, there was no love lost. I lost my trust in this person. I am not sure now whether her written work is really her own or ...

Yeah, people say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I don't believe that.
We could not spend all the time watching out for those plagiarising our work. That is why there are rules on how to cite and quote articles and make references. We learned that even when we were at school. 

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