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Checking for plagiarism 
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I'm curious if anyone knows a good tool for checking WP articles for plagiarized content, specifically for Death in Jainism (T-H-L). I ran across it while trawling through AfD yesterday, and found an interesting comment:

Quote:
keep There are in fact references provided, but they are not in-line and do not provide page numbers. I don't think this is an essay so much as it is something written back in the days when the standards for article writing/referencing were a lot more lax. The topic is surely notable. Mangoe (talk) 17:22, 1 March 2013 (UTC)


I'm working on a potential blog entry about the difference between the old "crowdsourcing" days on WP compared to whatever you want to call it now, and how this might be one reason for the decline in recruitment and retention. This article might be a good example, but given that a huge section was added in one edit in 2010, I'm wondering if it might be scraped, or perhaps someone posting their paper. Could be either one, given the style of referencing.

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:22 pm
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The introduction is poorly written and incoherent. "Death in Jainism consist [sic] of a variety of concepts and reactions for the soul. Jainism considers death to be a mysterious event that can be experienced by ordinary souls and higher types of souls".

However, parts of the rest are written in a different, more intelligible and educated style, suggesting plagiarism (or a different author). The only way to detect plagiarism mechanically is via Google, and that only works when the source in online. It returned nothing.

SB_Johnny wrote:
I'm working on a potential blog entry about the difference between the old "crowdsourcing" days on WP compared to whatever you want to call it now, and how this might be one reason for the decline in recruitment and retention.


Sorry, what difference would be the reason for the decline in recruitment and retention?

[edit] Checking on the edit history, I was right that the introductory (incoherent) part had a different author. So where did the big edit from 2010 come from?

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:38 pm WWW
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I do but for the life of me I cant remember its name. It was oddly enough a web-based tool that 4chan users used to pick various types of media from small parts of photos/text/blurbs etc. They mostly used it to source porn. (I was using it to source cover art from sci-fi books.) It worked pretty well with text as well as pictures.

I will see if I still have the link when I have access to my main comp later tonight.


Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:44 pm
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Anroth wrote:
I do but for the life of me I cant remember its name. It was oddly enough a web-based tool that 4chan users used to pick various types of media from small parts of photos/text/blurbs etc. They mostly used it to source porn. (I was using it to source cover art from sci-fi books.) It worked pretty well with text as well as pictures.

I will see if I still have the link when I have access to my main comp later tonight.


This will not work when the source is not online, as with this case.

You have a clue in the edit itself, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?tit ... =332243696 , right at the bottom ('bibliography').

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:48 pm WWW
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Ah I've found it. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying (2003): A-K - Page 491. Some parts of books are not available to the main search engine. Yes, it's clearly plagiarised.

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:00 pm WWW
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Peter Damian wrote:
So where did the big edit from 2010 come from?

The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying.

Hence I have nuked it.

Google Books is probably the best tool we have for identifying plagiarism of this sort.

Edit: You just beat me to it!

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:02 pm WWW
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Hex wrote:
Hence I have nuked it.


Idiot. Now they will claim that crowdsourcing works. I used to publish errors all the time. People would follow my blog and correct them. Oh well.

(I still have a nice collection of stuff that I haven't published, which I am keeping for the book).

This does prove my general principle though, that some parts of Wikipedia are original and some are good, but the parts which are good are not original, and the parts which are original are not good.

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Last edited by Peter Damian on Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:06 pm WWW
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Hmm, well I wouldnt take it as granted parts of it might not be online somewhere. If it was quoted elsewhere extensively or lifted entirely from secondary source. But I thought the OU Press was pretty good at digitizing its stuff past/present?

If the sources are not online then there is no tool other thank shanks pony and a decent library.

-edit- Doh as I write this its already been found.


Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:07 pm
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Peter Damian wrote:
Hex wrote:
Hence I have nuked it.

Idiot. Now they will claim that crowdsourcing works.

I do hope that you meant that ironically, Peter.

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:55 pm WWW
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Hex wrote:
Peter Damian wrote:
Hex wrote:
Hence I have nuked it.

Idiot. Now they will claim that crowdsourcing works.

I do hope that you meant that ironically, Peter.


I rarely speak without irony.

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:33 pm WWW
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:D

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Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:56 pm WWW
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Hex wrote:
Peter Damian wrote:
So where did the big edit from 2010 come from?

The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying.

Hence I have nuked it.

Well, no big surprise there. The weird thing is that the account only made those 2 edits to that one article (no deleted contribs either). Why would someone do that? :blink:

I wonder if the article would have fared as well at the AfD without that section.
Hex wrote:
Google Books is probably the best tool we have for identifying plagiarism of this sort.

Ched from WP recommended this plagiarism checker.

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:05 pm
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SB_Johnny wrote:
Ched from WP recommended this plagiarism checker.

Those sorts of tools are very easy to fool. For example, checking against some of my own scholarly work...

Quote:
The Luftwaffe's medium-sized bombers were not sufficient to inflict the necessary damage that a strategic campaign supposedly required. This lack of heavy bombers was not the only handicap. -- Results: Plagiarism suspected - use links above to check


Quote:
The Luftwaffe's mid-sized bombers were insufficient to inflict the necessary damage that a strategic campaign supposably required. This lack of large bombers was not the only handicap. -- Results: No plagiarism suspected

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:10 pm WWW
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thekohser wrote:
SB_Johnny wrote:
Ched from WP recommended this plagiarism checker.

Those sorts of tools are very easy to fool. For example, checking against some of my own scholarly work...

Quote:
The Luftwaffe's medium-sized bombers were not sufficient to inflict the necessary damage that a strategic campaign supposedly required. This lack of heavy bombers was not the only handicap. -- Results: Plagiarism suspected - use links above to check


Quote:
The Luftwaffe's mid-sized bombers were insufficient to inflict the necessary damage that a strategic campaign supposably required. This lack of large bombers was not the only handicap. -- Results: No plagiarism suspected

Huh, so all it takes is a "wikignome" fixing grammar mistakes and off to the races.

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:12 pm
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SB_Johnny wrote:
I'm curious if anyone knows a good tool for checking WP articles for plagiarized content, specifically for Death in Jainism (T-H-L). I ran across it while trawling through AfD yesterday, and found an interesting comment:

Quote:
keep There are in fact references provided, but they are not in-line and do not provide page numbers. I don't think this is an essay so much as it is something written back in the days when the standards for article writing/referencing were a lot more lax. The topic is surely notable. Mangoe (talk) 17:22, 1 March 2013 (UTC)


I'm working on a potential blog entry about the difference between the old "crowdsourcing" days on WP compared to whatever you want to call it now, and how this might be one reason for the decline in recruitment and retention. This article might be a good example, but given that a huge section was added in one edit in 2010, I'm wondering if it might be scraped, or perhaps someone posting their paper. Could be either one, given the style of referencing.


This is a great topic.

The Norton case currently creeping towards a close at ArbCom had an enormous component of the "two Wikipedias" behind it. Some more or less "normal" 2005-style editing, an unattributed paste-in of an official church history from the web, for example, came back to bite him on the ass. ("Here is the official church history: <blockquote>")

You multiply scores of similar small infractions over time and get the volunteers at Contributor Copyright Investigations all pissed off over a massive pile of articles to review that will take 12 to 20 years to complete (based on current staffing and procedures) and first thing you know you've got a scaffold being erected to "cleanse the community" of a "serial copyright violator."

Like Norton or not — he's not my pal, I'm neutral on the topic — it's pretty much dirty pool to shut him out of Wikipedia due MOSTLY to changing site standards of acceptable work.

This is not to say he hasn't committed certain sins over the years or that he doesn't need some sort of restrictions or oversight, mind you. Only that the first reaction at WP is frequently to round up a lynch mob...

There is absolutely no doubt that much of the decline in editing relates to the way that in-line footnoting has become an essential part of acceptable editing practice. And that is fine.

RfB


Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:32 pm
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