In a previous post, I ‘d written about a well-known journalist plagiarizing content from a blogger. And it got me thinking about the basics of writing. In school you are taught the alphabet and as you become proficient in writing, you arrange those 26 letters into words, sentences, paragraphs, a blog post, article, research paper, and even a book. The ideas and content are individual and unique. We are not going to arrange the words in the exact same order. We might have the same topic in mind, but the execution of the content written, the arrangement and the paragraphs are never the same. Unless, you plagiarize someone else’s content word for word, paragraph by paragraph.
Such was the case in the last week when we were made aware of a local plagiarizing incident involving a university professor. If you are a PhD I expect for you to know that plagiarism is not ethical or moral. When your students hand in research papers, you do your due diligence to make sure they have not plagiarized content with out giving credit to the original author. If a student is caught doing this, it is considered unethical and can lead to expulsion or worse.
The Plagiarizing Professor
Too make a long story short, (you can go to the person’s blog post and see the many entries she made regarding this issue and how she reached out to various organizations in Puerto Rico) the person who had their content stolen had written her thesis several years ago about publicity titled, “Publicidad 3.0.” Recently she was going to start research on a similar topic. What she found was that in July of this year, a Professor who writes for a local newspaper, had plagiarized content from her thesis. (The blog post is in Spanish) Upon further research and gathering evidence of what happened to her, the blogger then wrote about this incident in her blog. She put links to his social profiles, personal blog, and newspaper article that was plagiarized with the same exact title as her thesis. She made the editors of the newspaper aware via emails, posting messages on Facebook on the newspaper’s page, and even tweeting to them.
When I started searching for information about the professor, someone (more than likely the professor or his lawyer) had deleted all of his social profiles. The newspaper also deleted the article in question and various other articles written by this professor from their digital newspaper but forgot that Google cached a copy of the article under the same title as the blogger’s thesis. During my research I came upon an article in the same newspaper that talked about plagiarism in the press and in blogs. Perhaps the professor should have read what his colleague learned at a local bloggers event concerning plagiarism. I also found a copy on Scribd of the original article that was not erased. When I went to search on the professor’s blog, it had also been deleted.
Do you see where I am going with this?
If one is innocent of plagiarism or copying content from someone else, why go to great lengths to try and erase your digital footprint, articles, and blog? Check the blog versus the article posted in the newspaper and you can come to a conclusion about this matter.
How can we help you with writing original content?
As I have pointed out previously, we write original content for several blogs and have done it for clients. As recently as March, we have been using original photos on all our blogs instead of going to Flickr Creative Commons, where some people who take photos allow other’s to use their images as long as credit is giving to them.
If you want peace of mind when it comes to following the rules of publishing online content for blogs, especially if you or your company want to start a company blog, we can coach you or offer training around this topic.
By brining you back to the basics of writing, we can then translate that into what is technologically acceptable and what is not. We can guide you through the many elements of the online eco-system. We will write a follow-up post about the basics of writing a blog post and how you should credit other sources including photos.
What do you think of this professor? Absent minded or just plain lazy?
Thanks to @BiancaEst for sharing the original information and post with us this past Saturday.