Plagiarism?

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 10 2018 11:44 AM
Rick Ausdahl:
I don't agree however that there is such a thing as "accidental" theft.  All the definitions (Wink) I find regarding stealing/theft, make it clear the taking was done knowingly and with clear purpose
First, language isn't always precise. We talk about plagiarism as theft, but how can you STEAL someone's words? Stealing someone's idea is a little bit clearer, especially if you think in terms of someone's invention. Although the words "steal" and "theft" aren't always a 100% fit, they are often the closest words we have to describe what happens when someone plagiarizes another's work. And it is WORK. Someone labors to craft their ideas into words which convey a specific meaning. When someone else comes along and lazily changes a few words, they have leveraged the other's work for their benefit. If I were to walk by someone's house and see two pies in the window and help myself to some, I have leveraged their work to my benefit. In both cases the best word to describe it may be theft. Is plagiarism always theft? Some could argue so. Is theft always intentional? What if the lady I described was being truthful... she didn't mean to "steal" the fish sticks, she just absentmindedly put them in her bag and forgot to pay? The situation was always a hard one for me. I always thought highly of her and would never have thought her to be someone who would be inclined to steal.... but putting the fish sticks in your purse is pretty hard to explain away. The most challenging cases are when someone accidentally recalls something and writes it down thinking it is their own. I ran sound for a women's conference once and to be honest I can't remember who the speaker was. I do remember something she said (paraphrased): "When I hear a saying I like and decide I want to use it, the first time I retell it I say: 'Well you know, as so and so always says.' The second time I use the story I say, 'Well, as someone once said.' Whenever I use the story again I tell 'em, "Well you know, as I always say..." That form of plagiarism, however, is rarely "word for word." I guess I have gone off track, but my last point is that it isn't necessarily a contradiction to say that there has been "unintentional plagiarism." The writer may have remembered something which popped into his head while writing OR he may have been lazy and mixed personal notes with direct quotes. In either case the fish sticks are in the purse.

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Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 10 2018 12:55 PM

JT (alabama24):
Gary Osborne:
Is it a violation of the letter of the law?  Sure.  But is it really prudent?  I can't see how it would be.
That's because it wasn't YOUR work which was stolen!

How do you know it hasn't happened to me?

I'll just say this and let it go: If it were my work in question, and one sentence was lifted like the origina one cited by the thread creator, I would NOT be screaming, "Plagarism!" and looking to sue, get a book taken out of circulatio, or even get a footnote added in future printings.  That much I can assure you.  But to each his own.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 10 2018 2:51 PM

I didn’t say I would be screaming “plagiarism” or threatening to sue... I would not. Nevertheless we should be called to a higher standard in our ethics. 

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 10 2018 3:49 PM

Gary Osborne:

JT (alabama24):
Gary Osborne:
Is it a violation of the letter of the law?  Sure.  But is it really prudent?  I can't see how it would be.
That's because it wasn't YOUR work which was stolen!

How do you know it hasn't happened to me?

I'll just say this and let it go: If it were my work in question, and one sentence was lifted like the origina one cited by the thread creator, I would NOT be screaming, "Plagarism!" and looking to sue, get a book taken out of circulatio, or even get a footnote added in future printings.  That much I can assure you.  But to each his own.



No screaming, or threatening to sue, or anything else. I alerted the publisher - because were I the publisher I would want to know.

I am held to a higher standard than that, and I assume a great place like IVP wants to hold themselves to the same higher standard.

I was curious at first if it were plagiarism. That question has been settled - it is by my understanding and in accordance with the standard my seminary holds its academics to, definitely plagiarism.

Which left me disappointed. Not screaming. Not trying to get a book pulled. Calmly alerting a publisher I value and trust to a situation they should be aware of. Whatever they do from there my obligation is satisfied. The ball is in their court.

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Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 10 2018 4:22 PM

As I said, to each his own.  I'm simply offering my own opinion, which is that in the case you cited it's overkill to call out plagiarism.  Again, just my opinion.  But darned if I don't see similar type examples all the time in resources.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 10 2018 6:58 PM

Like R.T. Kendall’s Understanding Theology Vol. 3 — To mention something specific, his article on marriage. He quotes extensively and verbatim parts of the New Bible Dictionary by J.D. Douglas and he doesn’t give credit. Not a single footnote! Yet he presents it as if it were his own. He probably does that in all his 3 volumes of Understanding Theology. Sad, indeed!

I found out about it because I did a paper on marriage and quoted and credited the dictionary and then saw what Kendall had to say and it was exactly the same, but he didn’t credit the dictionary. Sad and dishonest but oh well!

DAL

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Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 11 2018 9:04 PM

I do not think it that amazing that two scholars independently defining a term such as “adoption” should both have one sentence that similar.  Take a group of 10 scholars and ask them to define a common term, and you could probably accuse at least five of them of plagiarism on one sentence or the other.  I think it is a bit of a stretch here.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 12 2018 8:46 AM

Heard back from them today.

In my initial email I asked to be put in contact with the apropriate person that would determine whether or not a thing is plagiarism.

God a reply from the editorial director. She said she would be the one to look into such things, and she'd be happy to evaluate it.

So I sent the quotes, book titles, and page numbers to her.

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 12 2018 8:48 AM

Michael Childs:

I do not think it that amazing that two scholars independently defining a term such as “adoption” should both have one sentence that similar.  Take a group of 10 scholars and ask them to define a common term, and you could probably accuse at least five of them of plagiarism on one sentence or the other.  I think it is a bit of a stretch here.



I mentioned this earlier in the thread - perhaps you missed it. I thought the same thing at first and looked it up in 20 resources that define adoption. Every single one of them was significantly different in word use. Except this one.

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Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 12 2018 4:39 PM

abondservant:

Denise:

Hmmm. I hope I don’t offend, but the example, I haven’t seen that unusual. I’ve seen pretty decent chunks of word-for-word, almost always between a commentary and monograph (different authors). I guess I’m a little comfortable with a little copying (not me of course)?

No offense taken.

It just surprised me. If I did that in a seminary paper I could be expelled at the discretion of the Dean. Post-graduation should plagiarism be discovered a students degree(s) can be revoked (for something turned into the school, not for something submitted for publication) pending re-attempting the class.

Here is my schools statement on Plagiarism (I left off the punishment though as it is already a lengthy quote).

Policy on Plagiarism
Students in attendance at (school name) are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity appropriate to a Christian lifestyle. Plagiarism and cheating in any form will not be tolerated.

Integrity requires that the Christian student conduct him or herself according to the highest academic standards. Plagiarism is a very serious offense because it is stealing. Not only does plagiarism steal from the original author, it also takes away from the student the opportunity to learn and grow in the way the assignment was intended to provide.

What is plagiarism?
Joseph Ribald defines plagiarism in this way: “Derived from the Latin word plagiaries (‘kidnapper’), plagiarism refers to a form of cheating that has been defined as ‘the false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind, and presenting it as one’s own’ ” (MLA Handbook, 6th ed. [New York: Modern Language Association, 2003], 66, quoting Alexander Lindey, Plagiarism and Originality [New York: Harper, 1952], 2). Plagiarism can be committed in a number of ways, four of which are highlighted here:

  1. Quoting one or more sentences verbatim without proper citation. This is the most obvious form of plagiarism. In addition, using unattributed direct quotations is a violation of US copyright law. Electronically cutting and pasting is easy to do, so it presents a definite temptation-especially if a deadline for an assignment is looming.
  2. Presenting the thoughts or ideas of another without proper attribution. Many students fail to realize that this practice is also plagiarism even if a student writes the summary himself. If one paraphrases the work of another, then he must give a proper citation.
  3. Borrowing without proper citation such things as an outline, an idea, or an approach to dealing with a problem that is unique to an author. This type of plagiarism often results from poor note taking on the part of the student.
  4. Using improper methods of citation. The student is responsible for learning the appropriate rules for citing sources and for following those rules throughout the paper. Ignorance of the rules of citation is not an excuse.

For other definitions of plagiarism and ways to avoid it see Robert A. Harris, The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism (Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing, 2001.) If there is a question as to whether a citation is necessary at a particular point, it is a good rule of thumb to include it. Very few papers are penalized for over-citing! In addition, help is available from professors, the Writing Center, and the Library regarding how to work with sources.

I have to agree.  If I am writing a paper for one of my college classes and I am even closely taking words, or for that matter, ideas FROM the words, of another, even if I do "scramble them up" a bit, I still put my source.  I'd rather OVER source credit than under source credit any day of the week.  It's always a better idea to be safe than sorry.  I've yet to have a professor complain that I over-cite!

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

www.cynthiafeenstra.net

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Ted Weis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 12 2018 6:23 PM

DAL:

Like R.T. Kendall’s Understanding Theology Vol. 3 — To mention something specific, his article on marriage. He quotes extensively and verbatim parts of the New Bible Dictionary by J.D. Douglas and he doesn’t give credit. Not a single footnote! Yet he presents it as if it were his own. He probably does that in all his 3 volumes of Understanding Theology. Sad, indeed!

I found out about it because I did a paper on marriage and quoted and credited the dictionary and then saw what Kendall had to say and it was exactly the same, but he didn’t credit the dictionary. Sad and dishonest but oh well!

DAL

If I remember correctly, Kendall's work was presented first as a sermon-lecture to his church, which then became the book. In a church setting, not citing a source might be OK, but when you then monetize it into a book in the public domain, it becomes plagiarism.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 12 2018 6:35 PM

Ted Weis:

DAL:

Like R.T. Kendall’s Understanding Theology Vol. 3 — To mention something specific, his article on marriage. He quotes extensively and verbatim parts of the New Bible Dictionary by J.D. Douglas and he doesn’t give credit. Not a single footnote! Yet he presents it as if it were his own. He probably does that in all his 3 volumes of Understanding Theology. Sad, indeed!

I found out about it because I did a paper on marriage and quoted and credited the dictionary and then saw what Kendall had to say and it was exactly the same, but he didn’t credit the dictionary. Sad and dishonest but oh well!

DAL

If I remember correctly, Kendall's work was presented first as a sermon-lecture to his church, which then became the book. In a church setting, not citing a source might be OK, but when you then monetize it into a book in the public domain, it becomes plagiarism.

 I think that’s what happened because they sure read like sermons! Nice work and very practical, but he could’ve given credit; especially, like you said, he’s making money off of the information.

DAL

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Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 12 2018 6:59 PM

I wonder how many of Faithlife's sermon collections would fare, since they were originally preached in a church setting?

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Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 13 2018 1:10 AM

Cynthia in Florida:

I have to agree.  If I am writing a paper for one of my college classes and I am even closely taking words, or for that matter, ideas FROM the words, of another, even if I do "scramble them up" a bit, I still put my source.  I'd rather OVER source credit than under source credit any day of the week.  It's always a better idea to be safe than sorry.  I've yet to have a professor complain that I over-cite!

I normally would agree with you about the tendency to "over cite" - however that becomes problematic when the college includes the citation element into the word count. Just as well that it has changed the citation standard to one that involves less 'words' in the text than its previous standard. (i.e. a change to APA from Chicago)

Personally I "cannot" see the academic value in penalising any citation usage in whatever form. Although I can see the need to include any foot-noting and end-noting where the content is actually adding to the ideas expressed in the paper submitted.

Shalom

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Jonathan Ray | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 13 2018 9:24 AM

Bobby Terhune:

I wonder how many of Faithlife's sermon collections would fare, since they were originally preached in a church setting?

Tim Keller would fare very well, since he frequently cites commentary and monograph sources in his sermons. He manages to do it in a way that does not sound stodgy.

John MacArthur would fare well too, as he often goes so far as to cite individual lexica (this is overkill IMHO).

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Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 14 2018 9:29 PM

Kevin A Lewis:

Cynthia in Florida:

I have to agree.  If I am writing a paper for one of my college classes and I am even closely taking words, or for that matter, ideas FROM the words, of another, even if I do "scramble them up" a bit, I still put my source.  I'd rather OVER source credit than under source credit any day of the week.  It's always a better idea to be safe than sorry.  I've yet to have a professor complain that I over-cite!

I normally would agree with you about the tendency to "over cite" - however that becomes problematic when the college includes the citation element into the word count. Just as well that it has changed the citation standard to one that involves less 'words' in the text than its previous standard. (i.e. a change to APA from Chicago)

Personally I "cannot" see the academic value in penalising any citation usage in whatever form. Although I can see the need to include any foot-noting and end-noting where the content is actually adding to the ideas expressed in the paper submitted.

Shalom

I see the issue.  My college does not count citations in word count.  However, if they did, I would still choose to over-cite.  Less word count in my paper is better than being accused of plagiarism and receiving an automatic F.  Further, my school has a one strike and you’re out rule on flagrant plagiarism, so I’d rather get a lower grade over word count than the later.

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

www.cynthiafeenstra.net

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 14 2018 11:17 PM

Plagiarism highlights also several problems in biblical scholarship:

  1. Too much scholarship is a mere rehash of what others have previously said. I find that there is much conformism, little original thinking and insight, and much paying dues by aligning with whatever is in vogue.
  2. There are too many publications on the same things. Seriously: how many different commentary series do we need? It seems endless.
  3. There are too many people working in the field. They need jobs and for that they need to publish often in competition with others and with tight deadlines. 

This is the sort of environment that makes plagiarism a glaring temptation. 

Coming from a different educational system, I was shocked to see how much biblical education was about collecting information from others ("research") which must then be organised and requires profuse citation. Back home, we were taught in high school modes of reasoning that approximate old Greek models of logic and rhetoric. The emphasis was not on rote memorisation of models or types of arguments, but on learning to think and articulate one own's response. This can become a problem if we think we can come up with well articulated answers that are not based on knowledge. So there is need for research but learning how to think and reflect is essential. 

In the pulpit, I see the same problem: many preachers/teachers cannot think for themselves. I am astonished how many describe as their own thinking what is nothing more than what everybody else is saying in popular or traditional terms, down to the very same expressions and exegetical myths. As a result, instead of constant learning and promotion of the same in the Church life, much is a rehash and again there is excessive dependence on sources (e.g., dependence on sermons by big shots to give ideas on how to preach a passage and figure out how it applies). Indeed, I would not be surprised if pulpit "plagiarism" was rampant (presenting as one own's insights what is essential cut and paste from others).

Lastly, one must not forget that a scholar is a "high-ranked" official in the world of spiritual education often regarded with much respect in their church circles and contributing in significant ways to shaping the thinking of pastors and lay people through publications. The fact that plagiarism is not rare (nor is it in seminaries and universities where "Christian" students prepare to become pastors, theologians, or scholars) tells also something about the ethical climate.

I know this is a bit off-track, but I do think that plagiarism is a reflection of deeper problems which we must all take to heart. One way to bring it back to Logos is to reflect on our own use of sources and personal ethics.

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 17 2018 7:51 AM

Cynthia in Florida:

Kevin A Lewis:

Cynthia in Florida:

I have to agree.  If I am writing a paper for one of my college classes and I am even closely taking words, or for that matter, ideas FROM the words, of another, even if I do "scramble them up" a bit, I still put my source.  I'd rather OVER source credit than under source credit any day of the week.  It's always a better idea to be safe than sorry.  I've yet to have a professor complain that I over-cite!

I normally would agree with you about the tendency to "over cite" - however that becomes problematic when the college includes the citation element into the word count. Just as well that it has changed the citation standard to one that involves less 'words' in the text than its previous standard. (i.e. a change to APA from Chicago)

Personally I "cannot" see the academic value in penalising any citation usage in whatever form. Although I can see the need to include any foot-noting and end-noting where the content is actually adding to the ideas expressed in the paper submitted.

Shalom

I see the issue.  My college does not count citations in word count.  However, if they did, I would still choose to over-cite.  Less word count in my paper is better than being accused of plagiarism and receiving an automatic F.  Further, my school has a one strike and you’re out rule on flagrant plagiarism, so I’d rather get a lower grade over word count than the later.



My college and seminary were the same way. They didn't count citations in word count, and at my undergrad program 1 strike and your out. At the seminary its apparently at the discretion of the professor. He/she has the ability to fail you for the assignment, fail you for the class, or expel you from the school without any further discussion with the deans.

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 17 2018 8:00 AM

Francis:
I do think that plagiarism is a reflection of deeper problems which we must all take to heart. One way to bring it back to Logos is to reflect on our own use of sources and personal ethics.


agreed. A friend of mine is an aspiring author, has been published, and was told if he wants to do well he must publish something every six months.

Too many sermons leave out citations, I agree.

I always say "author said (quote here) in book name. I think, scripture reference, explanation".

As to the difference in education, I agree. I spent some time in a few different countries and some of them were far superior.

Its a thing I've been disappointed with in my graduate program. I'm exposed to more and better sources, but the emphasis has been more on rote memorization than anything else. With the exception of an ethics class I took. It was QUITE good. Maybe one of the best classes I've taken.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 17 2018 8:00 AM

abondservant:

My college and seminary were the same way. They didn't count citations in word count, and at my undergrad program 1 strike and your out. At the seminary its apparently at the discretion of the professor. He/she has the ability to fail you for the assignment, fail you for the class, or expel you from the school without any further discussion with the deans.

Wow! Our 1-strike was a guy and a gal unchaperoned. Missing citations was a specific paper issue, unless egregious ... then off to the dean's office. For the professors, old missing citations was water under the bridge ... but a wrong Biblical interpretation, and they were nailed from the denomination (plus college, of course).  I remember 2 that got nailed. 


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