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Re: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?

by jcoxen (Deacon)
on Oct 07, 2006 at 01:43 UTC ( #576775=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?

If...

  • the evidence is irrefutable
  • it is not the result of a frame-up
  • there is a consensus of Monks of high rank (rank to be determined)

I would recommend...

  • the offenders lose all accumulated rank and XP
  • their accounts be deactivated for a minimum of 30 days
  • that the offenders be shunned (not allowed to post) for 90 days

Basically, strip them of everything and make them start over scratch. If they reform and behave themselves, welcome them back into the fold. If no remorse is shown or if there is a repeat offense, cancel their accounts.

Just my opinion...

Jack


Comment on Re: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Oct 07, 2006 at 01:47 UTC

    Seconded in every detail.


    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    Lingua non convalesco, consenesco et abolesco. -- Rule 1 has a caveat! -- Who broke the cabal?
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by Joost (Canon) on Oct 07, 2006 at 02:33 UTC
    I generally don't really care about the copying of code/posts as long as the content is interesting (and prefererably attributed)... but... as perlmonks is more or less a finite resource of feedback & help for the general public and the posters mentioned also have a tendency to do "drive by posting" - i.e. post stuff they quite obviously don't understand and/or aren't interested in - I would have to agree.

    As far as the specific sanctions, I would say just disable the accounts. It's probably as effective and a lot less work, since anyone can start a fresh account to get around any other sanction.

    Also, a tip to anyone engaging in this kind of useless posting (if you want to get away with it): using "perl" as part of your name makes you look clueless. Perl is what this board is about. Adding the word to your name doesn't add any information.

Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by bobf (Monsignor) on Oct 07, 2006 at 05:42 UTC

    If the three conditions you outlined were met, I would recommend:

    • posting a link within the thread to the original source
    • dropping the node rep to 0 if it were positive (or leaving it as-is if it were negative)
    • assessing a 10 XP penalty to the OP
    • appending "(plagiarised)" to the title of the node (not the whole thread) (yes, I know it is currently possible for the OP to edit it)

    I think it is important to target only those nodes that were plagiarised - not every post ever written by the OP. This would specifically discourage the negative behavior and make the Monastery's response feel less like an unrestrained personal attack. It may also make it less likely that the OP simply create a new account and continue the behavior under a new nick. If a significant pattern of plagiarism was found (as in this case), then a graded progression of consequences (including locking out/deactivating the OP's account) could be considered.

    Finally, I agree with what Joost said: reposting interesting questions or answers from other sources is (in general) fine "as long as the content is interesting (and prefererably attributed)" (emphasis mine).

    Just my $0.02

      "I think it is important to target only those nodes that were plagiarised - not every post ever written by the OP."

      In principle, yes. But.....

      Given that it's quite evident that they've been doing this as an attempt to accumulate XP, then I think the most appropriate response is to take away from them what they seem to desire most - their precious XP. Not in one fell swoop by an act of the god's - but bit by bit by the community as a whole, as we demonstate to them that we simply will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.

      Your $0.02, and I raise you $0.02 ;)

        There are two issues at stake here: what we (as a community) should do about the present situation, and what we should do about future posts that are found to be plagiarised. I was trying to generalize the discussion and propose a set of actions that could be described in the site FAQs and applied to future posts.

        Not in one fell swoop by an act of the god's - but bit by bit by the community as a whole, as we demonstate to them that we simply will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.
        I agree completely.

        Your $0.02, and I raise you $0.02
        /me folds

      Node rep / XP penalty calc:
      After node has been 'considered' plagiarised:
      Node Rep = - Abs(Node Rep) Author XP -= Abs(Node Rep)
      Any future votes for the node bring down the node rep.
Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by liverpole (Monsignor) on Oct 07, 2006 at 14:40 UTC
    jcoxen++,

    Very good suggestions; I wouldn't have a problem with any of them.

    I also want to strongly applaud your first "if":  [if] the evidence is irrefutable.

    In the case of jesuashok and madtoperl, the evidence is irrefutable, as anyone who reads any of the pirated material will quickly see.  But I'm glad you make the point, because it might not always be so obvious, and I would hate for anyone innocent to be unjustly accused of plagiarism, just because something they posted was coincidentally close to existing code or commentary, or because they had reposted their own work here at Perlmonks.

    Ironically, this is exactly what jesuashok accused TwistedRaisin of doing, in this thread in the Perl Poetry section, saying "I found this same poem in twistedraisin".   Clearly, of course, it's the same author in both cases, but such a fact might not always be so obvious, and even if we are quick to suspect plagiarism, we should be slow and methodical before accusing, lest we falsely condemn.

    As far as code is concerned, it's very easy to coincidentally write similar or even identical code, especially if the code fragment is short, contains common/standard variable names, etc.  We shouldn't assume a subroutine has been pilfered, for example, just because it bears the same name as the original.

    So I would urge caution in looking for plagiarism.  SamCG was appropriately careful in the way he handled his concerns about madtoperl's first poetry submission, asking simply "It's very remniscent of listen a lovely poem by Sharon Hopkins. Have you read it?"

    Let's all be equally careful not to falsely accuse.


    s''(q.S:$/9=(T1';s;(..)(..);$..=substr+crypt($1,$2),2,3;eg;print$..$/
Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Oct 08, 2006 at 17:40 UTC
        Basically, strip them of everything and make them start over scratch.

    I'd add one more thing: reap the node and mark in the comments about the reaping that it was because of plagiarism.

    The stocks and pillary might not be a bad idea as well! :-D


    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by DrHyde (Prior) on Oct 10, 2006 at 10:08 UTC
    I disagree quite strongly. You have to remember that XP for users is not important. Votes for nodes *are* important. If plagiarised nodes have got good votes, then that is an indication that the nodes are good. They should keep their votes, so that other users can see "ooh, lots of + votes, I'll pay attention to this good advice". Doesn't matter if it was copied, it's still good content.

    I suggest that if you think a node is plagiarised and if you can be bothered, notify the author it was copied from. They can then post a note in the thread pointing out where it was copied from if they care. Getting heavy will be pointless as they can just create new accounts and will probably whine and bitch and generally annoy people.

    As for the suggestion that others have made that they've probably done this to get a good reputation - well, it hasn't worked. I'd not heard of either of 'em until this thread started and I'm sure I'll have forgotten their names in a few minutes. At least for me, posters' reputations here depend not just on what they post here, but also on their behaviour and posts in other places.

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