Taking responsibility for plagarism

Its nice to see SqlServerCentral taking responsibility and dealing
with plagarism in a straight-forward manner. Hopefully something bad is
happening to Kalpesh Thaker, the mentioned plagarist.

I would like to personally and on
behalf of Andy, Brian, and SQLServerCentral.com apologize to Ken
Henderson for publishing his work without credit.

It’s a big statement, but one that I feel needs to be made.
Recently I received a couple of emails from concerned members of the
SQLServerCentral.com community. It seems that an article that we
published in January was plagiarized from Ken Henderson’s The Guru’s
Guide to Transact SQL. As I was on vacation, I couldn’t deal with it
for a few days, and I needed to find my copy of the book to check the
allegation. Before I could, Mr. Henderson emailed and confirmed just
that.

I promptly removed the content and put a placeholder up there
instead, noting there was a copyright issue. I then contacted Ken and
he confirmed that two other articles submitted by Kalpesh Thaker were
also plagiarized from his books and I removed them as well.

I am truly sorry that this happened and there is no excuse to be
made. I do not check the submissions we receive against any type of
full text search to see if they have been copied and I’m not sure that
I can, but I thought that this release could serve two purposes.

First, a public apology to Ken Henderson for having his work out there for months without credit being given.

Second, I would like to let the community know what has
happened. I’m hoping that you who read these articles will keep an eye
out for this horrible practice of copyright violation. Since many of
you are reading more SQL books than I, or perhaps more recently reading
them, you’ll be in a better place to spot this than I.

With the explosion of the Internet, the growth of SQL Server,
and quite a few new book publishing companies, including ours, it’s
difficult to track down plagiarism. It’s also created opportunities for
many more people to write and publish works themselves. This means that
many more people are out there creating articles and books than ever
before.

However publishing something carries a responsibility as well.
If you put your name on something, it needs to be your original work.
Rewriting someone else’s work is acceptable only if you have added
additional value and substantially changed their work. If I wanted to
write my own “Internals” book, the language would need to be my own.
The chapters would be what I decided and they shouldn’t mirror what
Kalen Delaney wrote.

The same thing applies here. The author said that Mr. Henderson
had done a better job of writing, so he just used what was in Mr.
Henderson’s book. That’s not only illegal, it’s very immoral. You are
misrepresenting yourself and your knowledge as well as infringing upon
someone else’s work. If you didn’t write it, don’t take credit for it.

I offer no excuses for what happened and if there is anything that I can do to prevent it in the future I will.

Steve Jones

Steve mentions about doing full-text searches.  I’ve read in
the past that colleges are doing this type of very thing to fight
plagarism and duplicated term papers and essays submitted by
students.  But what kind of resources are required?  What
type of matches are required?  Is it a ratio of matched
words:total words per page when doing searches?  What qualifies as
plagarism?  Total complete copies, or do partial copies
qualify?  If partial copys qualify, what is the percentage of
copied material that qualifies text as plagarism?

These are questions I’m asking myself and would like your
input.  What type of plagarism search solutions are out
there?  I’m sure some of you in CS departments might be more
aware, since I know that there are colleges that check this kind of
stuff.  What can be done from SqlServerCentral’s capabilities to
help them out to avoid these types of things in the future?  How
are other publishing companies dealing with this?  If you’re a
book author, how does your publisher, like Wrox, check for plagarism?

I occasionally post code, like this one here,
that I didn’t write.  But I never, ever fail to mention who the
author is.  I don’t understand the purpose in taking credit for
somebody else’s work.  I would not like somebody else taking
credit for my work, although I don’t go out looking to see if it
happening.  Not a big deal to me if somebody copies my stuff, but
yeah, I would like credit where credit is due.

Some topics, code samples etc are fairly generic, and have been
written the same way by 100s of people.  Those don’t really
count.  Aircode shouldn’t
count.  Articles, complex pieces of code, like the sql example I
gave, those should definately count as having been either original work
of your own, or have credit given to the original authors ora
bibliography or footnotes associated with them.

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