Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

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Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by rjaguar3 » Wed May 20, 2009 3:33 pm

The examples have been cleared to post. All Platypus questions come from Kaneland's Varsity Tournament in 2008; all Questions Galore questions come from Wheaton North's Frosh/Soph Tournament in 2009.

PLATYPUS WIKIPLAGIARISM
1TR2: “What type of physical laws state that a particular measureable property of an isolated physical system does not change as the system evolves?
Wikipedia (“Conservation law”): “In physics, a conservation law states that a particular measurable property of an isolated physical system does not change as the system evolves.
3T12: “At its peak, his Hunnic Empire stretched form [sic] Central Asia into modern Germany.
Wikipedia (“Huns”): “The Hunnic Empire stretched from the steppes of Central Asia into modern Germany, and from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea”
3T13: “Located east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands…
Wikipedia (“Puerto Rico”): “Puerto Rico is…located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands.
4T18: “The surrender of Lord Cornwallis’s army to Washington and de Rochambeau caused the British government to negotiate an end to the Revolutionary War.
Wikipedia (“Siege of Yorktown,” http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?tit ... d=53720616): “The surrender of Cornwallis's army caused the British government to negotiate an end to the American Revolutionary War.


QUESTIONS GALORE WIKIPLAGIARISM
3T14: “This English author was gifted in mathematics, photography and making up fanciful stories.”
Wikipedia (“Lewis Carroll”): “…was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer.
6T10: “This American artist made solitude and introspection a vital theme in his paintings of American landscapes. Loneliness, emptiness, and stagnation of town life are seen in this realist’s work. He was an intensely private individual and once declared, ‘I don’t think I ever tried to paint the American scene; I’m trying to paint myself.’”
WebMuseum (http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/hopper/): “Thereafter, however, he gained widespread recognition as a central exponent of American Scene painting, expressing the loneliness, vacuity, and stagnation of town life. Yet Hopper remained always an individualist: ‘I don't think I ever tried to paint the American scene; I'm trying to paint myself.’”
7T13: “Known primarily by his last name, this artist was baptized with a series of names that honored saints and relatives: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito.
Wikipedia (“Pablo Picasso”): “Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Crispiniano de la Santísima Trinidad, a series of names honouring various saints and relatives.
8T5: “Connecticut's State Hero was part of a literary fraternity at Yale that debated topics in astronomy, mathematics, literature, and the ethics
Wikipedia (“Nathan Hale”): “The Hale brothers belonged to the Yale literary fraternity, Linonia, which debated topics in astronomy, mathematics, literature, and the ethics of slavery”
8T9: “This 19th-century, American artist came to define the popular image of the West in his paintings and sculpture. His subjects included cowboys, American Indians, and the military.”
Buffalo Bill Historical Center (http://www.bbhc.org/wgwa/remington.cfm): “The art of Frederic Remington defined the American West during his lifetime and played a major role in creating the popular image of the West that persists today. In both painting and sculpture, he portrayed the action and drama of the West. Remington's subjects, the military, the cowboy and the American Indian, centered on conflict.”
Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Wed May 20, 2009 6:24 pm

To be fair, I would be hesitant to call the Puerto Rico tossup plagiarism. Geographic location descriptions like that are hard to word differently. I can say that "East Lansing, MI is located east of Lansing, MI." Wikipedia also happens to say that "the city is located directly east of Lansing, Michigan." That does not make my statement plagiarism.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by rjaguar3 » Wed May 20, 2009 6:44 pm

squareroot165 wrote:To be fair, I would be hesitant to call the Puerto Rico tossup plagiarism. Geographic location descriptions like that are hard to word differently. I can say that "East Lansing, MI is located east of Lansing, MI." Wikipedia also happens to say that "the city is located directly east of Lansing, Michigan." That does not make my statement plagiarism.
When compiling stuff, I decided to go ahead and post marginal cases of plagiarism, figuring it would be best to put everything I have to the community.

In spite of this, there are still at least two clear-cut instances of plagiarism from both question providers. That alone is unacceptable.
Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by jonah » Wed May 20, 2009 6:52 pm

I agree that several of these cases are marginal at best. I also caught some plagiarism by Quillin's Questions when I was editing Jeff Price's Barrington Middle School tournament, both from Wikipedia (links were left intact) and a few other sources. I'll try to dig them up in a bit.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by jonah » Wed May 20, 2009 10:33 pm

jonah wrote:I agree that several of these cases are marginal at best. I also caught some plagiarism by Quillin's Questions when I was editing Jeff Price's Barrington Middle School tournament, both from Wikipedia (links were left intact) and a few other sources. I'll try to dig them up in a bit.
Here we go.

A bonus part under "Computer technology: Give the term for the following definitions that all belong with the letter 'E'."
Quillin's Questions: "[Part] 1. A way of coding information in a file or e-mail message so that if it is intercepted by a third party as it travels over a network it cannot be read." (answer: encryption)
A whole bunch of sites including this one define encryption as "A way of coding the information in a file or e-mail message so that if it is intercepted by a third party as it travels over a network it cannot be read."

In the same bonus:
Quillin's Questions: "[Part] 4. Program used for presenting graphics, audio and movies while browsing World Wide Web pages via a Web client program. Helper applications is another term for these" (answer: external viewer)
This document defines "external viewer" as a "Program used for presenting graphics, audio and movies while browsing World Wide Web pages via a Web client program. Helper applications is another term for these external programs."

In a bonus on forensic science:
Quillin's Questions: "[Part] 3. This process is the use of scientific methods, physical evidence, deductive reasoning, and their interrelationships to understand how a criminal act took place." (answer: crime scene reconstruction)
Wikipedia's article on "crime scene": "Crime scene reconstruction is the use of scientific methods, physical evidence, deductive reasoning, and their interrelationships to gain explicit knowledge of the series of events that surround the commission of a crime."

Same bonus:
Quillin's Questions: "[Part] 4. This science deals with the motion, behavior, and effects of projectiles." (answer: ballistics)
This page: "Ballistics...is the science that deals with the motion, behavior, and effects of projectiles" (the original question Quillin provided included the rest of the sentence from this page, but I've lost it)

I also distinctly remember a plagiarized art history question, but I can't find it.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed May 20, 2009 11:06 pm

It is ironic that the most obvious case involves the phrase "the ethics" being cut off.

Has anybody pointed these problems out to these writers? In Greg's case, I would be careful to limit any complaint to the one or two clear cases. Jonah's are all pretty obvious--it's hard to believe that a question on crime scene reconstruction would be worse than my imagination would make it.

If confronted, the writers could claim that they are following standards set by the New York Times, which no longer cares if its writers plagiarize.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by mlaird » Fri May 22, 2009 12:01 pm

I can't believe that Picasso question is real.

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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by at your pleasure » Fri May 22, 2009 3:01 pm

I can't believe that Picasso question is real.
For some reason this reminds me of the saw that "the teams that complain about ACF being too hard are the ones that submit questions on minor works of Selma Lagerloff". I suppose it's the same dynamic-people who (presumably) think pyramidal questions are boring write boring questions.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by rjaguar3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:32 pm

Questions Galore wrote: This African American woman founded her own hair care and cosmetics company in the early 1900s. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, she was the first female, black or white, to become a millionaire by her own achievements. Who was this successful entrepreneur ?
Wikipedia wrote: Her fortune was made by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women, under the company she founded Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. The Guinness Book of Records cites Walker as the first female who became a millionaire by her own achievements.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:16 am

rjaguar3 wrote:
Wikipedia wrote: Her fortune was made by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women, under the company she founded Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. The Guinness Book of Records cites Walker as the first female who became a millionaire by her own achievements.
I know it's Wikipedia we're talking about, but is the Guinness Book even a reliable source/encyclopedatic (or whatever that word is) to cite?
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by Howard » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:00 am

rjaguar3 wrote:QUESTIONS GALORE WIKIPLAGIARISM
3T14: “This English author was gifted in mathematics, photography and making up fanciful stories.”
Wikipedia (“Lewis Carroll”): “…was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer.
(Since nobody has mentioned it yet) this hardly seems like plagiarism. The question repeats "English author" and makes reference to photography and math (as does the wiki article), and referencing these items as facts is certainly fair game. Sentence structure is different as well.
rjaguar3 wrote:When compiling stuff, I decided to go ahead and post marginal cases of plagiarism, figuring it would be best to put everything I have to the community.
The problem with this is that the first post indicated it was plagiarism. I don't dispute that the other examples are plagiarized, nor do I dispute that those remaining examples are unacceptable, but failure to make your stance known in the original post is patently unfair. Effectively, you've claimed it was plagiarism and later said, "well, maybe it's plagiarism."

Considering that these posts have the potential to significantly hurt the business of the question providers, you'd be in a much better position to defend libel charges if you mentioned "marginal cases" in the original post or even just posted the facts rather than claiming plagiarism. The people reading these boards are rather intelligent and I'd surmise they'd be able to figure out on their own the point of the similar quotes.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by jonpin » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:06 am

rjaguar3 wrote:
Questions Galore wrote: This African American woman founded her own hair care and cosmetics company in the early 1900s. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, she was the first female, black or white, to become a millionaire by her own achievements. Who was this successful entrepreneur ?
Wikipedia wrote: Her fortune was made by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women, under the company she founded Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. The Guinness Book of Records cites Walker as the first female who became a millionaire by her own achievements.
Just because no one else has said it: This is not plagiarism, and to my eye it's not even close. Terrible question writing? Almost surely, especially if (as it appears) this is the entire question (love that terrifically useless "giveaway"). But using Wikipedia as a source (which I'm not disputing is a bad idea) is not automatically plagiarizing it. There's literally no part of the sentence other than the vital "first female" and "bec[o]me a millionaire by her own achievements" which are probably direct from Guinness (note for instance it says "Guinness Book of World Records, unlike Wikipedia). There's no evidence that the sentence was taken from Wikipedia, and if they did it's unclear how they could have paraphrased it MORE without removing the whole point.

You're being overzealous in your search for plagiarism.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by rjaguar3 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:23 am

You guys are right. I probably should retitle the thread.

The issue is that the Platypus stuff is unquestionably wikiplagiarism (except potentially the Puerto Rico question). The QG stuff is more of a pattern of lifting stuff from Wikipedia (using it as a reference source) as well as taking specific phrases from other websites (like in the Hopper question). Aside from the Hale question, I guess you're right, there really is no clear-cut plagiarism. However, there is a pattern of using unreliable sources and taking phrases from random sources without attribution. If someone can think of a way of succinctly expressing such behavior, I would be happy to retitle the post/thread.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by rjaguar3 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:24 pm

Here's another clear-cut case:
Questions Galore Lexington 5T1 wrote: This great thinker wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, and ethics.
Wikipedia's article on Aristotle wrote: He wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:30 pm

1% Rule (Internet culture) wrote:Here's another clear-cut case:
Questions Galore Lexington 5T1 wrote: This great thinker wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, and ethics.
Wikipedia's article on Aristotle wrote: He wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.

Wow. Do they know that Google exists?
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Re: Platypus Questions, Questions Galore, plagiarism, and you

Post by rjaguar3 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:43 pm

X-wing Rogue Squadron: Family Ties wrote:
1% Rule (Internet culture) wrote:Here's another clear-cut case:
Questions Galore Lexington 5T1 wrote: This great thinker wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, and ethics.
Wikipedia's article on Aristotle wrote: He wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.

Wow. Do they know that Google exists?
I think they don't think we know Google exists.
Greg (Vanderbilt 2012, Wheaton North 2008)

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