Plagiarism in packet submissions

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Birdofredum Sawin
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Plagiarism in packet submissions

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

I don't want to pre-empt any discussion of ACF fall, but I need to make an announcement regarding this year's submissions. The editors received multiple packets in which questions were plagiarized from packets previously used in other tournaments. In one case, an editor recognized a tossup as one that appeared in a packet on the Stanford Archive, after which further investigation revealed other questions from that round which had been copied from various packets available on the Internet. In another case, an editor recognized a submitted question as one he had played in practice only a few weeks before.

I don't want to call out the teams that submitted these packets, because for all we know the plagiarisms were committed by clueless freshmen unbeknownst to their teammates. In fact, we assume that this was the case. My point is rather to encourage everyone to make clear to the newer members of their teams that behavior of this sort is completely unacceptable. Editing a tournament is time-consuming enough without having to worry about whether the questions might have been plagiarized.

By the way, please note that I'm not referring to the problem with the Kentucky packet to which Seth Kendall alluded in one of his posts about the tournament. There's a big difference between submitting questions that one wrote oneself for earlier tournaments and failed to remove from one's files (which is understandable as an innocent mistake) and stealing questions from packets you find online (which is clearly not a mistake, but deliberate misconduct).

Andrew
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Birdofredum Sawin
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Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

I should add that while outright plagiarism is obviously wrong, it is also not a good idea to submit questions to tournaments that were previously submitted to (but not used at) a different tournament. Even if you are fairly certain that none of the editors for the first tournament will be playing at the second, you can't know who might have seen the questions. Editors routinely run things by people who aren't officially associated with their tournament, but who might have helpful input to offer. My point in my previous email was to distinguish an innocent error (accidentally or absent-mindedly submitting questions to a tournament which you've previously sent off to another tournament) from an act of plagiarism (which is neither innocent nor an error). Now my point is: You shouldn't do either of these things.

Andrew
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