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Authorship and Plagiarism
Feb 5 2013, 12:47 am
By: ubermctastic  

Feb 5 2013, 12:47 am ubermctastic Post #1



I've got some questions for everyone for the purposes of my research assignment.
As the title implies I'm writing about authorship and plagiarism, (mostly relating to education) and I thought you guys might be able to help me out.

This can be a discussion, but I'd also like all of your personal ideas and answers to the questions. (Don't just google definitions please)




Questions:


1) What kind of writing have you ever done? Schoolwork only? Personal writing?


2)
a) What do you think an author is?
b) What is authorship?
c) What is an author supposed to be?

3)
a) What's plagiarism?
b) Why is it considered bad?
c) How should it be handled?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Feb 5 2013, 12:53 am by ubermctastic.



None.

Feb 5 2013, 12:58 am Sacrieur Post #2

Still Napping

Quote
1) What kind of writing have you ever done? Schoolwork only? Personal writing?

I've written a very numerous things, documentation and technical manuals all the way through epic poetry.


2a) What the dictionary says an author is. A person who authors a work.

2b) Based on what I know about similar words (showmanship, sportsmanship), I would say it means the qualities of being an author.

2c) I'm really good with the dictionary on this bit. It seems to handle the job quite nicely, far be it from me to disagree.


3a) If I remember correctly, as per the definition, it's using a creation (whether it be a work of art, literature, or scientific inquiry) and (knowingly) falsely attributing it to oneself.

3b) It's intellectually dishonest; but perhaps more Hobbesian, it allows us to function as a society.

3c) How should what be handled? Plagiarism? On a case by case basis I suppose. There are different factors involved that would cause someone to plagiarize, and not all of them necessarily bad. The ends to justify the means and all that jazz.

---

Thoughts:

Plagiarism really is just a short cut. You haven't actually learned or gained any knowledge or skills, and it will be a disservice later in life. Further, I have to say that in order for society to function well, we need to have plagiarism as something that is culturally unacceptable.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Feb 5 2013, 1:06 am by Sacrieur.



None.

Feb 5 2013, 1:19 am Roy Post #3

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

Quote from ubermctastic
1) What kind of writing have you ever done? Schoolwork only? Personal writing?
By writing, do you mean handwriting, or does typing count?

If just handwriting, I don't think I've done much beyond filling out paperwork or signing receipts since college.

Typing is another matter. I type here, for one, and I write emails all the time (particularly for work). Writing code probably isn't what you're asking for, but I also do that.

As far as creative writing, I fear I limit myself to only the mafia games I host on this forum. It's fun, but I do it because for the community more than for just myself.

Quote from ubermctastic
2a) What do you think an author is?
Sounds like a loaded question. I assume you want me to say someone who writes something. And really, that's what I'm going to say. Be it a fictional story, a grocery list, or a piece of software: the author is the one who creates it.

Quote from ubermctastic
2b) What is authorship?
A boat you receive when you become an author. The qualities that make someone an author of something.

Quote from ubermctastic
2c) What is an author supposed to be?
An author isn't supposed to be anyone in particular except one that fits the definition of author (because otherwise they wouldn't be an author). No other requirements are necessary.

Quote from ubermctastic
3a) What's plagiarism?
Taking someone else's work and claiming it to be your own.

Quote from ubermctastic
3b) Why is it considered bad?
It's considered bad in terms of morality. It's a lie, which is normally perceived negatively. It could also be considered theft of intellectual property, and theft is considered bad by most.

Quote from ubermctastic
3c) How should it be handled?
Legally speaking, it should be handled as a civil court case. The prosecution would be the wronged author, and the defendant would be the accused plagiarizer. If it's been determined that plagiarism took place, the author should receive some form of compensation (likely monetary) for any loss caused by the act.

For academic purposes, the plagiarizer should not be credited with the stolen work as their own. Any plagiarized content should be treated as a cited source as opposed to any work on the particular assignment or activity (meaning if they plagiarized their entire paper, none of it should actually be counted as work). A more extreme approach would be disqualifying the entire assignment, though I wouldn't consider that to be objectively fair.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Feb 5 2013, 1:26 am by Roy.




Feb 5 2013, 4:23 pm Fire_Kame Post #4

Stupid babies need the most attention

Quote
1) What kind of writing have you ever done? Schoolwork only? Personal writing?

I've written poetry but prefer prose, usually hard sci fi or high fantasy. I've also written scripts, but I really suck at that...Devlin's the one that's good at that. I wrote quite a bit through college that were more technical in nature such as marketing proposals, business plans, strategic policies, and now I write a great deal of formal documentation for the company I work for.

Quote
2)
a) What do you think an author is?
b) What is authorship?
c) What is an author supposed to be?

An author is someone who develops the content of their work and creates it. Authorship is not a term I am familiar with but sounds legally muddled. The only context I know it in is in patent work, where the person that invented the patented object might be different than the person that wrote the patent itself. From that standpoint the only thing an author should be is translating inventor-speak into legal-speak. In a more romantic term with stories the author should be responsible for the moral of their work if there is one, for concisely and correctly conveying the material and for properly engaging their audience. This is still really vague because it relies heavily on the type of work the author is doing.

Quote
3)
a) What's plagiarism?
b) Why is it considered bad?
c) How should it be handled?

Plagiarism is defined by the law, and as it is illegal it is considered by social standards to be bad. If society determines plagiarism to be different, than the law should redefine it. (on that note, new patent laws go into effect in like two weeks). Plagiarizers should be held liable for whatever punishment is applicable by law.


Quote
What are your thoughts on the subject?

Personally I think you're looking for a very subjective/personal/emotionally driven response to questions defined by law without driving the correct questions to support or to change said laws. :bleh:




Feb 6 2013, 1:10 am ubermctastic Post #5



I guess I should have specified, I was mostly concerned with academic writing, not so much the broader legal issues like copyright etc.
Quote from Sacrieur
Thoughts:
Plagiarism really is just a short cut. You haven't actually learned or gained any knowledge or skills, and it will be a disservice later in life. Further, I have to say that in order for society to function well, we need to have plagiarism as something that is culturally unacceptable.

I agree with you on this. Plagiarism is basically cheating. Academically, this can range from paraphrasing without proper citation to buying papers online.
Unfortunatly in American schools today, students are often taught to plagiarize work when they are given questions in textbooks and required to rewrite the answers that the book already gave.
This brings the question: who owns this information? Obviously using the exact words from a textbook is plagiarism, but the math, writing, historical, concepts taught within the texts are clearly within the public domain. One cannot own the American Civil War.







Quote from Roy
By writing, do you mean handwriting, or does typing count?
I'm mostly concerned with compositional writing. The medium of writing is not quite as important as the "work" being created.

Quote from Roy
Quote from ubermctastic
2a) What do you think an author is?
Sounds like a loaded question. I assume you want me to say someone who writes something. And really, that's what I'm going to say. Be it a fictional story, a grocery list, or a piece of software: the author is the one who creates it.
I like this. In the broadest sense an author is simply the creator of something. Does the author have to be the one that puts the pen to paper? Creation only requires an idea. This is why paraphrasing without giving credit is considered plagiarism.

Quote from Roy
Quote from ubermctastic
3a) What's plagiarism?
Taking someone else's work and claiming it to be your own.
Quote from ubermctastic
3b) Why is it considered bad?
It's considered bad in terms of morality. It's a lie, which is normally perceived negatively. It could also be considered theft of intellectual property, and theft is considered bad by most.
You and sac agree on what it is, but you both gave different reasons. I think that's interesting.

Quote from Roy
For academic purposes, the plagiarizer should not be credited with the stolen work as their own. Any plagiarized content should be treated as a cited source as opposed to any work on the particular assignment or activity (meaning if they plagiarized their entire paper, none of it should actually be counted as work). A more extreme approach would be disqualifying the entire assignment, though I wouldn't consider that to be objectively fair.
So you are saying that you think students should still be given credit for the work that they did legitimately if it's not entirely plagiarized. I actually like this concept. This would discourage plagiarized work, but still encourage the correct behavior. Would you mind if I quoted you in my assignment?








Quote from Fire_Kame
An author is someone who develops the content of their work and creates it. Authorship is not a term I am familiar with but sounds legally muddled. The only context I know it in is in patent work, where the person that invented the patented object might be different than the person that wrote the patent itself. From that standpoint the only thing an author should be is translating inventor-speak into legal-speak. In a more romantic term with stories the author should be responsible for the moral of their work if there is one, for concisely and correctly conveying the material and for properly engaging their audience. This is still really vague because it relies heavily on the type of work the author is doing.

In the case with the invention, are you saying that the lawyer would be the author of the legal document, and the inventor is the author of the invention itself? I'm not sure if the person writing the document should be considered an author, as they are just translating the information.C

Quote from Fire_Kame
Plagiarism is defined by the law, and as it is illegal it is considered by social standards to be bad. If society determines plagiarism to be different, than the law should redefine it. (on that note, new patent laws go into effect in like two weeks). Plagiarizers should be held liable for whatever punishment is applicable by law.
Well the law is the final say. There's no arguing with that.
I do disagree with you on one thing though. While the law might have a definition for plagiarism, the definition is only for legal use. The United States government also legally defined pizza as a vegetable, and we both know that's not true.

Quote from Fire_Kame
Personally I think you're looking for a very subjective/personal/emotionally driven response to questions defined by law without driving the correct questions to support or to change said laws. :bleh:
That's probably my fault, I didn't mean for this to be a legal conversation, but your feedback is still helping me fully explore the topic so thanks :)



None.

Feb 6 2013, 1:38 am Roy Post #6

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

Quote from ubermctastic
Quote from Roy
For academic purposes, the plagiarizer should not be credited with the stolen work as their own. Any plagiarized content should be treated as a cited source as opposed to any work on the particular assignment or activity (meaning if they plagiarized their entire paper, none of it should actually be counted as work). A more extreme approach would be disqualifying the entire assignment, though I wouldn't consider that to be objectively fair.
So you are saying that you think students should still be given credit for the work that they did legitimately if it's not entirely plagiarized. I actually like this concept. This would discourage plagiarized work, but still encourage the correct behavior. Would you mind if I quoted you in my assignment?
Not at all! I think the reason a student's work is normally disqualified in its entirety is because it has been proven that part of it has been plagiarized, and there's no way to tell without thorough research (which most teachers likely lack the time and resources to perform) on what else in the work has been plagiarized as well. It would create an environment of rewarding those that plagiarized from many sources to increase the chance getting partial credit if one source is compromised.

We can agree with the more extreme approach for the sake of practicality while simultaneously recognizing that it's not objectively fair.




Feb 6 2013, 4:22 pm Fire_Kame Post #7

Stupid babies need the most attention

Quote
Well the law is the final say. There's no arguing with that.
I do disagree with you on one thing though. While the law might have a definition for plagiarism, the definition is only for legal use. The United States government also legally defined pizza as a vegetable, and we both know that's not true.

I will be the first to say laws need to be changed to be support content creators (which in my opinion is the biggest problem with the plagiarism laws), but it is the only way to determine what plagiarism is and isn't. There is a large amount of plagiarizing going on today or everyday. When someone sells or gives (in the case of pirating) away a copy of something they are representing that the own the rights to do so. When a five year old traces a picture of a Tell-a-Tubby and tells all his five year old friends that it is his creation he is misrepresenting the content. But do they all get persecuted? No; and that is also because the law puts the burden on the content owner to take legal action. Many times no legal action is taken. If I remember correctly this is one of the things that made SOPA so dangerous - it took that burden off of the content owner and put it back on the government/other agencies that were in no position to make that decision.

Long story short, plagiarizing will happen, but ninety percent of the law is interpretation. So I do think that law is sovereign on this topic.




Feb 8 2013, 5:31 am rockz Post #8

おやすみの敗者

Quote from ubermctastic
1) What kind of writing have you ever done? Schoolwork only? Personal writing?
I hate to write. I make pretty good guides and instructions though because I care how things look, and I like to keep things as simple and concise as possible. This becomes difficult sometimes when talking about complex things unfortunately.
Quote from ubermctastic
a) What do you think an author is?
b) What is authorship?
c) What is an author supposed to be?
a) a useful way to track a resource
b) a waste of time
c) my opinions on this matter are split because "supposed" can either mean what I think personally or what I know from society. Personally I wish content was graded on its own merit rather than grouped into authors.
Quote from ubermctastic
a) What's plagiarism?
b) Why is it considered bad?
c) How should it be handled?
a) being stupid
b) because it is not original, thoughtful, or worth anything. Since generally plagiarism replaces one author with another author, it defeats the purpose. I don't have much of a problem with plagiarism if it is anonymous
c) with contempt and by pointing it out and making fun of the person

Quote from ubermctastic
What are your thoughts on the subject?
I am against most forms of licensing and authorship. when I make something, I don't necessarily want my name on it. If it's good, then people will like it. If it's bad, then people won't like it. I don't necessarily want my name or reputation to affect the outcome of any situation. However, my stance is somewhat contradictory because I understand the concept behind an author. It is most certainly useful that Samuel Clemens wrote his books under Mark Twain so that the "author" could be tracked, categorized, and organized properly. Had he kept the pen name a secret, it would have been even better. I also recognize that I'm probably going to enjoy TV shows/movies directed by JJ Abrams or Joss Whedon or any book in the ender's game series.



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