This post is about plagiarism in Malaysia and also how to check for copied content online.
The other day I received an email from Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) regarding so-called inappropriate and abusive content posted on this blog.
You can read the email below:
I have the so-called inappropriate and abusive content REMOVED and replaced with an apology to my invaluable and supportive readers.
When these two posts were published, my traffic spiked sky-high for a few days that month.
Plagiarism In Malaysia
Frankly there was nothing new or ground-breaking in those two blog posts.
They were merely a simple write up based on the articles from uppercaise site.
As for the copyrighted photos, I have them removed too and replaced them with my own copyrighted images.
Then I received a reply from Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) as shown below:
Well, as I have just said, that two blog posts were actually based on stories exposed in uppercaise.wordpress.com.
Anyway, I did not copy word-for-word from the original source.
Like any other sensible and law-abiding person, I cited my sources and most willingly linked them back to the site mentioned.
Unlike Dawn Jeremiah, I would never forget to link my blog posts back to the original source.
Later on, The Star Dawn Jeremiah did so-called apologized via her Facebook posting.
She called the exposed plagiarism as “allegation“.
Dawn Jeremiah even defended the whole incident as not an “intention“, but an “oversight” for not citing the sources!
We all know that writing a good and original article is no easy job.
These days, many (even established writers) have resorted to plagiarism.
We all have read about Fareed Zakaria‘s case where he admitted and apologized that he plagiarized parts of a New Yorker article in a recent column for Time as reported in nytimes.
Then there was this self-plagiarism by an author of three books, and now-former New Yorker staff writer Jonah Lehrer.
Do you know in January this year, there was this funny plagiarism case where Anthony Albanese, leader of the Australian House of Representatives?
He was was caught lifting a passage from a speech given by Michael Douglas in the 1995 film “The American President“.
For example, if I want to write an article on how to go about looking for a perfect home.
And while doing my research, I find there is this informative and original 892-word content in The Star online page entitled “Finding your perfect abode” written by Dawn Jeremiah.
Well, if I really want to use some of the points in her article, I would surely cite and quote my source as from The Star or put out a proper link back to: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/4/21/central/11147166&sec=central
And if I want to use some tips by C.E.Wolfe from Yahoo! Voices, I would mention the writer’s name and also a link back to the original source here.
Common sense and integrity tell me that I should never sneakily or blatantly lift some portions in verbatim from either Dawn Jeremiah or C.E.Wolfe’s work.
People would label me as a low down plagiarizer or plagiarist.
But if I would to quote and cite my sources, my readers would happy to say that I was generous to share good stuff around.
You don’t simply lift content from articles published elsewhere, then after having exposed, you just merely apologize for not having cited any source for your articles.
Interestingly, here is a letter “Putting a stop to plagiarism‘ which was published in The Star (Opinion) on the 5th June 2011.
In this cyber-age, those young folks who are in the writing business should know damn well that people can find out about your copied work.
Duplicate Content Checkers Online
One simple way is just copy a few lines of the content (within double quotes) and paste it on the Google browser search box.
Click Google Search or hit Enter keyboard button.
If that few lines are already available online from an original source, instantly it will appear right before your eyes.
The popular method is the use of Copyscape to check for plagiarism.
Alternatively, you can use other free online tools to check for copied work or who is stealing your work:
“If we steal thoughts from the moderns, it will be cried down as plagiarism; if from the ancients, it will cried up as erudition.” – Charles Caleb Colton
(Lacon: Or, Many Things In Few Words; Addressed To Those Who Think By Rev. C. C. Colton (Charles Caleb Colton), Fifth Edition, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, And Brown, 1820, Reflections, DXLVI, P. 229) source