Today I learned about anew form of plagiarism: forum answers without proper attribution. There is an user on MSDN that cowers under the moniker of Learning_SQL. What the weasel does it trolls the MSDN forums for questions, takes the question verbatim and posts it on StackOverflow, then takes the answers from StackOverflow and posts them back as his own answer on MSDN.
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3787986/need-an-idea-for-doing-bulk-compare-and-insert and http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/ed85fb0b-55db-474d-a45c-d715d659b0a8/#6157a812-82f8-473a-a689-d4217e1fbc13
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3815502/stored-procedure-when-to-use-output-parameter-vs-return-variable/3815545#3815545 and http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/6013bdf2-1452-4495-865a-1bfcc8b361d0/#5f17fd95-16d0-40eb-b587-db35e44bdb69
This is not some accidental one copy of a answer, is a consitent behavior done with the sole purpose of acumulating MSDN reputation. Moral consideration aside, Learning_SQL is actually violating the StackOverflow attribution required content license:
- Visually indicate that the content is from Stack Overflow, Meta Stack Overflow, Server Fault, or Super User in some way. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious; a discreet text blurb is fine.
- Hyperlink directly to the original question on the source site (e.g., http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12345)
- Show the author names for every question and answer
- Hyperlink each author name directly back to their user profile page on the source site (e.g., http://stackoverflow.com/users/12345/username)
Incidents of plagiarization occur frequently on blogs, but with such a small comunity as the SQL Server one, where pretty much everybody knows everybody, the perpetrator doesn’t get too far. Brent Ozar (blog|Twitter) covered this subject on several articles:
- How to Take Action When Your Content is Plagiarized
- More Thoughts on Blog Plagiarism
- Plagiarism, Inspiration, and John Dunleavy
But I guess imagination has no bounds, and now some new players (or same old ones?) are trying new grounds…