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Old July 27th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #1

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Is this Plagiarism?


Plagiarism is a serious charge. What do you say I should tell the professor who denies plagiarism -- using my words unattributed, as his own?

Since 2005 I've been using the "Marquette Map Hoax" as the name of my thesis. No one until a few months ago challenged my thesis that the first map of the American interior is a forgery from the 1840s. I gave talks to prestigious groups, wrote papers, and have for years been identified with those words. No one, that is, till this year.

A professor promoted his then-upcoming academic talk to the Chicago Map Society
(where I had given my talk in 2005). He headlined in a post on a Cambridge University web page last October, "The Great Marquette Map Hoax; a hoax unhoaxed". He hasn't denied he was using my words as if they were his own. He said he used them to make his announcement sound more "jazzy".

He gave the talk in March, attacking me by name in the attempted unhoaxing
(I was there). He will not provide the reference sources (!) for the presumably academic claims against me in his talk. My impression is he thinks he can slide through because I'm a little people. Not so. I'm staying on it.

I've mentioned this to him several times (we continue on a first name basis), and he simply says, regarding my observation of plagiarism, that he doesn't accept my "argument".

Any serious or witty comments on this serious issue are welcome.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #2

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If he was disputing your views directly then using your words seems appropriate........... but not providing evidence is not appropriate (note I am not an academic, Im just going on what feels right).

By the way did you just sit there when he went after you? Was that hard to do?
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Old July 27th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #3

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May I hear his side now? Then I might be able to render a judgement.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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I wouldnt worry about it, if he is providing no sources than most logical thinking people will be aware of this, and will look at his arguments with a degree of caution, only narrow minded plebes will take his word for it without providing any evidence, would you rather to masses of people who just take your word for it listening to what you say or the few highly intelligent noting your work?
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Old July 28th, 2012, 12:33 AM   #5

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History of mapping the world is also an interest of mine [but not professional]. A part this detail, taking a look at your site, I can have an idea of the dispute.

Personally in such a situation I would have asked, in public, in occasion of the meeting of the Chicago Map Society,

1 if he was using your words for real
2 if yes, why was he doing that

If someone avoids public questions ...
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Old July 28th, 2012, 01:13 AM   #6
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The words were played differently so it does not fall within the definition of plagiarism.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 01:47 AM   #7

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I don't fully understand what he is meant to have plagiarised? Just the title? If he's making a rebuttal to your thesis, it's understandable he would need to use the title of your thesis. And I'm not entirely sure something as short as a title can be copyrighted and counted as plagiarism anyway, especially when it is not the exact same title (he did add the word "great" and "a hoax unhoaxed"). Many books have the exact same titles for completely different works by different authors and I know there was no kind of permissions given to use it.

To be frank, it sounds more like you're miffed because he's "attacked you by name" and you're trying to find a way to get back at him/shut him up. I'm sorry but he's entitled to make a rebuttal to your thesis and it makes sense he would mention you by name and use your title if his argument is a direct response to your thesis. And if he's mentioning you by name, I think it's pretty clear he is not using your words as his own. Sorry, but for all these reasons I don't think you have a case for plagiarism.

I agree with Cavanboy, if he has nothing to back up his argument, people will see through it so I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 03:40 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RusEvo View Post
If he was disputing your views directly then using your words seems appropriate........... but not providing evidence is not appropriate (note I am not an academic, Im just going on what feels right).

By the way did you just sit there when he went after you? Was that hard to do?
Thanks for the comment. In his October announcement for the March talk, he never mentioned it was MY views he was disputing... in the October announcement he said "many have thought the map to be a recent forgery". There are no "many"... just me, he using "Marquette Map Hoax" as if his own words. Did I just sit there? Oh no. This was to a prestigious academic audience, the Chicago Map society, at the Newberry Library. I raised vocal objections several times, not calling him a plagiarist, but on the content of the talk, which he will not give me references for. In fact, one lady told me to "shut up". And I raised objections with him, one to one, after the talk. And imagine this... I told him I had the talk audio recorded, and that he said Marquette "counted paddle strokes." (I never came across anywhere such a thing. Overland explorers like DeSoto counted "paces" -- "mile" comes from 1000 paces.) I asked him, he said "I never said that, you'll have to prove it".

Last edited by Carl J. Weber; July 28th, 2012 at 04:03 AM.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 04:00 AM   #9

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His side of plagiarism


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
May I hear his side now? Then I might be able to render a judgement.
Thanks for the comment. I told him several times he used the name of my thesis, "Marquette Map Hoax", which I am identified with, as his own. He said he "didn't accept [my] argument" of plagirasim. Now I'm getting more aggressive, and I recently told him it wasn't an argument, the "plagiarism" is my observation... and I said if you want an argument, ok. Remember that an argument, a formal argument, needs three terms. So I wrote, (1) plagiarism is knowingly using someone else's words without attribution or as if they were one's own (2) he used "(Great) Marquette Map Hoax" that I had been using for years as if they were his own words, without attribution,(3) therefore, plagiarism. He could have expressed it any number of ways, like using the word in the headline of his announcement, "forgery" or "inauthentic" or numerous others, but he knowingly used "Marquette Map Hoax"... and the ironically sarcastic, "great". Does this answer your question of "his side"? Before retiring, I had numerous times taught college history. A student of mine would have faced consequences.

Last edited by Carl J. Weber; July 28th, 2012 at 05:34 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 28th, 2012, 04:13 AM   #10

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Title of talk plagiarsim, not content of talk


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavanboy View Post
I wouldn't worry about it, if he is providing no sources than most logical thinking people will be aware of this, and will look at his arguments with a degree of caution, only narrow minded plebes will take his word for it without providing any evidence, would you rather to masses of people who just take your word for it listening to what you say or the few highly intelligent noting your work?
It's not the content of his refutation of my argument I'm focusing on. That is another story (and he will not provide historical document references to back up his attack against me in his talk, thus I can not write a written critique). The issue is using the words of the title of my thesis as if they were his own, or using them without attribution. When I was a teacher, a student doing that would have been directed to the dean's office.
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