In today's post we will cover a very particular type of plagiarism that is very prevalent in the Steem STEM posts, this type of plagiarism characterizes itself for actually mentioning the sources at the end of the post under titles like "Consulted References" or "Resources Used", while still engaging in plagiarism: Passing others content as yours.
How do they do this you ask?
1- By not quoting/citing the parts of the post that is taken from the sources. Inducing the reader to infer that some parts of the post are actually original content created by the user, while not being able to tell what actual parts, without going to the tedious task of reviewing the sources thoroughly, which in some cases is impossible because the sources are not freely online but actual academic books.
2- By quoting/citing some but not all of the parts of the post that are taken from the sources. Inducing the reader to believe that the parts that are not quoted/cited are original content by the user.
What is the problem?
The problem is that when a user writes a STEM post in Steem, it is assumed by readers that, even though references can and must be used, there is something original in the post, personal opinions, reflections, points of view. In short, new information. Nobody assumes that a user would just go to a few books or sources, copypaste certain parts, rephrase others, add some useless selfevident padding paragraphs and then post it under the guise of original content here in Steem. Nontheless, this is the case with most of the STEM posts in Steem.
Let's See An Example
Post's URL / URL del post:
The posts begin, typically, with a few paragraphs of Selfevident Pompous Padding:
"In the therapeutic work, the professional cannot and should not enter the task without first knowing the field on which the patient's problem is based, his worldview and situation. In particular, it requires defining and clarifying the true diagnosis (clinical or not) to develop an appropriate intervention plan.
Based on this premise, you must first conduct an interview to establish clinical history as the first step of the psychological evaluation. Considering the relevance of the evaluation procedure, this publication will address the framework that corresponds to this stage and the different tasks involved."
This is like saying: "Cars have wheels and these wheels are extremely important in the vehicles' ability to move, it is crucial that the tires are not flat. Of utmost importance also is the fact that cars that work on gasoline should have gasoline in order to function. Most cars have seats for the driver to sit on while they drive."
At the end of the post you can see the "Consulted References", which consist of two huge books, and two online articles
After the two selfevident pompous padding paragraphs we have the first cited definition:
"The psychological evaluation involves the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of an individual, the conceptualization of the problem at hand and the generation of recommendations to alleviate it (Trull and Phares, 2003)."
You see that, right? You see the citation? Good. Anyone reading this will infer and understand that the text before the citation is from the Trull and Phares book cited in the references. And that the second part of the paragraph after the citation was written by the user. Correct?
We don't have access to the book referenced, since its not a freely available book. The user, counting on this, took the liberty to plagiarize from it, passing it as her original content, wrongfully assuming that because the book is not online it could not be detected.
We went ahead and searched for the second part of the paragraph. Nothing
We then went ahead and searched for references to the book with certain keywords from the text.
We found this:
""For Truel and Phares (2003) the evaluation is not something that is done at once and ends forever. In some cases, as in school, for example, it is a progressive process, even a daily process, for the knowledge of the current situation, decision making or for the solution of a problem.
The translation of the second part of the paragraph in the user's post is:
"The evaluation is not something that is done once and ends forever, in many cases it is a progressive process, even a daily process. Whether you need to make decisions or solve a certain problem, evaluation is the means to that end."
The user rephrased a part of the book and intentionally attempted to pass it as original content.
Right after that, comes this:
"At the beginning of the process, information on two fundamental aspects must be collected: the reason for consultation and the medical history. The first task is then to specify what the patient's reason for consultation (what has made him come?) And the psychological demand (what do you want to achieve?); The interview must be used to determine why the patient has attended and what are the behaviors or cognitions that will be the object of analysis."
We found this:
"A guide on the investigation of these objectives should contain the following questions: -reason for the consultation, - why the evaluation is requested, - what do you want to achieve with it, -what is the specific demand in terms of diagnosis, orientation, selection or treatment and change, - and, where appropriate, what are the behaviors that initially go to build the object of analysis in this specific case."
So we know that paragraph in the post is either rephrased from the one we found, or both are rephrased from a third source, which might or might not be one of the ones referenced sources of the post.
But, since the user is adding citations in the post, the readers are induced to believe that this paragraph is original content by the user, since it has no citation. In other words, second plagiarized paragraph
Except three other paragraphs the rest of the post is strictly copypaste with citations to the referenced sources, all of it, and since we already found two of the supposedly "original content paragraphs" not to be so, we highly suspect those three other paragraphs are also rephrased plagiarized paragraphs that due to the heavy rephrasing we couldn't find the source of.
This case shows exemplarily the hybrid type of plagiarism that is most prevalent in the Steem STEM posts, a type of plagiarism that is specifically designed to circumvent the static @steemcleaners scope on plagiarism, which specifies that if the source of the content is present it doesnt classify as plagiarism, no matter how obvious, deceptive or deliberate the attempt by the users to pass others content as their own, which would apply to the first plagiarized paragraph we discovered, since the source is present in the post. Nonetheless, any STEM person knows, by looking at that paragraph that the user is attempting to pass it as it's own original content, effectively plagiarizing.
We at Jaguar Force won't tolerate this sophisticated hybrid type of hidden plagiarism, since we can clearly see that it is intended to deceive readers and curators. Proof of it is that experienced, professional curators like @steemstem @curie and @cervantes ' own @ramonycajal were deceived by it.
Sources of The Plagiarism / Fuentes del Plagio:
- Clinical Psychology Concepts, Methods, & Profession, 6th Edition (2003)
Timothy J. Trull, E. Jerry Phares
This is Jaguar Force,
Reporting directly from the Jungle.