Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The Woe of Wikipedia Wally. From Luke in Little Rock.
My college has the fancy plagiarism shit, but I never use it. It takes too much work. I just casually Google anything that feels wrong to me.
Wally gave me one of those papers this week. A 2 paragraph section in the middle just sounded off. No sources. Just encyclopedia-y at a point in the essay that didn't make much sense.
I took parts of the sentences and Googled them. Found the same paragraphs (scattered around a bit) in a Wikipedia entry
I delighted in the chance to catch Wally, but here's where Wally was so wonderful.
When confronted with the evidence, he didn't even flinch.
"Oh, you know about Wikipedia, right? Anyone can edit those articles. That stuff you found is what I wrote up and submitted last week. It's the same because I wrote part of the Wikipedia entry, too."
It was breathtaking. He said it without even the slightest hesitation. No tell, no grimace. Just a poker face.
Of course I showed him the footnotes on the stolen material, and then brought up those sources as well (NIH articles).
Wally was whipped. At least he didn't whine or wail. That little wag. I'll always be a little wary of anything he writes. (Stop me.)