Saturday, January 17, 2009

On Diaries, Part One

Normally, when we write diaries, we describe our own thoughts and experiences.

"The Overseer" of Diary of a Vampirologist seems to have great difficulty grasping this concept. Indeed his use of the term "vampirologist", regards someone who studies vampires in different media. We'll see how much of his blog actually carries that out.

Niels K. Petersen first brought The Overseer's copy-n-paste blog entries to attention in "Plagiarism" for Magia Posthuma. But, just how extensively plagiarised are they? That's what I intended to find out.

Oh, but before I continue, I'll provide a correction to my previous post. I indicated that The Overseer's "Introducing Montague Summers" (which, after my previous post, has been re-titled to "The Vampire: His Kith & Kin") was his first blog entry. It wasn't.

His first actual entry was "Genesis of the word "Vampire"", which, regardless, still postdates my first entry. His inaugural blog entry also conveniently serves as the perfect springboard to this investigation. Why? Because it's nothing but an un-cited chunk of Wikipedia's "Vampire" article (last modified on 13 January 2009, at 02:00). The only real difference is, that the "Footnotes" in the Wikipedia article have been relisted as "Source" in The Overseer's.

Now we move onto "Those who are not vampires". He lists his source simply as "Seán Manchester" (his tendency to very vaguely list his references is a recurring theme, unsurprisingly). Is this a copy-n-paste job, too?

You better believe it.

It appears on a MySpace forum thread called "Vampirism". The entry in question is ripped off from someone calling themselves "The Highgate Vampire" (presumably a pseudonym for
Seán Manchester, considering The Overseer's citation) in a post dated Tuesday, 30 December 2008 2:38 AM.

Next up is "Definition of a Vampire". Its sources are listed as "Seán Manchester" and "Montague Summers." Well, that certainly helps. But so does Google!

It looks like The Overseer tried to be a bit more sneaky this time, and rather than completely copy-n-pasting in verbatim, decided to rearrange the contents of "Vampires: Their Kith & Kin", the Vampire Research Society's FAQ page. Nice try. Incidentally, the same practice was carried out on The Overseer's "Why do people dismiss Vampires?". Ditto for "Vampire antidotes and exorcism".

Noticing a pattern?

"Philosophy of Vampirism" at least cites Montague Summers' The Vampire: His Kith & Kin (1928), but one must question the redundancy of copy-n-pasting a portion of his book, when the whole thing is available online.

Wikipedia is obviously a handy "source" (albeit, unlisted) for The Overseer, considering that his blog entry, "The case of Arnold Paole" has been cribbed from "Arnold Paole" (last modified on 14 January 2009, at 01:32), right down to the sources. Niels also contends that The Overseer also made use of his "Visum et repertum" blog entry. However, if this is the case, I'd say that the Wikipedia article, in turn, may be plagiaristic.

The free online encyclopedia is used once again for "The case of Peter Plogojowitz". Compare it with Wikipedia's "Peter Plogowitz" article (last modified on 3 January 2009, at 16:41).


Niels K. Petersen said...

In its original version, the article on the Medvegia vampire case (Arnod Paole) was mostly taken verbatim from my blog. When I started writing about this, he or she then added some "sources", and finally changed the whole text.

Anthony Hogg said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Niels. If it's any consolation, I highly doubt the thief of your article was the author of Diary of a Vampirologist. They obviously have no original thoughts in their head, little alone having the ability to toy around with and reconstruct the article, as featured on Wikipedia.

Have you contacted Wikipedia in regards to the plagiarism or have you thought of rewriting the article yourself?

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