deponti (deponti) wrote,
deponti
deponti

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Not quite plagiarism...but.....

One of the members of

RideACycle Foundation

kindly invited me to be there to meet

Dr. Venki


and all of us interviewed him regarding his cycling (he doesn't own a car!)

I wrote the article the very next day for Citizen Matters:



http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/1680-nobel-prize-winner-dr-venki-talks-to-cyclists


Alas, the article in the Hindu by RideACycle Foundation was remarkably similar to mine:




http://www.thehindu.com/mp/2010/01/18/stories/2010011850820400.htm


(Notice the dates on both articles...mine was on the 7th of January, and the Hindu article was on the 18th.)


and I got a lot of flak from the editors of Citizen Matters about it, because they thought I had accorded specific permission to use my article without acknowledgement. I had to explain that it was a rather grey area as I thought that the articles would be somewhat similar...but not to this extent!

However, I was in a rush to leave for the US, and could not pursue the matter...and now, on googling (sorry Yahoo!) for the articles, found an article allegedly by Jennifer Hattam, who wasn't even there that day:


http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/01/nobel-laureate-car-drivers-set-bad-example-for-kids.php

(this article is dated the 17th Jan.)

I realize that the similarity can be interpreted by saying that these are the scientist's words, so all the quotes are similarly worded (I was doing the interview without a tape recorder, so I wrote to the best of my memory). So...I am unable to protest about this.

However, to my mind, this is like the story of the little boy explaining to his teacher that the homework assignment that he, and his brother, have handed in, on "My Dog"....are similar, because it's the same dog!


This post was prompted by kalyan's recent experience of having his picture lifted and used without acknowledgement by the Times of India:


http://kalyanvarma.net/journal/2010/02/11/toi-steals-cc-works/


I think it would always be better to acknowledge someone's work....
Tags: article, citizen matters, sadness, similarities, writers, writing
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