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  • Category: Suggestions

    I am ready to volunteer

    A few minutes back, I posted a congratulatory message to the winners of the An extraordinary Christmas short story writing challenge. I then jumped to the contest thread, to read the winning stories, and was I disappointed.

    As I skimmed through the first paragraph of the first story, I knew how it would end. It was a narration of what happened on Christmas eve, in 1914, during World War I. It is a famous tale, and an actual event, from history. While I don't expect the judges to have read the story, I think there must be a system in place to weed out copied ideas, especially in contests. In all fairness, in such contests, prizes should be given to only original stories. It is disappointing to come across such instances repeatedly.

    I had read the story in a book on war stories and also in a volume of Chicken Soup books. It has also been published in the Reader's Digest. I have read different versions of the story, but the core of the story is the same. I used the keywords 'silent night german singing in war story' and links to the story popped up. It is not impossible to check entries for originality. I volunteer to help in case the editorial team finds it difficult to detect content that shouldn't be allowed.
  • #686915
    Nice thought and gesture on the part of the author to volunteer and find out the spam contents and that would surely help keeping the site clean and also enhance the prestige of the site. In fact, the author is the eligible senior member who should be editorial team long back and given her command over the English and also who knows the knack of detecting spam writing, surely she has the edge now to be appointed as the editor. Moreover, the pending articles are getting more time for the reviews and members like Juana would surely make the difference and clear the pending contents with clean writing.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #686921
    I have been an editor; perhaps you have forgotten my stint. I am not aiming to become an editor; I don't have the time to take on the added responsibility. I offered my service to check contest entries for plagiarism since those on the job have been failing miserably, at identifying such content.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #686922
    Yes, I recollect now and that was for a brief period. Anyway, your request must be accepted.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #686927
    It is true that ISC awards contest prizes blindly without taking any pain to check the contents and verify the facts. ISC editors are not perfect and they don't take pain to check the contest entries. ISC doesn't check the originality of the entries. Ms Juana is taking initiative to check the originality of the posts. Since she has volunteered to help the ISC team, she should be appointed as Special Editior for Contests (SEC) or as deemed fit by ISC Admin.

    Well done Madam Juana. You are a gem in India Study Channel.

    No life without Sun

  • #686932
    Please accept this responsibility. I will volunteer too. I want to mitigate people copying articles about science. ISC have way too much copied content circulating amidst it.

    You have proved your observation skills in past too. You are the correct candidate to point out which content could be copied. I wish to volunteer too.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #686936
    This issue had been flagged many times in the past also and it was found that there were some copying instances in ISC from outside contents but they were then resolved also to some extent. Copying content is a world wide web problem and taking one idea from one place and rewrite it in other place is also very common. I have seen in some sites where authors are rewriting the mythological stories in their own style and are being appreciated. The Ramayan series of author Ashok Banker has been well accepted by the readers community which is simply a rewriting exercise. So there is definitely a difference between copy-paste and rewriting but the question comes whether the original idea is protected under the intellectual rights or not. In internet today, there are thousands of claims and complaints being made daily related to these issues.

    Another difficult task is to go back in time and find out who is the owner of that idea. If it is ancient one like Akbar-Birbal or Panchtantra then everyone is rewriting them. But if it is an original idea of recent origin then the question of copying can become a challenging matter. Incidentally, I once searched the net for some subject and then found that in many reputed sites so many articles are available on that theme or matter and most of them have same content albeit in different presentations. How we deal with such a situation and what is the line of demarcation?

    Knowledge is power.

  • #686942
    I don't understand your ramblings. You have put across similar thoughts in the past as well. Are you in support of the trend? I haven't pointed it out, but there is at least one member who tends to post 'copied thoughts' not just in threads they raise in the Forum, but also while responding to posts. Is it ethical? Not in my view, but I don't draw attention to it. The issue highlighted in this post is a misdemeanour which can be neither ignored nor supported.

    I am attaching an image of the book, on war stories, where I had read the story, to show that I didn't go looking to see if the story was lifted from somewhere else.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

    Delete Attachment

  • #686949
    It is difficult to give an opinion on this matter. But if the stories which awarded first prize is a copied one, it is not good to hear. For sure. It is the story happened way back in 1914 and no one expects that someone will find it. But once it found that it is a copied one, there should be a warning to give the author of the story.

    But the point mentioned by Umesh is also valid. How can we precisely state that one story is a copied one? We can see similar contents in different stories. So it is very difficult to judge it is a copied one unless other than each word are copied from an original work.


    Winners are too busy to be sad,too positive to be doubtful,too optimistic to be fearful and too determined to be defeated.

  • #686966
    It is good to know that there are members who go deep into the content and are willing to keep the standard and amplify the reputation of the site. It would be a good initiative from learned and senior members to come-up to upkeep the level of this site. When an issue of such is raised, it would be good on part of the editorials and competition organizers to go through the content and also take the help of such voluntary help of members to keep the competition crispy.

    I would also bring to the concern of our copyright policy that is given in the site which states that "any content you post should be self-written by you, using your own ideas. You may refer to various other sources before you prepare the content, but should not use the same words and sentences from that source."

    Limit your "alway's" and your "never's." - Amy Poehler??

  • #686992
    I know for sure that Juana Madam is eminently qualified to do this job. She is extremely talented and her choice of words in many of her articles has left me simply dazed, to say the least.

    She speaks only the truth and gets angry even if she finds something fishy anywhere. When I failed to accurately report what I actually saw happening on a Chennai bus, she quickly pointed out the defects. These days, I travel mostly by the Chennai Metro or by car. I had made a detailed recording of something interesting. But failed to write about it. The only pieces I have done pertains to the hotels where I have tasted really good vegetarian food at Chennai.

    I appreciate her for volunteering to volunteer on such an important thing. I will never ever copy anything in my life. In all my Management articles, I always quote the source and the points I take up for discussion. It was Madam who helped me overcome a technical jam recently at ISC. I did not participate in the Christmas contest as my knowledge is zero. I do not read stories either. All my reading is on Management and sociology subjects.

    Am a bit pained that someone has copied the story. Let us always be honest.

  • #687000
    I agree with you Juana, "In all fairness, in such contests, prizes should be given to only original stories."

    That is a very special Christmas story that happened in real life, not well known here. I condensed it to fit the word count and include the word pairs. It is a story/idea I have used at times in my work.

    It is fine to revoke the award/prize as needed. I'll keep this point about original stories in mind for future contests.
    Editors can feel free to do the needful.

  • #687015
    Bala, thank you for your honest admission. After due discussion, it has been decided to revoke the award. Since the entry by Saji was considered by the jury members as the fourth-best, the prize is now being awarded to him.

    Juana - thanks for the alert. Note that external links are not allowed, other than in exceptional cases where an official site needs to be linked due to its importance (such as an official Google policy). You can, when really required, simply mention the URL in text format.

    Everyone - You are aware that as such all ISCians are volunteers and are welcome to report copied contents or contents that are posted in violation of our policies. In the case of contest entries, we request that you bring up such entries that are copied/violate the site policies to the notice of the contest organizer or any editor before the contest results are announced. Instead of raising a forum thread about it, though, or reporting it in the contest thread, please send a message to the contest organizer or one of the editors.

    This issue is now closed.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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