A personal anecdote:
About thirty years ago I was studying Reformation history and dipping
into the Colloquies of Erasmus of Rotterdam.
I came across a wonderful description of Erasmus riding through a
large forest in Flanders as night was falling, worried that he would
find nowhere to lodge, but luckily coming upon an isolated inn where
travellers were packed inside, reluctantly submitting to the whims of
a tyrannical inn-keeper.
A few weeks later I was re-reading Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter
Scott and found the same passage, almost word for word for page after
page, though Erasmus had become a Scotsman riding through France.
Either that was an extraordinary coincidence or old Sir Walter must
have been an early exponent of CutnPaste on an interesting scale.
I've often thought that if Scott and Erasmus were part of some
literary corpus it would be fun to compute some similarity scores to
see if there were more examples of erm, re-use.
If the web makes plagiarism easier, it could also make detection
Paul Clough wrote:
> Dear All,
> I would like to compile a short report regarding the history of plagiarism
> detection and plagiarism studies in general. Does anyone have examples of
> "famous" plagiarism cases or know of work investigating plagiarism
> throughout the ages. For example has the increase of information in
> electronic form, the development of word processors or access to the
> Internet increased the number of plagiarism cases?
> I have compiled a report discussing plagiarism detection in both software
> and free text. This can be found in HTML form at:
> http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~cloughie/plagiarism/HTML_Version/index.html and
> PDF format at: http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~cloughie/papers/Plagiarism.pdf
> I am currently compiling a website detailing plagiarism detection
> strategies, including references, pointers to commerical plagiarism
> detection software and some home-produced software for this interesting
-- <from> <name>peter littlechild</name> <title>senior specialist</title> <dept>documentation tools and technology</dept> <firm>swift sc</firm> </from>
C'est toujours a l'imparfait de l'objectif Que tu conjugues le verbe photographier -- Jacques Prevert
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