[Esip-preserve] Oh Goody - A Scientific American Article on Plagarism

Bruce Barkstrom brbarkstrom at gmail.com
Thu Feb 27 14:08:09 EST 2014

The new Scientific American issue has an article on
plagiarism in the biomedical arena based on text string

Garner, S., 2014: The Case of the Stolen Words,
Sci. Am., Vol. 310, No. 2, (March, 2014), pp. 65-67.

The author created software to compare relatively
long text strings from different sources to see how
similar they were.  Eventual result: more plagarism
than expected, with both professional and economic

It's also interesting that the author notes that biomedical
researchers use much more jargon, while his background
in physics used equations (and, one might expect, math
text which is not as simple to parse as other text).  He comments
[p. 65] that "In physics, basic equations govern most everything.
In medicine, there are no universal equations -- just many
observations, some piecewise understanding, and a tremendous
amount of jargon."

This may suggest that the semantic web approach that relies
on text strings (even embedded in tags) may have more
difficulty helping with searches in disciplines that rely on strongly
mathematical algorithms.

Bruce b.
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