Friday, June 21, 2013

Plagiarism: what happened next

[After publishing Wednesday's post, demonstrating how Ray Keene had plagiarised Garry Kasparov in the Spectator, I telephoned the Spectator offices to make a complaint of plagiarism. I was asked to put the complaint in an email, which I was naturally happy to do. The text is reproduced below.]

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

From: Justin Horton

Dear Sir

I telephoned your magazine today to make a complaint about plagiarism. I was requested to make that complaint via email, which I am therefore doing.

The complaint concerns the article "Great Alexander", written by your chess correspondent Raymond Keene, an article which appeared in your issue for 4 May 2013.

On looking at the game annotations in the article it became apparent that Mr Keene had copied them, essentially word-for-word, from another source. Specifically, this source is the book My Great Predecessors, Part One, published by Everyman in 2003 and written by the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. I see no proper alternative to describing this as plagiarism and crude, blatant plagiarism at that.

I would invite you to read this short piece, which provides full details of Mr Keene's plagiarism.

[At this point in the email a link to Wednesday's post appears - ejh]

Obviously it is up to your magazine to decide what action you should take in this matter. I will only add that this is far from the first time that Mr Keene has engaged in plagiarism, nor even the first time he has done so in your magazine.

Yours sincerely

Justin Horton

[Meanwhile on Twitter...]

[And on Chessgames...]

UPDATE FRIDAY 1210 BST. Here's Ray's latest claim:

Anybody inclined to take this seriously might like to ask themselves:
  1. Why would anybody do this?
  2. Whose name is actually on the copyright notice?

UPDATE UPDATE FRIDAY 1645 BST. Curiously, all the recent postings have disappeared from Ray's page. Which is what happened last time.

[Ray Keene index]


Anonymous said...

This blog is somewhat obsessed with Ray Keene.
He has been good for Chess, probably for over 50 years.
Leave him alone.


ejh said...

We'll cease taking an interest in him when he ceases doing inteersting things, George.

ejh said...

[After reflection I've deleted a comment and a reply I had previously made to it. I'd like claims in this comments box to be reasonably well substantiated and, on this post, to have names of some kind attached. Apologies for any inconvenience.]

Anonymous said...

The Kasparov books credit the typesetter and editor as First Rank Publishing, Brighton. On the chessgames site, there's now a comment that the Spectator uses the same typesetter as Everyman.

Does being a typesetter or editor give the holder the rights to republish work?

There are persistent stories that at least some of the RDK material is ghosted.


ejh said...

Does being a typesetter or editor give the holder the rights to republish work?

No. Thing is though, it's not just about republishing. It's about omitting to identify that this is not original work but work that has already appeared elsewhere, and by that omission "passing off", having it appear that the work is your own.

Niall said...

My initial thoughts were the same as George's (first comment) but then I thought, why should they leave the guy alone if he's been up to no good. Maybe he's done some good for chess, but that doesn't mean he should get a free pass.

My hat's off to the good people on this blog for drawing attention to this sort of behaviour, even at the risk of coming across as boring or obsessed.


ejh said...

Well, if anybody were concerned about that, they wouldn't play chess in the first place.

See, the curious thing about Ray is how long he's been getting away with it. I can't think of anything comparable in journalism. It's as if, say, when Johann Hari had been identified as a serial plagiarist, nothing had happened, he'd carried on regardless and the newspaper which employed him had said nothing.

Bear in mind that a single offence of this kind would get you dismissed if you were a student or an academic. Most journalists, too, could expect to lose their jobs if they were caught red-handed like this. Yet this, blatant though it be, is far from Ray's only offence.

This is interesting, in its way, but it should also, in other ways, concern us.

Anonymous said...

'Bear in mind that a single offence of this kind would get you dismissed if you were a student or an academic.'

Not at all. There was an incident at Auckland University a few years ago, and I googled it to refresh my memory. The 8th item was the 'NZ Herald' article about it. The previous seven were University items about how seriously they took plagiarism. Newspaper editors were up in arms about it, but it was simply swept under the carpoet by the university.


ejh said...

Thanks for that, Don. Perhaps we can understand a "normally" after "would". Actually it's quite a helpful comparison, as it shows that you can sometimes get away with this stuff if you're not any old student or academic. Or journalist.

Regarding which, I forgot to mention above that the Johann Hari I was referring to is the one mnetioned here.

Jonathan B said...

Interesting link Don. I particularly enjoyed the presence of

"Professor McCutcheon ...."

Tom Chivers said...

I'm always curious as to why suspected OTB deviations from the rules, such as Borislav Ivanov's, are given so much more priority and attention by the chess community than non-OTB deviations, such as examples of suspected plagiarism. It's almost as if people like George think that the chess board is the only place where right and wrong are important.

Jonathan B said...

I think it's more that people like George are a bit dim and therefore come up with feeble-minded propositions such as, "if somebody does something good in one area of life they are beyond criticism in any other"

Anonymous said...

re Ray's page: Ah well, to look on the bright side - it's the first time ever that a Keene-associated publication has been carefully edited.