Kafez

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Sunday, 15 March 2009

Another Case of 'Aneeta' Plagiarism Uncovered- Malaysian

Remember that a few days ago, I revealed a case of plagiarism in Malaysian fiction? It was called Aneeta Sundararaj plagiarises Pearl S. Buck stories in Malaysian fiction. Otherwise, just scroll down the screen a little, to read it.

This morning, I uncovered by chance another case of 'aneeta' plagiarism that seems too close to home.

An 'Aneeta' from Malaysia joined an online freelance-writing portal, in December last year. It was just while spending a few days in Kuala Lumpur, that I had discovered the plagiarised Pearl S. Buck stories myself. In this case, the woman submitted a few posts for the portal until its editor discovered that one of the articles - and this for which writers may get paid - was stolen. The editor rejected her article on the basis of plagiarism and suspended her account. In other words, it looks like she was sacked since her name was removed from the author list and all her previous articles were removed as well.

What I read was a short conversation with the 'aneeta' in question pleading for mercy. The editor stayed unrelenting and was determined that she be removed from the portal.

I'm going to copy and paste that little bit of dialogue which rightfully belongs to Constant Content. Hopefully, they won't mind but if the editor writes to me, I will remove it. I believe the editor will only be too shocked to see that work has been plagiarised more than once.

Before I paste the conversation, this is why I easily suspect the two 'aneeta's' to be one and the same. If not, then it has to be 2 different 'aneeta-s' working on 2 similar writing thefts from the same twilight zone in Malaysia. This can't be.

a) I am Malaysian and know the small writing scene in that part of the world very well.

b) the individual is Malaysian.

c) later, when you read the conversation, you'll see that the individual mentions a Malaysian newspaper.

d) the individual did the same thing as what she had earlier attempted with the Pearl S. Buck stories. She removed original words and threw in localised terms - in this case for eg. baju kurung which is traditional Malay wear for girls and women, in Malaysia. She tries to Malaysia-nise something that was originally not Malaysian, exactly as what happened with the Pearl S. Buck stories.

e) the Malaysian writing circle is a very tight band of a tiny group of people. Kuala Lumpur is a small city as compared with Europe or the States and the writing circle is more community-driven. Everyone knows each other. Bearing this in mind, there is only one Aneeta (with this kind of spelling) in the picture.

f) The Aneeta in question often goes to book launches and readings in the Kuala Lumpur area. Writings events are considered a drop in the ocean as compared to the massive hive of activity that goes on in Australia, the States or Europe. So these book and writing enthusiasts grab any chance they can get.

g) As you will read later in the conversation, there was a book launch in Kuala Lumpur recently with a dress code that signalled Smart Casual. (Yes, strange things like this do happen.)

h) As you will read later in the conversation, the aneeta dismissed by the editor uses legal words like 'arbitary'. The Aneeta I wrote about was a former lawyer who resigned suddenly and often throws in legal scare-words in the face of difficult conversations.

i) The Aneeta I wrote about has played the role of injured martyr towards me personally, in the face of critiques. Later you will read similar lines like "I am very sad"... & "it hurts..."

j
) The individual who plagiarised Buck's work also signs her name as aneeta when commenting on blog posts.

************
Here, a painful conversation, I discovered on the Web this morning:


rejected and suspended
Area for content rejection questions.

Moderators: Ed, Celeste Stewart, Constant
Topic locked
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
rejected and suspended

Postby aneeta on Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:22 pm
Hi,

I am very sad. I worked on an article about what to wear to parties. It was titled 'Dressing Up'. During the holidays, I received an invitation to a party and did not know what to wear. Just last week, I received an invitation to a launch of a book and it said 'smart casual'. I thought it would be fun to research this aspect and asked around about formal wear and so on. I looked up a piece in a local (malaysian) newspaper and wrote my article. I even tried to make it more 'personal' by using some local terms like saree, cheongsam and baju kurung. When I submitted it, I received a rejection notice. What's worse is that I've been accused of plagiarism and my account has been suspended. What article am I supposed to have taken this information directly from? I don't think it's fair to just make such drastic accusations without giving me the name of the article. What do I do now? I do want to continue writing but this is very depressing. I've written for C. C. for some weeks now and have been using the same techniques of research. I've been careful to give due credit where necessary. So, I just cannot understand this. Please help.

Kind regards,
Aneeta

aneeta

Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:23 pm

Top
Re: rejected and suspended

Postby Ed on Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:31 pm
As is stated in our guidelines, taking information directly from other sources/rewriting articles that have been published by others is considered plagiarism. This article was not significantly different from the original article. Constant Content has a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism. We cannot accept articles that are not completely original or content from authors who do not submit completely original content.

Ed

Ed

Posts: 3893
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:15 pm

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Re: rejected and suspended

Postby aneeta on Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:57 pm
Hi Ed,

I understand the guidelines. Believe me, I've been trying very hard to follow them since I joined - I've read them, re-read them and really tried. Your answer is exactly what was sent to me in the email but does not answer my question. I've explained to you the process of how I came about to write the article but my question remains: what do I do now? I can't log into my account. I can't do anything except to write in this very public forum. Does this arbitrary and unilateral decision on C.C.'s part mean that I can't do a single thing?

aneeta

Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:23 pm

Top
Re: rejected and suspended

Postby Ed on Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:02 pm
The decision is not arbitrary, but it is final. We will consider no more of your submissions.

Ed

Ed

Posts: 3893
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:15 pm

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Re: rejected and suspended

Postby aneeta on Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:14 pm
Since you will not consider any more of my submissions, then so be it. I've explained to you how I came about writing this piece. i've been honest and my conscience is clear. But, what will you do with the money collected for articles that have been sold? Will you keep this? It may not be much compared to what your regular writers earn but still ...

aneeta

Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:23 pm

Top
Re: rejected and suspended

Postby Ed on Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:16 pm
Outstanding payments are made at the beginning of the month, as always.

Ed

Ed

Posts: 3893
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:15 pm

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Re: rejected and suspended

Postby aneeta on Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:29 pm
Thank you. i've never received payment from you and did not know this.

You know, I have seen articles with all capital letters (which your guidelines insists are not allowed) accepted. I have read material on this site which I've read elsewhere - vertabim. I've never pointed them out and have tried to follow strictly to your guidelines. Even when I was rejected for another article, I apologised when I realised the mistake was mine. Still, nothing seems good enough.

Forgive me, but I will always consider your decision to bar me from this site as arbitrary. I gave you an honest explanation as to how I came to write this article. I still want to know the article I'm supposed to have plagiarised. I can guess that the answer will be something along the lines of 'rejected articles are purged from our system' but you know, when you accuse someone of something as serious as plagiarising, you should be able to answer this. It hurts.

aneeta

Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:23 pm

Top

**********
It's fairly interesting in a bizarre way. First she starts on a friendly note and when faced with a stern remark, goes on to argue that if others are doing it, why not her.
I love this editor. No-nonsense, totally fair-minded and wonderfully ethical.

Stealing is stealing. How can such a crime be justified with phrases like "techniques of research."
And how can anyone in this high-tech age of a competitive publishing climate, write to a professional editor and say they're crying buckets over a rejection. Sheesh!


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