Becoming a Wikipedia editor

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I publish this blog and its content under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial- Share Alike 2.5 Australia Licence. This means that other people can use the content without permission as long as the source is attributed, the use to which it is put is non-commercial, and any adaptation of the work is released under a similar license.

I  occasionally come across text from my blog quoted without attribution in other blogs, discussion forums or eBay listings. It would be nice to be acknowledged, but I try not to mind.  It is good to see information being shared, and I still get a small thrill of anonymous authorship. (Geoff Ford must feel the same.)

Recently I found a  Wikipedia article that had used my content without attribution. Anyone can edit the Wikipedia, so I took it upon myself to add a reference. While I was checking the guidelines on citing sources, I found that a blog is not a reliable source because it is not subject to independent scrutiny.  I wasn’t sure what to do next, but I felt that I had to do something.

The author had included some of my own (reliable) sources as references.  This compounded the injury. I knew that they hadn’t read them!  The rage of a violated author filled me, and then suddenly I saw it all in a different light. I was already de facto a co-author of the article. I would become one de jure. I signed in and added a reference to a key article in Pottery in Australia that had been omitted, leaving a note to explain the addition.

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2 comments

  1. I sometimes find great chunks of posts of mine have been copied and pasted into spam sites. One consolation is that they are never up for too long. It is one of the hazards of having a blog I suppose. I try not to worry about it too much. I am pleased that you fixed the wikipedia article. Cheers Kim

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