Unfortunately, this is a post I never expected to have to write. A few months ago Robert Chapple wrote a number of blog posts (e.g. http://rmchapple.blogspot.com/2018/03/update-to-catalogue-of-radiocarbon.html) on issues he had surrounding the plagiarising of material from his fantastic Irish Radiocarbon Determinations and Dendrochronological Dates (IR&DD) catalogue (https://sites.google.com/site/chapplearchaeology/irish-radiocarbon-dendrochronological-dates). While I sympathised with him then, I never expected to be in a similar position. It has come to my attention that large parts of this blog, Archaeouplands, have been transcribed elsewhere without my prior knowledge. To make matters worse, these transcriptions are unreferenced and unacknowledged to either myself or the original sources.
In the heat of the moment I actually considered deleting everything from this site in fear that it would happen again but thankfully I left myself the weekend to calm down and reconsider. I realise that if more people are planning the same, they have probably copied what they want already, it would ruin my proof that the writing was my own and it would also destroy my original intention to bring the archaeology, history and folklore of the Irish uplands to a wider audience.
I spent four very long years researching and surveying these landscapes, particularly the Blackstairs Mountains, part of which included countless hours in the National Folklore Collection and the National Library hand-writing reams of information, massaging aching fingers, compiling the material and notes, cataloguing it, analysing it, digitising it and writing it all in my own words for others to enjoy. To see it printed under other people’s names is very disappointing. I would hope that this is an innocent mistake where the intention was not to present it as their own work, nevertheless this does not take away from the upset.
As part of a sixth class primary school project on Daniel O’Connell (which I still have) my grandfather and father highlighted the importance of referencing your sources to my eleven year old self. For my second project on the Romanesque doorway in Killeshin, I didn’t need to be told, it was just right to acknowledge someone else’s work. There is an annual school history prize in Carlow run by the Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society (https://carlowhistorical.com/category/competitions/school-history-prize/) where sources are included by each submitter, all of whom are children. Leaving Cert history projects require a whole section on the source material used as part of the assessment. From day 1 at university the negative impact of plagiarism is hammered home to students some of whom take longer than others to get the point but eventually they get there. It is very disappointing to know that there are adults who still have not grasped the concept. Referencing is not just good practice so others can follow-up or cross check your findings and conclusions, it’s also simple good manners! Especially where copy and paste is used!
It would be an honour to have the information on this blog included in publications elsewhere furthering its reach and audience… as long as there is a link to the each individual page used, and the date it was sourced included! A lot of work went in to sourcing the material on each of these pages, it would be nice to see my name or site’s name beside it. Equally, an acknowledgement of the original sources and collectors who spent hours gathering folklore and information in the early 20th century, as well as the Centre which stores it and makes it available to the public, would be appreciated. Each source is at the bottom of every one of my posts so there is no excuse in that regard.
And it is not just this website or author that has been a victim. To aid anyone else who plans to write in the future, there are a few simple rules. For information taken from books or journals the author, year of publication, title, place of publication and publisher as well as page numbers needs to be included in some format or other such as the Harvard style (https://libguides.ucd.ie/academicintegrity/harvardstyle) or the Irish Historical Studies journal’s style (https://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/History%20Essay%20Citation%20Style%202011-12.pdf). Information taken from websites needs to include a link and the date the wesbite was accessed. Even if your formatting is off, the publisher will assist you in getting it right and at the very least you have all of the information included. If the material is previously unpublished but someone said it to you directly (their name, pers. comm.) will suffice and acknowledges their contribution.
Every bit of information you take from a source, be it a book, journal, original source, email or website needs to be acknowledged and re-written in your own words. Direct quotes should be between quotation marks and immediately followed with a reference. Rewriting it in your own words does not count as your work-acknowledge your source!
Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society, Archive for the School History Prize Category. Available at: https://carlowhistorical.com/category/competitions/school-history-prize/. Last accessed 13/08/2018
Robert M. Chapple, Catalogue of Radiocarbon Determinations & Dendrochronology Dates. Available at: https://sites.google.com/site/chapplearchaeology/irish-radiocarbon-dendrochronological-dates. Last accessed 13/08/2018
Robert M. Chapple, March 2018 “Update to the Catalogue of Radiocarbon Determinations & Dendrochronology Dates”. Available at: http://rmchapple.blogspot.com/2018/03/update-to-catalogue-of-radiocarbon.html. Last accessed 13/08/2018
UCD Library Referencing guide. Available at: https://libguides.ucd.ie/academicintegrity/harvardstyle. Last accessed 13/08/2018
UCD School of History and Archives 2011 Citation Style for UCD History Essays. Available at https://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/History%20Essay%20Citation%20Style%202011-12.pdf. Last accessed 13/08/2018