Sunday, July 07, 2013

Finding one's own voice

In response to Lorine McGinnis Schulze's "Personal Opinion About Copyright and Plagiarism Online" post today in her The Olive Tree Genealogy blog, Ol' Myrt here made a few comments, expanded here for my DearREADERS.

Thank-you for an excellent addition to the discussion about the unethical use of another's published work and claiming it as one's own.

I am glad the newspaper agency wised up and fired the offender.

Years ago, I made a mistake when using Cyndi's List to guide my DearREADERS to five of the many sites she listed for Swedish research. I now am very careful to explain the research process I take when tracking down a clue, giving credit where credit is due. I think genealogists would agree some of our best breakthroughs come because of another researcher's assistance. We must take care never to give the impression the work of others is our own.
With all the great topics to discuss in the world of genealogy and history, I find it hard to believe people cannot find their own voice in the work they produce.
Since publishing my initial post, only about 24 hours ago, titled "Is there such a thing as ethical plagiarism?", I've been inundated by numerous documented reports of alleged plagiarism on the part of one blogger in particular. I've asked Mr. Ewell to respond to this in "Follow up: Is there such a thing as ethical plagiarism?

While Ol' Myrt here does not wish to be a clearing house for anyone's unethical behavior, something must be done with the load of material being sent to me.

I can tell you now, Lorine, I find this entire subject very unsettling and sad. 
Fortunately the vast majority of genealogy bloggers, some 3,000+ strong, are wonderful.
Most bloggers I've met in person and through their writings are simply the salt of the earth. We are blessed to have a fine community of genealogy bloggers -- the sort of people I'd like to have as personal friends and close neighbors. It's so cool that the internet has made our associations possible.

I look forward to many happy years associating with genealogy bloggers as we seek to uncover the roots of our past.

Michael Hait, “Copyright, plagiarism, and citing your sources,” Planting the Seeds blog, posted 7 July 2013 ( : accessed 7 July 2013). The Slideshare includes specific comparisons alleging plagiarism.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze, “Personal Opinion About Copyright and Plagiarism Online,”The Olive Tree Genealogy blog, posted 7 July 2013 ( : accessed 7 July 2013). 

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont


  1. Thank you for joining with some of the other most-respected bloggers to focus on this issue, including on one of the most inexplicably recidivist perpetrators.

  2. I am SO working on a blog post about this.