Thursday, 18 December 2014

Another Buddhist Publication Steals Another One of My Articles

These guys took the time to create an original illustration to accompany the article they stole (i.e., a time-consuming effort, even if inspired by the pastiche I made myself).  It would have taken much less time for them to send me an e-mail, asking for permission to re-publish the article.

I sent in a letter explaining that they can post a link to my article, but they don't have the right to steal it; they replied with an apology and deleted the thing.

My impression is that plagiarism is so much the default mode of publishing for these people that they don't even consider the option of talking to authors --much less respecting their rights of authorship (just imagine paying them).

I'm not gonna front: I wrote this particular article in about ten minutes, and sent it off to New Mandala without even proof-reading it myself.  It has at least two typos in it.  That level of effort is appropriate for what I did with the article (and a higher level of effort certainly wouldn't be rewarded in any way); the problem is that there aren't any opportunities that would motivate me (or many other authors) to make a higher level of effort with their writing/publications.

As the article itself complains (and a few of my recent blog posts have reflected on from slightly different angles), there are very few publications or platforms where you'd even have a social reward for your research (i.e., talking to other intellectuals with similar interests) --and there's zero chance of a financial reward.  (I think I was paid about £100 for that lecture I delivered at Oxford.)

Incidentally, it's slightly amusing to see that The Buddhist Channel presented me as if I were "reporting from Hong Kong".  I was living in Hong Kong more than 10 years ago, a very different, very memorable time in my life (when I could buy all of the crazy publications from Motilal Banarsidass within walking distance of my apartment, etc.).