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As I was going through the tag-wikis today to try to add excerpts to those that are lacking, I found many plagiarized tag-wikis and excerpts.

Examples:

The listed examples is just a drop in the ocean. There are far too many of them to be listed here.

What I mean by plagiarism is that the content has been copied from somewhere else (usually Wikipedia) but has not been attributed at all.

Considering that we have a strict policy against plagiarism in answers, I think we would require one for tag-wikis as well.

While I could have just added in the reference links to the plagiarized content, I don't think this would send the right signal to inadvertent offenders. But, adding in the reference links is the only stopgap solution that we have in our hands until we manage to do something about this.

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  • conversely we could make all unpopulated tag-wikis direct copy pastes from wikipedia with attribution...that should nick this problem or get the user banned if they change it – RobotHumans Jul 4 '12 at 5:00
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    @aking1012 That is a decent idea. But, most of the time, the Wikipedia content are not suitable fit for our tag-wiki's. They should be altered and tailored accordingly.. :/ – jokerdino Jul 4 '12 at 5:02
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  • Is the content appropriate?

    Often, content directly copied from Wikipedia is not a good fit for the tag wiki because it contains a lot of irrelevant details — things like biographical details of the project authors do not belong in tag wikis. People come to this site with technical questions, and tag wikis should be geared to that end: a short description of what the concept or software designated by the tag is, some general guidelines as to how to handle technical problems related to that tag, and links for further information.

    Content from official documentation is rarely appropriate either. It often lacks context and perspective.

    • In the rare cases where the content is appropriate, check whether it can legally be copied. Wikipedia content may be copied into tag wikis with attribution. Wikipedia content may not be copied into excerpts, because excerpts cannot contain the necessary link.

If the plagiarized content is not fit for the tag wiki, which is the most common case, have no qualms about removing it. Try to write something in your own words. If you don't know the subject well, at least write a sentence or two saying what the tag means.

In your edit summary, be sure to mention “removed plagiarized content” so that reviewers know why you've removed a large swathe of seemingly-ok text.

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If you know the tag-wiki is plagarised, then you must know the original source. In that case, I think, you should just edit the tag wiki and attribute the content to original source.

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    While I could have just added in the reference links to the plagiarized content, I don't think this would send the right signal to inadvertent offenders. But, adding in the reference links is the only stopgap solution that we have in our hands until we manage to do something about this. Quoted from the question. – jokerdino Jul 13 '12 at 7:52
  • oops :) Sorry! my bad – binW Jul 13 '12 at 7:56
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When I see those kind of tag wikis, I usually do 3 steps:

  • Read the whole tag wiki

  • Delete everything

  • Retype everything in my own words

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