“When Blogs Plagiarize”: A message to our readers

  • 27 Sep 2011
  • by
  • ArchDaily

Dear readers,

First of all, I’m sorry about my delay on sending you this update. For the last few weeks I’ve been on multiple planes traveling around the world, connecting with and interviewing architects in an attempt to give you, our readers, all of the latest projects and insights in the architecture world. From San Francisco to Arkansas, New York, London and Basel, in just a few days.

On September 18th, we featured a story titled “Harlem’s New Renaissance”. The article was taken from Jenna McKnight’s article “Harlem’s New Renaissance” featured on Arch Record on August 25th. ArchDaily’s article written by Irina Vinnitskaya took the ideas proposed by Jenna and several of the quotes and information she used, accompanied by a link back to Architectural Record and photography credits, but failed to properly credit the person who came up with the original story idea, Jenna McKnight. Our mistake, a big one.

When Jenna noticed this (as Arch Record constantly reviews our content to syndicate it on their website and on their daily newsletter) she was very upset and contacted me immediately, but given my low email access due to travelling I saw the note a few hours later rather than instantaneously. Immediately upon receiving the email and noticing the improper crediting, I took down the article redirecting it back to Arch Record. In the meanwhile, Jenna posted a story on Arch Record stating that we plagiarized her story with all the given facts.

I reached out to Jenna, told her that there had been no bad intentions and gave her my apologizes as ArchDaily’s editor in chief and assumed my responsibility. Jenna replied, and she was ok with my apologies.

After that, a few blogs picked up on Jenna’s blog post and called this a “blog wars”, trying to add more fuel to the fire. Sadly none of them even asked us our side of the story, except for Sydney at StinkyJournalism.

Our mission at ArchDaily is to provide knowledge to architects around the world, and we will continue bringing you our highest quality of original content, along with information from other respected and useful sources we think will add value to our readers, always sticking to the best practices of fair use.

I hope that this doesn’t affect our relation with Arch Record, as we are both voices of the architecture world. As I mentioned before, Arch Record syndicates our content on their site and includes links on their newsletter (pointing to their site, not ours) citing ArchDaily as the source (but not crediting the specific author, failing to provide a byline). They stopped doing this as of last week.

Dear readers, our commitment is to every architect around the world. Rest assured that the passionate team of architects here at ArchDaily will do their best efforts to keep serving you, as you continue improving our world’s built environment.

- David Basulto

Cite: Basulto, David. "“When Blogs Plagiarize”: A message to our readers" 27 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 31 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=171972>

13 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I’m glad to hear AD’s take on this issue as it had only been presented from the other point of you. Also how great to see AD handling things in such a professional manor – definitely refreshing to have a reputable site like AD choose to take the high road.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    For the record, when Architectural Record syndicates blog posts from ArchDaily, we do so through a third-party aggregator, which ArchDaily has given permission to syndicate its content, and we insist that the original source of the article be very clear at the top of the post. The aggregator relies on ArchDaily’s own RSS feed for text and images, and that feed currently does not include individual author bylines.

    http://feeds.feedburner.com/ArchDaily

    If ArchDaily add the bylines to the feed, they will appear on syndicated posts.

    William Hanley
    Web Editor
    Architectural Record

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      William,

      For the record, we do provide the author as our feed complains with the RSS specifications. It’s under the tag:

      http://www.rssboard.org/rss-profile#namespace-elements-dublin-creator

      For example, in this article it is: David Basulto

      Many sites that scrap our content without authorization do feature the author same as Google Reader, I think that Demand Media is failing to provide the feed content in the proper way, to avoid this situation in the future.

      best regards,

      David Basulto

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I’ve looked at both articles now. Looks like Irina didn’t just take the “ideas” (not to mention photos) from Arch Record, but most of the sentences verbatim…and the ones she didn’t are just reworded slightly. Granted, she linked to Record at the end, which suggests she wasn’t trying to “get away with it,” so to speak, but that she doesn’t know any better that this is plagiarism. But her editors should know, and should have checked her source and told her this isn’t permitted. This apology is only halfway there and strikes me as a case of the site mostly covering for itself.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Dear Where,

      No messages have been removed or are pending for approval on this post. IF any got caught in the spam queue they automatically get deleted after a few days.

      best regards,

      David Basulto

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