This week, I attended the 12th International Paleolimnology Symposium
held at Glasgow (UK). One of the sessions (S14) was entitled:
"Palaeoecological reflections on biodiversity: challenges and new advances".
The keynote speaker of this session was Prof. R. T. Paterson,
from the Carleton University, Ontario, Canada, and the title of his talk was:
"Community structure dynamics and biodiversity across a continuum of past,
present and future" (S14-KN).
As the concept of time continuum in ecology has been fully addressed in
a couple of my more recent publications (Rull, 2010; 2012), I was very
interested in this talk. But what was my surprise when, in the first
two slides, they appeared a couple of general sentences taken almost
literally from the abstract of one one of my papers on the subject (Rull, 2010)
without citation (the rest of the talk was full of citations to papers from where
data and/or ideas were derived). The same sentences appear in the
abstract of the talk, and I reproduce them followed by my own for comparison:
and communities flow as they evolve and undergo ecologic transformations.
Although both ecologists and paleoecologists share a common goal
of gaining a fuller understanding of biosphere processes,..." (Patterson, 2012).
which species and communities flow, change and evolve; and that ecology and
palaeoecology are only different approaches with a common objective,
which is the ecological understanding of the biosphere..."(Rull, 2010).
By the way, this is also the main sub-header statement of this blog.
These ideas would be shared by a number of paleoecologists
(especially after my 2010 and 2012 papers), but the form in which
they are written they perfectly match with the Hames' (2007)
definition of plagiarism ("...the taking and use other's ideas, writings
and inventions, and passing them of as one's own, i.e. without giving
credit to the originator"). It would be hard to convince someone that
the author of the first paragraph has not read the paper quoted in
the second. Moreover, the key message of Patterson's talk would
have been the same with or without the reproduction of my sentences
and ideas as an introduction to the subject. There was no any need for
such a procedure, unless the author wanted to be recognized as the
originator of them (which is not possible after my 2010 and 2012 papers).
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that I feel plagiated
(see Plagiarism in the Lost World, among others) and
I still don't understand the need for such practices,
especially when coming from recognized scientists who don't
need this to be acknowledged as such.
Blackwell, Oxford, 293 p.
continuum of past, present and future.
Abstracts of the 12th International Paleolimnology Symposium,
Glasgow 21-26 August 2012, p. 171.
Open Ecology Journal, 3: 1-5.
Community Ecology, 13: 102-116.