My post on sectoral bargaining and maximal wage policies has been accused by the moderator JJJ of plagiarism when I've explicitly acknowledged within the post the source - Wikipedia.

This isn't the first time that JJJ has accused me of plagiarism. Also on two of my last posts on Politics.SE

This suggests that she has something of a vendetta against me.

I would like to have my post reinstated and my to have this harassment stop.

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    Which Wikipedia article are you referencing? As the Help Center link in my comment explains, it's a lot clearer if you include a link to the original. Furthermore, the way you mention Wikipedia makes it look as though that sentence or perhaps that paragraph are based on some Wikipedia page. The portion I took issue with is the large paragraph toward the end of your answer which cites specific figures. Those seem to be based on another source (wikiwand.com) I referenced in my comment.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 5:42
  • @JJJ: It's easy enough to find the relevant wikipedia page by seaching on google with keywords. You did it after all. Its not hard for those who want to check. Quite often people will refer to the Encyclopedia Brittanica without referring to the specific article in question. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 5:58
  • @JJJ: I had a run-in with a high rep user who edited one of my posts to include a reference and who stated in a comment that she found it took some time and trouble to find the correct reference. Yet when I keyed in some relevant keywords into google, it returned relevant referencrs at the top of the first page. This took less than a minute - hardly 'time and trouble'. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:01
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    So I did find the right reference? The page I linked is on wikiwand.com, not on wikipedia.org. That's why it's so important to reference properly. It's also the policy stated in the Help Center and it's the answer I posted last time I took a similar issue with another one of your posts.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:04
  • @JJJ: Your allegation of plaigarism doesn't stand and as I have pointed out above, this is the third time you have thrown this allegation at me, in as many posts on this site. On those two other occasions your allegations didn't stand either. This looks like a vendetta. I would like an apology and my post reinstated. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:05
  • @JJJ: Wikipedia is copied in many other sites. Wikiwand is just one of those. It hardly matters if you want to reference wikiwand or wikipedia. I usually go to wikipedia rather than a mirror-like site. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:08
  • @JJJ: Yes, I recall that exchange. I posted a comment there to show that I had sourced from Wikipedia. A plaigarist doesn't acknowledge his sources. I did Hence it was not plaigarism. You might want to take issue with how I edited or formatted the text but your main charge didn't stand. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:11
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    I stand by the posts I deleted on those occasions (including this one). Feel free to contact the CM team if you want to raise an issue with my moderator actions specifically. I see just now that the Wikiwand article is a copy of this Wikipedia article. That still leaves the issue of clearly indicating which parts of your answer are based on the cited source and which are your own. A simple 'the following x paragraphs are based on the linked source' would suffice.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:26
  • @JJJ: I'll follow that up. Why should I need to clearly indicate which part comes from where? I have done that on other posts. But I don't see that as a requirement when I've explicitly already said where the text is sourced frim. The point is, your charge of plaigarism doesn't stand. I wrote "according to Wikipedia ... " Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:31
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    @JJJ: A simple "following x paragraphs" won't do - as I've inserted my own words in too. That's why I said "according to Wikipedia", so as to acknowledge what facts and figures I use are from there. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:36
  • @JJJ: Thirdly, you've made no attempt to contact me so as to give me a chance to re-edit the text with your concerms but have immediately charged me with plaigarism. What's wrong with leaving a comment under my post, "I can see you have soyrced Wikipedia in yourvpost. Can you please reformat and re-edit to clearly indicate which are your own words and which are Wikipedia's"? There's nothing wrong with that - and that's why I'm accusing you of harassment & a vendetta. For some reason, I think you dislike the actual content of my answer. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:39
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    It will do if you say that those paragraphs are based on the referenced source. Last time I think the issue was that you used quote marks when you made changes to the text. So there are two ways of referencing. One option is to quote directly, that's what many of the examples do. Another option is to write your own text but to provide the link for guidance, indicating in your text that your text is based on that reference. See for example guidance on paraphrasing with references by the APA.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:41
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    The comment I left indicates just that: once the issue is fixed you can flag the answer for undeletion. The reason I deleted right away is to make clear it is on the post author to reference correctly. If I had merely left a comment without the deletion then it's easier to ignore the issue. Feel free to debate that approach (maybe in a separate question), it may seem harsh but I think it works in upholding site standards.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 6:59
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    @JJJ: I think the policy is not only 'harsh' but also stupid and wrong-headed in that it drives away contributors from a simple lack of courtesy. I can't say I'm interested in debating this with you, here or in a separate question, as I don't expect you to change as your actions towards me on my last few posts here make amply clear. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 8:48
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    Well, I'll try to phrase it in a more friendly way the next time I come across a referencing issue. :)
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 8:59

1 Answer 1


When quoting from an external source, then you should:

  1. Make clear what's copied from the external source and what's your own work. You can do that by marking it as a blockquote (> before each cited paragraph)
  2. Make clear where exactly the content is from. "Wikipedia says" is too vague, because Wikipedia is over 6 million articles. You can do that by posting a link to the article you copied from.

However, looking at the answer and the wikipedia article, I can not really see any verbatim quotes, except the quote of the quote from Simon Islip, which is already in quotation marks. So I wouldn't really consider that plagiarism. I restored the post and added the link to the Wikipedia article.

  • That seems like a "moderate" approach ;-). In general I'd avoid deleting answers unless they are "dangerously" flawed (copyright issues, slander etc.) or flawed beyond being useful for which I'd set a fairly high mark. For mere "defects" a comment should suffice to uphold the -- desirable! -- standards of the site. One would hope that a well-referenced answer gets more upvotes and fewer downvotes than one that's been haphazardly cobbled together; that correction mechanism always exists. Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 9:38

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