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Bravegator  (Level: 152.0 - Posts: 428)
Sun, 7th Jan '07 10:57 AM


I understand why we have to indentify a source when we are doing our quizes, but i am concerned about why the editors are not held to the same requirements. I know that legally we need to id where information comes from, but recently there have been WPs that have come directly from other websites and no credit is given. I think if a company/site/etc. wants to threaten legal action it is more severe when the infraction is from a staff member (the editors), rather than a user.

Just my 2 cents!!

Chelle, esq.

Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Sun, 7th Jan '07 11:40 AM

Bravegator.. my sentiments exactly.

Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Sun, 7th Jan '07 3:33 PM

Know it is a mistake to post this but I will anyway. If you are interested, check the 30 most recent as of about 3pm EST 1/7-very few sources cited- this includes EA. I don't really care if we are required to cite source or not-just think if it is a rule all should abide by it or no one. I enjoy taking well-written quizzes source cited or not and rate them by the question-not my score. Some are so obviously created from a list but source not given-became most unpopular for this kind of post before-this time will not quit but perhaps take a break from taking quizzes or simply not rate them. Perhaps there are just many geniuses out there of which I am not one. Linda

Sploofus Editor
Sploofandango (Editor)  
Sun, 7th Jan '07 4:59 PM

First, I know I am not the editor you are referencing. I have never copied anything. My Word Puzzles, good, bad or indifferent, are entirely my own fault.

However, accepting your statement as accurate, then I agree with you. I will copy this into the editor's forum and see that it is discussed. I will post back again once we have sorted it out.

Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Sun, 7th Jan '07 5:28 PM

I do not believe myself a troublemaker. Had the original phrasing of a quiz called into question a long a time ago. The editor was correct. I lack the computer skills to "cut and paste" but do print. I copied much too closely from my source and was called on it-rightfully so. Rephrased my material and my quiz was accepted. Just think that no one should be "special" here-sources cited or not-makes not a whit of difference to me. Think in some cases folks believe if they cite the source, others might go there and steal material-remedied by citing at the end to editors. Perhaps many folks just know things (smarter) than I am but believe they need to say that this is their area of expertise, viewed a movie or TV show multiple times. are a pop song nut-SOMETHING.. Do not believe it a fair practice to doubt some folk's veracity while others go unquestioned- said BEFORE THIS WILLL NOT BE A POPULAR POST-IF MANY SOURCES SAY SO... lINDA

Ladyvol  (Level: 213.0 - Posts: 5673)
Sun, 7th Jan '07 5:41 PM

I may not cite my sources on the description page but I always try to let the editors know what sources I used when I am doing a quiz...I add it with a note before I launch my quizzes...There are some tho that I do not cite the references because I do them from memory or use my own personal record collection as a source...There was a big stink about a quiz I wrote over a year ago about copyright that was deleted...I was upset over this as others were writing quizzes using the same source..I felt like I was being singled out. After a few days went by I counted to 10 and started over. But as Linda stated, if one is asked to reveal a source then everyone should be made to do it also. It's only fair..either have the quiz writers give a source or drop it...The same should go for the editors also.
Something can be worked out here to satisfy everyone..So, let's stop all the whining and griping and work together to figure out a solution..PLEASE!

Sploofus Editor
Sploofernatural (Editor)  
Sun, 7th Jan '07 6:04 PM

Editors are instructed to check submitted quizzes for evidence that the quiz was taken from a source without crediting the source and/or without proper originality (Sploofus does not permit quizzes that themselves came from other sources). If some quizzes based on the same sources as yours did get through, it does not mean we are condoning this practice, but rather that we did not discover that the quiz was based so heavily that source.

Obviously, that does not mean you should try to hide your tracks and sneak a quiz through. You should unashamedly post your sources, which in no way belittles your effort to formulate and provide the quiz. Furthermore, these sources SHOULD be listed in the Quiz Description, rather than in your note to the editors. The point of acknowledging your sources is so that all can recognize where the information came from and which contribution is yours, not so that we will accept your quiz.

As for the matter of WordPuzzles, some of them have indeed come sufficiently from other sources that were they Trivia Quizzes, we would require that credit be given. It is the fault of the structure of the WordPuzzles that it is impossible to give proper credit within them. However, in response to this issue having been raised, we are discussing ways that this matter can be rectified, and as my fellow editor said, we hope to have a solution soon.

Sploofus Editor
Sploofernatural (Editor)  
Sun, 7th Jan '07 6:06 PM

Also remember, that most of the editors also write and submit quizzes and have them reviewed by other editors. In this capacity, we of course have to conform to the same standards that are required of other quiz authors.

Missashlee  (Level: 125.6 - Posts: 543)
Sun, 7th Jan '07 7:17 PM

Yikes! I wrote one quiz and am thinking of doing others.

In the comments to the editor, I listed the half-dozen or so sources I used, because I always try to cross-check facts. I viewed the directive to me to provide the information to the editor so that he/she can easily verify there was no copyrighted or plagiarized material involved.

It makes no sense to list a complete bibliography in the quiz description.

If the whole quiz is from one source, it makes sense, and I've taken several quizzes where the author does that.

Good luck on trying to come up with a clear and concise procedure!

- Jeanne

Berylm  (Level: 163.7 - Posts: 478)
Sun, 7th Jan '07 9:32 PM

Just one point re citing the source in the description - it is all too easy for someone to read the description, go away and read the source then come back and ace the quiz. I don't think that's any fairer that the other ways of cheating that have been mentioned.

If I have just the one source I list it (briefly!) at the beginning of the first question so a taker doesn't see it until they've started the quiz, but if I have not cited my source it's because I drew from my own knowledge or because I used several sources and therefore the quiz can't be said to be directly sourced in that way.

All this would be a lot easier if, as suggested before, we were given a second descriptive area - to make comments, give info, expand answers, etc - that comes up at the END of the quiz.

Justin ... pretty please?!

Asdibbens  (Level: 159.4 - Posts: 423)
Sun, 7th Jan '07 9:51 PM

I like that idea very much - an epilogue space. I'm rather notorious for doing questions that are way too long, so that would allow me to move some of that material to end.

Sploofus Editor
Sploofizz (Editor)  
Mon, 8th Jan '07 12:10 AM

In response to Bravegator's original post:

I did cite the web source of the Shakespearean Style Insults, as soon as the puzzle had closed. I posted the info in a prominent place here in the BBS forum.

Are you expecting a source to be cited on something like the movie quotes? Most authors don't need to refer to a source for famous movie quotes, unless you mean we should cite which movie they came from. That seems to defeat the purpose of the puzzle. Is there some other particular puzzle you are thinking of that you feel was plagiarized?

As for citing sources in quizzes: I have never insisted that anyone cite sources, unless the content would otherwise read as opinion. When a quiz is about the "Top 10 Comedy Movies of all time" (this is a random example, and not a reference to anyone's specific quiz), that reflects someones opinion. Opinions are not allowed here in quizzes, only facts.

"What is the funniest movie of all time?" is not asking for a factual answer.
"What is the funniest movie of all time, according to Time Magazine's December 2006 issue?" is asking for a fact.

It is very helpful, but not necessary, for sources to be listed in a note to the editor, but I'm not sure where people got the idea that every quiz needed a bibliographical reference. If we editors are being inconsistent on this issue, we will hopefully soon have a consensus, as it is currently being discussed extensively in the Editor Forum.

Roccotab  (Level: 60.4 - Posts: 185)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 1:49 AM

Jeanne I took your quiz it was great please make more. As for this post I have created several quizzes, and have got a couple returned for some really close quotes, I fixed them, and they went live no problems.

If I had to quote every source I used on some it would take probably two or three pages, and most of my quizzes begin in my imagination, and veture from there. I outline a quiz on my word pad, and then fill in the holes.

For instance if I were to write a quiz on the oceans of the world I would create 10 questions before I researched anything, "ie" What is the deepest part of the Atlantic? Then I would go through some texts, and search on line for the most acurate or universal answer, so the sources may be very many.

I do believe that direct quotes should be noted, but if you can somehow change it a little to make it your own then there should not be a problem. An example would be if wikipedia says, "The Atlantic ocean at it's deepest part is 10 miles" (This is just an example by the way I have no idea how deep it is lol), then saying, "At the Atlantic"s deepest point it's depth is 10 miles" would not be a direct quote, and I would see no reason for the notation.

That's my story, and I am sticking to it lol. A quote by the way from some country song, and not my own lol. Rocco

Bravegator  (Level: 152.0 - Posts: 428)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 6:20 AM

Just to clarify, I don't care about the cite to "prepare" for a WP. I have been told by many editors that you need to credit your sources to avoid liability. The insult quiz is NOT the first WP to come from a web-site or other source. I am just concerned about the legalities for Sploofus about a source not being credited by the staff of Sploofus.


Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 10:09 AM

An epilogue space per Berlym justfine-guess what I am seeking is uniformity-anything dicided that is a rule anbd enforced is "peachy" source in the intro, elsewhere or nowhere fine as long as it is the same for ALL Have watched an "elite "group come and go -one of my favorites was Docshy-what you saw and remembered determined you score- Cannot think how many times I had the skill to create those kinds of quizzes on the computer. Perhas equal intelligence does not exist but lets not handicap folks out of the gate Linda

Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 12:16 PM

the missing word in my last post was "wished"-Docshy was a winner, in my book . Cannot believe all of you computer pros out there cannot create a similar quiz-cartoon like picture which one could study at length-when you started the quiz-had to remember small details-very fun

Sploofus Editor
Sploofusmaximus (Editor)  
Mon, 8th Jan '07 1:00 PM

I believe what appears as inconsistency when editing quizzes is mostly a matter of whether a source is found/discovered or not when we do a plagiarism check. We consistently do plagiarism checks, but they often don't turn up anything and so further action (citing a source) is not always necessary. If an author writes a quiz off the top of their head or does a really good job of putting a website's information in their own words, it is unlikely that a plagiarism check will lead us to a particular source. If the words (or even concept of a quiz, as in the Top 10 Musicians of 2005 by VH-1) are not changed so much from the original source, then it is much easier to find or tell that the information came from a clearly definable source.
The problem is that if an author really makes the information their own or takes information from 15 different websites and complies things well so that it is difficult or impossible to trace to the original source, then it appears no different to us than a really well-written quiz that an author took from their own head/memory, which would need no citation.

Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 2:37 PM

Can see your view as an editor. As I stated I am ok without sources being cited at all-if it is the same for everyone. I just find it difficult, no impossible, that individuals store dates, numbers or series of events in their memory bank. Some of these quizzes are excellent and challenging. A simple statement like."I used various sources such as... " might suffice. Just do not believe in claiming a fact or idea as an original thought when it is not-came from somewhere. Linda

Baggiob  (Level: 143.2 - Posts: 888)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 2:54 PM

Heidi, I must say that what you are saying is almost near the point.

But I notice you do not 'cite' or 'reference' where you learned to write. Surely you weren't born with the capability of spelling or writing?

So where did you learn?

And why is it not cited?


Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 4:36 PM

I appreciate the "tongue in cheek. I attended elementary, HS, University- Ba- and graduate school -none of which made me smart. Pride myself on being good with words and definitions and a tad of history. I did learn about footnotes and bibliographies somewhere. I do not suggest folks resort to those here. My recent quizzes have been on movies- you can bet I've seen them multiple times. Currently my printer is broken and when I can afford to replace, you may see other types of quizzes from me (unless I learn to "cut and paste") This is fun , folks, but fair fun!! Linda

Baggiob  (Level: 143.2 - Posts: 888)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 5:13 PM

A lot of people get a lot of their information from wikipedia, but that doesn't make sense to me as it takes it back a step. That site is made and then corroborated by people and people could be wrong. Sometimes you need to ask yourself where did they get their information.

Some of the quizzes that I have written that have been based on lists, I don't cite a source but the description tends to explain it.
For example I did a quiz based on the top 100 albums as voted by Channel 4 viewers. I stated that in the description so I didn't put the actual website down because I felt at the time it was covered plus it may have stopped other going to it to make sure they score highly on it.

Generally though, I am not against citing where the information has come from I am not particularly for it either.

I think that we have to trust the editors with the job they do and I can vouch for them doing checks on plagiarism on quizzes.

The original point of this thread was not neccesarily about the citing of the sources of quizzes, more that the person that started the thread said that they had found one of the word puzzles was exactly the same as something on a different site.

Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Mon, 8th Jan '07 5:43 PM

Think it is about time for me to be done with this topic. I was just trying to make the point that some folks should not be "special", but has evolved into how did one learn the ABC's and the like. I knew my original post would be unpopular as it asks for clarification of rules which apply to all-most likely not possible in this game thing-will just go on doing what I do and ignore what I believe to be infractions of logical but unstated rules-Linda

Surreyman  (Level: 274.4 - Posts: 2775)
Tue, 9th Jan '07 5:30 AM

Just a general warning to all that Wikipedia is often called 'Wikidpedia'!
Through its nature of construction, it can sometimes be misleading - and, on occasion, badly wrong.

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Tue, 9th Jan '07 9:02 AM

I heard a study on National Public Radio recently that said Wikipedia is amazingly accurate, comparable to printed references. Apparently its correctability serves us well. I use it constantly, but also check facts for quiz questions through another source. I explore the links and usually google and look for corroboration from official websites. Rather than list every website I visit, I may list wiki as a source with the comment that I verified the info through googling and links.

Accuracy is much more of a concern to me than plagiarism, which never enters my head until discussed in a post like this. If I use a quote it's clearly recognizable as such. Some of my quizzes are based on books and films which are clearly identified, and I figure that's source enough. The one quiz I did that quoted others directly was one about identifying comedians from bits from their acts. I stated in the description that the questions would be quotes but didn't bother to source them any further than that; the answers provided the attributions.

Since this whole issue has been raised I've gone back and amended some of my quiz descriptions to better reflect my sources when I can recall them. I would expect that questionable material would've been returned to me by the editor for correction and that hasn't happened for that reason yet, so until a hard and fast set of regulations for citations is posted, I'm going to assume I'm doing it right.

Dunno what the copyright issues are re WPs and don't care, but I will note that the ideal WP is virtually ungooglable, so one that lifts whole phrases from other sites is the diametric opposite of that and would be at minimum a very bad puzzle.


Sploofus Editor
Sploofusmaximus (Editor)  
Tue, 9th Jan '07 10:16 AM

You are doing exactly what you should be doing Smoke. The only rule currently in place regarding copyright issues per the SQAG is this: "Questions and answers can not contain copyrighted content and can not be copied from other sources including web sites, books, magazines, etc."

There is no rule that says you must cite a source. However, the only way to get around the above rule and use content that is copyrighted is to cite the source. You still must put the information into your own words, but if the gathering of information was done by someone else (as in the popular lists of songs, movies, books etc... compiled by other sources), then you must give the source credit. You cannot copyright facts, but a specific compilation of facts and their specific wording gathered by someone else can be copyrighted.

So cite or don't cite as you like, but if an editor can easily find that the information in a quiz was clearly taken from a specific website/other source (or suspects that it was - we would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to legal issues), then you will probably be asked to cite the source. If the information cannot be tracked to a source, then we assume that the information came from your own head or from many sources so that the compilation is now your own work and so no citing of sources is necessary. This is why some authors may asked to be cite sources, while others may not be asked to do so. Please take no offense if you are asked to cite a source. It is only to protect Sploofus.

As for the WPs, you are correct Smoke, that we try to pull from many sources so that the puzzles cannot be easily googled. We are still discussing being able to cite a source after a WP for those times when it is necessary.

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Tue, 9th Jan '07 10:27 AM

Thanks, Max, always nice to know you're doing it right.

Sploofus Editor
Sploofusmaximus (Editor)  
Tue, 9th Jan '07 10:41 AM

No problem Smoke. I also wanted to add that my post was in no way meant to say it is not helpful when you cite your sources - even if it can't easily be tracked to the source. It is certainly helpful to the editors and it can't hurt to be safe from a legal standpoint, but many quiz writers (myself included, and others based on some of the above responses), on occasion, pull from so many sources in addition to their own knowledge that is not feasible or necessary to cite them all.

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Tue, 9th Jan '07 11:03 AM

Just so. I access so much information from various media and see so many quiz questions, even in the course of a week I don't always know where I learned something--I just know I know it. Sometimes I jot notes on envelopes while listening to the radio in the car. Sometimes a factoid jumps off the side of a bus. I may not be able to cite the original source, but I can say where I verified the facts. Often I get my original information from NPR, but may only list wiki on the quiz if that's where I verify. My source citations are saying "I checked this for accuracy" rather than "I didn't steal this."

I gather that a plagiarism check involves googling a block of text from a quiz to see if it arrived in the quiz substantially unchanged? Must be a fine line sometimes; glad that's not a call I have to make!

Sploofus Editor
Sploofusmaximus (Editor)  
Tue, 9th Jan '07 11:31 AM

That's exactly how we check for plagiarism. I would have to say that more often than not it is NOT a fine line, though, and quite blatant - lol! Typically it is a new quiz writer and an explanation and warning about plagiarizing is enough to solve the problem. On the occasion that is the fine line, we would rather be safe and ask for some more re-wording.

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Tue, 9th Jan '07 11:50 AM

Thanks again. Demystification much appreciated!

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