Forum Plagiarism?

A couple of weeks ago a google search lead me to an Oracle forum at www.dbametrix.net.  Since I was unfamiliar with this site, I decided to spend a little time browsing the forum threads, and stumbled across this gem:

http://www.dbametrix.net/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1587&sid=eafe38654d7524ed3f8031721be2a24f

I was rather surprised when I read the second message in the thread, attributed to a “kimipatel”.  Sure enough, a little searching across a couple of forums I’m active in turned up a message I had posted in this thread, at www.orafaq.com:

http://www.orafaq.com/forum/mv/msg/190306/600789/#msg_600789

Further examination showed that every message in the thread on dbametrix was an exact quote from an earlier-dated message in the OraFAQ thread.  Only the names and dates had been changed.  In one case, two posts attributed to a ‘dorothydba’ in the dbametrix thread were matched by posts from two different people in the OraFAQ thread.  Being very familiar with all of the participants in the OraFAQ thread (at least one of whom I know from multiple forums) I was quite certain they had not made these posts to dbametrix.  This was confirmed when I brought this up on the OraFAQ forum.

So I decided to see what the good folks at dbametrix had to say about this.  I registered with the site and got the response that my request would be reviewed and approved by a moderator.  No big deal, this is quite common.  The next day, not having received any approval notice, I was able to log on.  I then posted a message to the thread, pointing up what I had found.  Again, I received a response that my message would be reviewed for approval by a moderator.  Again, no big deal.  That is an increasingly common anti-spam measure for forum operators to require moderation of at least the initial post by a new member.

The next morning I checked back, and when I tried to log on I was informed that I had been permanently banned.  I guess they didn’t like someone being on to their game.  Now my interest is really piqued, so just a few more minutes with google turned up a pattern. I simply googled the opening sentence from a few other threads on dbametrix, and came up with these examples:

Example 1:

http://www.dbametrix.net/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1557
http://www.orafaq.com/forum/t/189284/

Example 2:

http://www.dbametrix.net/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1565
http://www.orafaq.com/forum/t/83356/

Example 3:

http://www.dbametrix.net/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1544
http://www.orafaq.com/forum/t/179573/

A whois lookup (thanks to a friend on OTN) shows the site hosted by godaddy and registered to a Gitesh Trivedi.  As an ironic twist, when I searched his name one of the hits was a thread on in.answers.yahoo.com, where someone was asking anyone to post content from a book of interview questions by Gitesh Trivedi. The sole answer was “Buy a legal copy of the book. Don’t steal from Gitesh Trivedi.” (http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120727040830AA97VDk)  Strikes me as rather ironic.

It seems that Mr. Gitesh Trivedi is associated with several other operations, like dbatrex.com, kendba.com, DBAMetrix Solutions, et al.

Since making the above discoveries and during some back and forth about them at OraFAQ, three new threads have appeared at dbametrix that appear to be copies of threads from OraFAQ.  The suspicious threads and their apparent matches from OraFAQ are as follows:

Example 4:

http://www.dbametrix.net/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1587
http://www.orafaq.com/forum/t/190306/

Example 5:

http://www.dbametrix.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1599
http://www.orafaq.com/forum/t/190862/

Example 6:

http://dbametrix.net/search.php?keywords=hot+backup&sid=1ea8f948061743d8c68d2a23f2589ff5
http://www.orafaq.com/forum/t/190775/

It appears that these threads in dbametrix are being added to every few days (as of this posting) and the new content matches the existing content from the thread in OraFAQ.

At one particularly interesting point the apparently duplicated content referenced, by name, a previous poster in the thread.  This name made sense in the OraFAQ thread, but someone reading the thread in dbametrix would have looked long and hard trying to locate the referenced message by name.

I am not sure what is going on at dbametrix but thought it intriguing enough that the Oracle community might find it interesting.  Everything I have written above is a matter of public record on the web and can be checked and evaluated by anyone who cares to do so.  Draw your own conclusions.

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8 thoughts on “Forum Plagiarism?

      • Unfortunately Ed, people are just so hungry for fame. Anything that would bring them in the first page of the Google search or would make their blog/site hits jump to millions of hits, that is all “okay” for them. Sadly, there is nothing much that can be done since if one website would be forced to stop, people like these would just open another one and start their dirty games there,all over again.

        Not sure why it is so much tough for some to give credit where it is due. When something is not written/discovered/analyzed by one but by someone else, why it is so hard to speak the truth? Not sure what proper justification can be given for it.

      • Aman, I’m certainly under no illusion that I’m going to be able to drain a sewer here. But if I can shine a light on just one cockroach it will be worth the effort. I’m really mystified as to the motivation in this case. The site has no commercial content and appears to be operating in a vacuum. Even for personal ego I fail to see what Gitesh Grivedi is getting out of it.

  1. Thread might be posted in different forums by poster for getting immediate response. For technical point of view same solution might be posted by other members of forums. I tried to check with dbametrix.net forums but found no threads and recently forum moderator published warning to not copy/paste from other forums. I think they got complaint about same. I tried to be member of dbametrix forums but unfortunately I got reply “This is only for our students. Using this forums our students can discuss about their issues.” from forum administrator. Anyway thanks for providing attention.

    • Yes, I had noticed the warnings and apparent takedown of the threads in question yesterday. I simply hadn’t got around to follow-up here. A couple of things still bother me about the affair, in spite of the recent update. First, why was I banned from the forum … apparently for simply pointing out the issue? Second, the entire pattern of copying, by multiple people (one person using multiple accounts?) strongly suggests an organized effort.

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