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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Plagiarism ?~American Indian records-

Unfortunately because Paul is deemed an authority on this subject, many lazy researchers on the web feel comfortable taking his materials and incorporating it into their alleged research. Many of their claims are lacking in documentation and sources, so they use evidence Paul has compiled to pad what they have, to give it the appearance of substantiated research. Anyone can list a number of selected names, but that list does not prove anything without analysis. It is unfortuante, but many unexperienced researchers don't know how to detect such cases.

Paul's work is copied all over the internet on websites where one would not guess there would be tolerance for such plaigerism. I found such an example at Footnote, notified them of it, and was told that only Paul could lodge a complaint. Well after contacting Paul about it, and learning that he had lodged COMPLAINTS about it, I realized that there was little else that I could do. This particular person who copied Paul's work, has copied work from thousands of other sources, and continues to post these thefts at Footnote. The person posting this information goes by the name bgill. I don't know how one could police such individuals without launching a major and probably costly attack.

As for claims of native associations with particular surnames, I have seen many such claims. Without supporting evidence, without the documentation it is merely speculation. The problem I have with many of these claims, is that they can never account for the usage of european surnames in native populations, or rather the usage of such names in early records. I worked on a publication where we identified Native American and African American soldiers of the American Revolution. Some people took exception to our listing individuals as African American, when they believed these individuals to be Native American. Well what do you do when ALL records identify them as Negro or mulatto and never place them in an indian context? Many or rather some of the surnames listed in Paul's editions have contemporary researchers who claim that the associated families were of Native American origin, but many fail to provide the evidence of the ethnicity. What is disappointing about it all is that Paul has amassed a considerable amount of data, but few of those who plaigarize that information, move beyond it to blend it with additional solid research. In other words, they don't move the lineage forward or backward in time. They just make claims and use his documentation to support whatever they want. What can one do about it?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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