Sunday 16 January 2011

What the....?

I was answering a letter just now from a UK metal detectorist (I get them sometimes) and wanting to look up something used Google... and came across links to a few of my own old blog posts in the search results. One of them stopped me in my tracks and I opened it and cursed. This text had been up since march 2009 and I'd not noticed what now seems an evident mistake. I make them sometimes. In my blog post is quoted a text by David Barwell (the chairman of the UK's National Council of Metal Detectorists) ranting about "reams and reams of documents" which is quite clearly NCMD's Trevor Austin's spiel from the Suzie Thomas book ("Building Bridges Between Metal Detectorists and Archaeologists" pp. 119-124). "Silly old fool" I thought of myself, I'd obviously confused the two, it must have been Austin who'd delivered the address "empowering finders" to the PAS Conference in 2005 and he reused the text for his address to the Newcastle Conference on which Suzie's book is based.

But no, no- the PAS conference address was definitely given by David Barwell. Are David Barwell and Trevor Austin the same person? Or has one metal detecting author borrowed the words of another as his own? Sadly the papers presented at the 2005 PAS conference appear no longer (like much PAS stuff of the same period) to be available online, and the promised publication seems to have fallen through, so we cannot compare Barwell's and Austin's texts. Nevertheless it is a curiosity worth noting. You ask these people to a conference to allow them to give a view, and they give somebody else's as their own...



Damien Huffer said...

fishy business, that... Good spotting!

Anonymous said...

There's no link to it from the PAS site that I can find, but, handily, a transcript of the Barwell paper does seem still to be present at: .

The two scripts aren't entirely identical, but they're certainly close enought that I think most people would accept that the one was lifted from the other.

Gareth Marklew

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