I bet you have no idea who is Kevin Roebuck. Neither did I until I’ve stumbled upon a fantastic title on Amazon: Data Quality: High-impact Strategies – What You Need to Know: Definitions, Adoptions, Impact, Benefits, Maturity, Vendors, which consists of nothing more but — surprise, surprise — copies of Wikipedia articles.

After a quick check I found that the guy has managed to ‘author’ 376 books (and counting!) so far, and all of them (as far as I’ve checked) are using the same pattern: seemingly random collection of Wikipedia articles around a particular theme. These people are so complacent that they even allow you to actually peer inside the volume to make sure that there’s nothing but copypaste.

Just let me cite a passage from the product description:

[…] This book is your ultimate resource for Data Quality. Here you will find the most up-to-date information, analysis, background and everything you need to know.

In easy to read chapters, with extensive references and links to get you to know all there is to know about Data Quality right away, covering: Data quality, Bit rot, Cleansing and Conforming Data, Data auditing, Data cleansing, Data corruption, Data integrity, Data profiling, Data quality assessment, Data quality assurance, Data Quality Firewall, Data truncation, Data validation, Data verification, Database integrity, Database preservation […]

Trust me, a very similar text is provided for each tome I’ve managed to check. Given the number of volumes and the breadth of coverage, I actually believe that all those descriptions are automatically generated — just substituting ‘Data Quality’ with, say, ‘Software Lifecycle Management’ or ‘RFID’.

Funny thing is that it is not something that is forbidden by terms of license. The only requirement that I’m aware of is to attribute all published works to the Wikipedia. I’m not sure if they do though, as copyrights page is not available in previews.

On a positive note, no one seems to be actually buying this crap. But that aside, if I were Amazon, I’d still be embarrassed.