IMS Plagiarizes Security Blog (Security Squared)

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 14, 2010

IMS Research, one of the most well-known market analysts in the physical security industry, plagiarized 5 paragraphs from Security Squared in IMS Research's Dec 1, 2010 release: "What is PSIM?" IMS has since made partial attribution calling it a 'simple editorial oversight'. In this report, we examine the case, issues involved, IMS's response and threatened lawsuit.

In a LinkedIn discussion on Dec 13th, the Editor of SecuritySquared posted that:

The bulk of this press release was lifted almost verbatim from a report Sharon Watson and I wrote for Security Squared last March ... I find it regrettable that IMS chose to repackage my material 1) as its own research, and 2) gave no attribution to Security Squared, and 3) Disperse it to the trade media under its own brand.

[Note: IMS used the release as part of a global marketing campaign running in ASMAG, Info4Security, Professional SecuritySecurityInfoWatch, Security Sales & Integration, Security Director News, Security Systems News, etc.]

In March 2010, Security Squared released an in-depth feature "PSIM, Near PSIM and Models for Integrated Management." The piece included a section called "PSIM Defined" listing 5 traits PSIM must have. By contrast, the December 2010 IMS release had 7 criteria, 5 of which were paraphrased from the Security Squared report.

Example #1:

  • Security Squared, March 2010: "A rules-based workflow for response. It must be able to immediately offer a step-by-step action plan, based on pre-determined rules and policies, to respond and counter the threat."
  • IMS Research, December 2010: "A Rules-based Workflow for Response: A PSIM software platform must be able to immediately offer a step-by-step action plan, based on pre-determined rules and policies, to respond, manage/counter the threat and control response operations."

Example #2:

  • Security Squared, March 2010: "Post-event reporting and analysis. PSIM must provide documentation for forensic review of the situation and action taken."
  • IMS Research, December 2010: " Post-Event Reporting and Analysis: A PSIM software platform must provide an audit log that allows for post-event forensic review detailing the event situation and the action taken."

Example #3:

  • Security Squared, March 2010: "Correlation and verification. It must be able to automatically connect and cross-reference events from each respective system as they happen;"
  • IMS Research, December 2010: "Correlation and Verification: A PSIM software platform must be able to automatically connect and cross-reference multiple events from multiple disparate security systems in real-time and give the ability to flexibly set rules."

After SecuritySquared's editor contacted IMS, IMS added a note saying that the "initial starting point for the discussion regarding the definition for PSIM software was based upon prior work by Steven Titch and Sharon J. Watson of SecuritySquared."

This is not just a starting point but a clear example of copying other's works at great length, using it as the core of IMS's 'definition'. It's textbook plagiarism: "A paraphrased example must be cited. You cite a paraphrased example as you would a word-for-word quote. Paraphrasing is a condensed version of another author's work, or putting the author's words into your own words."

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

The Editor of Security Squared reviewed the IMS PSIM report, noting, "From my perspective, this happened because nothing is clearly sourced or cited in the PSIM report. The author makes general statements about consulting company web sites and trade media, but there are no footnotes nor even informal attribution in the text".

IMS Responds

Prior to publication, we sent IMS a full copy of our draft providing them an opportunity to comment or provide input. Here is IMS CEO's response:

Firstly, the allegation of plagiarism that you propose making against IMS Research is an extremely serious one and is completely without foundation. The PSIM definition issue that you reference was a simple editorial oversight on our part. It was extremely unfortunate but as a publisher of hundreds of reports every year, it will inevitably occur very occasionally. This is only the second such issue that we have been involved with in the last 20 years, which gives you an idea of the seriousness with which we take our editorial responsibilities.

Secondly, once this issue was drawn to our attention we dealt with it immediately. We revised our report to acknowledge the definition source, contacted customers to inform them, and reissued the press release. We also sent a full transcript of our report to Steven Titch at SecuritySquared so that they could reassure themselves that this was an isolated omission. Steven seems very satisfied with the timely and professional way we have handled this issue. "

We think IMS is being irresponsible calling this a 'simple editorial oversight':

  • Even if a college student did this, it would clearly be plagiarism. IMS is a global company in business for more than 20 years. 
  • This is a major part of IMS's 'research.' They proposed the question 'What is PSIM?' and answered it by wholesale copying another company's work. This is not simply a minor observation or reference but key to the report/release.
  • IMS copied a significant section of Security Squared's work - 5 paragraphs, not simply a phrase or a sentence.

IMS is still not rectifying this fully: IMS refers to Security Squared's work as a 'starting point for discussion' but it's clearly much more than that; IMS basically copied and rearranged words across 5 paragraphs. IMS should be fully honest and acknowledge that it is not their definition but Security Squared's.

While IMS claims that this has only happened twice, it is very difficult for others to check (or know) as access to their research is highly restricted.

Additionally, the Editor of Security Squared raised concerns that nothing is clearly sourced or cited in IMS's PSIM report. Contrary to IMS's claim, Security Squared is raising fundamental questions about IMS's research methodology.

IMS Threatens Lawsuit

IMS has threatened us with a lawsuit:

Any web posting by yourself which damages our reputation for probity in this area would be treated extremely seriously by us, and we are already taking legal advice to assess what our options are in terms of legal and financial redress in the event of publication. ... if our reputation is damaged we will take appropriate action to protect ourselves and seek redress.

IMS has damaged their own reputation by their very acts. Perhaps they should sue themselves.

Related Reports on PSIM

ASIS Show 2017 Final Report on Sep 27, 2017
ASIS is in Dallas for 2017 and this is our final show report (compare to our 2016 ASIS show report). When walking in, one is greeted with Dahua's...
CNL PSIM Profile on Sep 06, 2017
CNL has been one of the strongest advocates for PSIM, as one of the earliest entrants into the market releasing their command and control software...
Genetec Mission Control Tested on Jul 13, 2017
Genetec continues to move up market with their Mission Control, "Decision Support System", bringing PSIM-like procedures and incident management to...
Tyco PSIM Proximex End of Life on Mar 06, 2017
The end of life for Tyco's PSIM Proximex is here, with no more product releases coming and 3 years of remaining support. Inside this post, we...
Milestone App - PSIM Lite (Alesys) on Feb 09, 2017
Milestone has many features in their VMS, but it is not a PSIM. Italian PSIM developer Alesys thinks sensor integrations and alarm management can...
Hitachi Security Industry Profile on Feb 09, 2017
Hitachi, bigger than Sony and Panasonic overall, with $89 billion USD 2016 total revenue, is expanding into the security industry. They are...
$18.7M PSIM Acquisition Examined (IDV / Everbridge) on Feb 06, 2017
This may be the biggest deal for a PSIM developer ever. In a segment that has disappointed for more than a decade, a recent IPOed company has...
Veracity Acquires PSIM Manufacturer iComply on Feb 03, 2017
Most well-known for their Ethernet extenders, with their own video surveillance storage offering, Veracity has now acquired a PSIM. UK-based...
For Sale: PSIM Provider Seeking Offers on Dec 19, 2016
2016 saw a lot of acquisitions, and more are expected in 2017, now PSIM vendor Fortem is hoping they can get in on this action, and are marketing...
IPVM Inspires PSIM-Challenger Startup Agora on Jun 28, 2016
An IPVM member asked about Agora Systems in a discussion, a company we knew little about, prompting us to reach out to answer our member's...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Exacq Unbreaks Avigilon Integration on Oct 18, 2017
For nearly 4 years, Exacq had broken and effectively blocked use with Avigilon cameras, as IPVM reported in January 2014. Now, Exacq has...
Search More Important Than Live Monitoring - Statistics on Oct 18, 2017
Search is overall more important than live monitoring to integrators, according to new IPVM statistics.  The key themes found in integrator...
Axis 'Sold Out' P3707-PVE Multi-Imager Tested on Oct 18, 2017
Axis faced significant product shortages over the summer. Perhaps the most notorious and significantly sold out model was the Axis P3707-PE 8MP...
Dahua Removes Auto Rebooting on Oct 17, 2017
For years, Dahua has automatically programmed its IP cameras to reboot weekly, a highly atypical and questionable practice. Following IPVM...
Deep Learning Tutorial For Video Surveillance on Oct 17, 2017
Deep learning is a growing buzzword within physical security and video surveillance. But what is 'deep learning'? In this tutorial, we explain...
Multipoint Lock Access Control Tutorial on Oct 17, 2017
Doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and money can be misspent on wrong locks that leave doors quite vulnerable. While closed and locked...
Buy From B&H, Ship Direct From ADI on Oct 16, 2017
B&H, one of the largest online sellers of video surveillance equipment to end users, regularly purchases their video surveillance equipment...
Competing Against Siemens on Oct 16, 2017
Siemens entered the integration business with 15,000+ customers, through their acquisition of Security Technologies Group in 2001. Since that time,...
Geovision GV-EDR2100 Tested Vs Hikvision on Oct 16, 2017
A number of ADI's top selling IP cameras are, at least surprisingly to us, from Geovision. We recently bought and tested the Geovision EDR2100...
Top Problems Searching Surveillance Video (Statistics) on Oct 13, 2017
When crimes, accidents or incidents happen, the video surveillance system is a key component in finding out and proving what actually...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact