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I think that this article needs expansion and clarification. There are many examples of plagiarism on Conservapedia, perhaps because editors are not aware of what exactly constitutes plagiarism. Copy-and-pasting articles from other websites without quotation marks is plagiarism, even if the source website is listed as a 'reference' or 'source'. If the words are not yours, they should be in quotation marks, and the source is preferably mentioned directly in the text in addition to a reference footnote that shows exactly where the material came from. Footnotes should also lead the reader directly to the page from which the material was taken, if possible. Directing someone to a general web page and making them drill down through multiple layers of links to find the page from which you quoted is ethically questionable, as it obscures the true source of your information. When quoting from a printed work, page numbers should be used to aid the reader in tracking down the citation.

No doubt others will be able to give more concrete examples of how to avoid inadvertent plagiarism.Brossa 11:15, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Plagiarism means a fradulent claim of authorship in order to get academic credit. It's all about papers written for school. The standard encyclopedias (like Britannica, World Book, Encarta) do NOT cite their sources. It is not plagiarism because there is no academic claim being made, and no deception is practiced. We should follow the usual practices of encyclopedias, not the rules colleges lay down for freshman papers. RJJensen 12:58, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
That's not really true. Plagiarism is using someone else's ideas and passing them off as your own. EB doesn't plagiarize, because they describe subjects, not ideas. They have an editorial board, so their description of a subject is an idea, and it's their own; not someone else's. However, if you use someone else's direct words, with no quotation marks (or no other way to set it off as a direct quote), it is always plagiarism, whether it be found in a freshman paper, a senior thesis, a professional journal, or an encyclopedia. HelpJazz 13:35, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
plagiarism requires fraud (ie the claim "I did this work myself") and with no fraud there is no plagiarism. Quotation marks are merely tracking devices that schools insist on so they can identify and prove plagiarism charges against students. RJJensen 15:49, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Are you serious with this? That plagiarism does not apply outside the academic environment?--Brossa 16:36, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
yes--in the real world executives have their speeches and reports ghostwritten and then they sign them. (But Biden got embarrassed once when he copied a British speech in which the Brit talked about his ancestors--who were of course not Biden's ancestors. :) RJJensen 18:11, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

I believe that Conservapedia editors should not take others' work and present it as their own. That is what you are doing if you copy something word-for-word from another site and do not provide a reference cite and do not indicate which words and ideas came from the site. Regardless of the plagiarism issue, an online encyclopedia written as a wiki is not particularly useful if references are not cited. Students who use the encyclopedia cannot rely on it as a primary source for their work; at best it provides a starting point for further research. Because of this, it is especially important to cite our sources. Students need to be able to follow up on what they read here, and to verify the information by reading the credible sources we provide. It is important for them to understand where the information came from - who did the study or wrote the opinion or what-have-you - so that they can bring into their understanding of the information any inherent bias or point of view the original authors may have. The wiki software makes it very easy to cite your sources when you add information to an article, and adding quotation marks and in-text attribution takes only a few seconds. Frankly, it is simply lazy not to do so. --Hsmom 19:16, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

I agree, Hsmom. Thanks for your input. I would also add that not only is it more helpful for students to cite our work, but it's clearly in the rules that we must do so.

RJJensen, I think you are slightly confused about plagiarism. It is plagiarism even if it's outside of academic circles. Wasn't there a case not too long ago about a New York Times journalist who got in trouble for plagiarism? The NYTimes isn't an academic source. You bring up ghostwriters and speechwriters as a counter example, but these people give permission for someone else to use the writer's words as their own (and in fact are paid rather handsomely for it). This is not plagiarism, not because it's "outside the academic environment", but because they are being given permission to do so. Your strange infactuation with the idea that colleges invented plagiarism is, well, strange. HelpJazz 19:37, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
I agree with Hsmom that CP is much more useful when it has lots of citations, and all my articles are loaded with them and with detailed bibliographies. The NY Times case involved massive fraud on the part of Jason Blair a "star" writer who regularly scooped every other reporter in the US with spectacular interviews. Turns out they were false interviews he invented. To cover himself he used true interviews other people had conducted claiming them as his own (which is plagiarism in the academic world and fraud in the newspaper world). He was fired and the NY Times also fired its #1 and #2 top editors who had ignored repeated warnings by lower-level editors that the reporter was a phoney. Blair's main offense was not the copying true info (his plagiarism) but that he systematically created false news and fooled the NY Times into publishing it. The CP article should mention that he was black, and that the #1 editor was demanding aggressive affirmative action, and the #2 editor was also black, so that affirmative action was a central factor in allowing it to happen. RJJensen 19:50, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Ah yes, that's right. I didn't remember the details, but it seems you now at least agree that plagiarism isn't only an academic concept. HelpJazz 23:24, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Plagiarism and the law

I'm pretty sure plagiarism and copyright infringement are different beasts. Plagiarism is a failure to give credit where credit is due (cite, as in a paper). Copyright infringement is using copyrighted material without authorization or compensation. Plagiarism is against the academic code, but not the legal code. Vice versa for copyvio. Ungtss 14:09, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Nevermind -- I misunderstood your correction -- you're right. Ungtss 14:12, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
No prob, bob :)

Whole Article Needs To Be Gutted

I am going to delete this article, pending a rewrite, because of the inconsistencies noted above by Professor Jensen, and the insertion by vandal site trolls (who have all long-ago been blocked for their perfidy) of completely spurious information. Using government-provided text, written at taxpayers expense, and duly cited as the source, with links provided, is not plagiarism as established in case law. Someone employed by the government, to write website text, has absolutely no claim to copyright, as they do so as part of their duties, and are paid for what they do, at taxpayers expense. Aside from that, it is also a well-established policy here, from the owner of this site, that copying from government websites is permitted. Now if someone copies an article from the Department of Defense, without attribution, leaving the impression they were the author, that isn't plagiarism, but it could be dishonesty. But to adapt government copy for use here, or anywhere, with a clear citation of where it comes from is not dishonest or illegal in any way, shape or form. Anyone who argues differently is either a troll or liar, most likely both. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 11:22, 11 October 2010 (EDT)