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robmandu's avatar

How do you avoid Fluther plagiarism?

Asked by robmandu (21252points) October 6th, 2008

Hey, I need some help understanding something.

Please read this quip.

That quip was wholly copy & pasted from the Dallas City Hall web site. I didn’t say that explicitly in the quip, though. What I did do was hyperlink the main sentence that directly answered the question in order to do two things:

1. let the red, underline text highlight that important part of the answer
2. assume that the hyperlink itself acts as a citation to attribute the source of the quoted text.

By overloading the hyperlink paradigm, did I inadvertently plagiarize?

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9 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

Hmm, sort of. I read that and thought it was you that was writing it, I didn’t think to follow the link (unless I’m really really interested, I generally won’t).

Perhaps:

The City’s outdoor weather warning system has 94 sirens that alert people who are outdoors to seek shelter in the event of a tornado. The system is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 12:00 noon weather permitting. We do not test the sirens if the weather is bad or threatening; this helps to ensure that there will be no confusion as to whether it is a test or a real alert.

From: http://www.dallascityhall.com/oem/oem_warning_sirens.html

Would have been better. Why do you ask?

bodyhead's avatar

I usually just hyperlink right before or after the quoted text. If you think about it, you’re actually helping the search engine optimization by linking it around relevant text anyway. You’re doing them a favor as long as you link back to the source. That type of stuff is important to the google ranking.

richardhenry's avatar

@bodyhead: In terms of Fluther though, it’s sort of unclear. I didn’t think that that was copy-pasted.

bodyhead's avatar

Ah yea, I get you. You should make it clear that the information comes from a online source. I’m with you on that.

I try to italicize to insinuate what isn’t my words. I’m fully agreed with your quote an citation method up there.

shilolo's avatar

My suggestion is to cite things as clearly as possible. In this scenario, I would have said,

The Dallas Emergency Response website states “The City’s outdoor weather warning system has 94 sirens that alert people who are outdoors to seek shelter in the event of a tornado. The system is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 12:00 noon weather permitting. We do not test the sirens if the weather is bad or threatening; this helps to ensure that there will be no confusion as to whether it is a test or a real alert.”

That answer would have been informative, useful, and appropriately cited.

autumn43's avatar

@shilolo – Perfect solution.

@robmandu – I don’t always click on the underlined info either – so I would have assumed you/the person writing the answer ‘said’ what was typed. So this was a great question!

marinelife's avatar

I usually state that the text comes from the hyperlink citation, and I always put it in quotes.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

As a member of the Honor Council at my school, my standard response would be along the lines of Marina. Just give me some quotation marks. You can put the name of the source in there however you want; the rest is gravy.

augustlan's avatar

I’m with Marina…just link and use quotation marks.

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