Avoid online plagiarism

Avoid online plagiarism

The topic of plagiarism has crossed my path on a few different occasions recently, and it’s come to my attention that people just seem to think there are different rules when it comes to the Internet.

While we all learned how to appropriately source references in public school (in the days before the internet), some have thrown those guidelines out the window. That may be because there’s LOTS of plagiarism on the internet already that makes it appear that content theft is normal; it’s not at all uncommon to see the same content posted in 8 different places without a link or credit to the original writer.

I know we covered protecting yourself from how to Stick to the Facts to Avoid Content Plagiarism, but with so much discussion and confusion on the subject, let’s go back to the basics. You want to protect yourself from a lawsuit, and you don’t want to hurt your SEO rankings with too much duplication after all.

Guidelines to Avoid Online Plagiarism

1)    Credit your source – anytime you’re using an idea from someone else, it’s kosher to offer a credit with an in-text link in the very least. If you want to use something someone else has written verbatim, there are some simple rules: ensure the text is displayed as a quote, and that you give credit where credit is due. In this circumstance, an in-text link isn’t enough. Also include the name of the person or organization behind the information, and add your in-text link on that name next to the quotation.

2)    Rephrase – if you plan on using someone’s ideas specifically, not just the common knowledge facts, you still need to include a credit as outlined above.  If you didn’t think up the idea, quite simply, it’s not yours for the taking.

3)    Familiarize with intellectual property rights – remember, it doesn’t matter if there’s no copyright at the bottom of a webpage, and it doesn’t matter how many sites you’ve seen the content published on. You also can’t think that because it’s on the internet it’s free to take. Whatever your thoughts are, if they’re along these lines, you’re wrong.

With some of the myths of internet rights to content outlined above, hopefully you’ll be in a better position to soldier forward producing compelling content while remaining protected and unique!

21 Comments
  • Asbestos Mesothelioma Attorney
    Posted at 13:23h, 26 April Reply

    It amazes me how so many people just claim ignorance. In any other area of life it’s not acceptable to plead ignorance, I don’t understand why people seem to think that real world rules – and common decency – don’t apply online.

    @ Bonnie, Even with everything that’s available in the directories, some folk see themselves as above any rules. I’ve had my articles taken from directories and used without the resource box.

    Sorry, this is a pet peeve of mine. Thanks for your effort to educate the masses!

  • ascentive
    Posted at 09:47h, 26 April Reply

    Thanks for offering your advice on this important issue. Online plagiarism is something people really ought to be more familiar with than they are. This goes for me, too. Is there any literature, off- or online, that you might be able to recommend for those who want to read up on the topic in more detail?

  • Finally Fast
    Posted at 10:43h, 26 April Reply

    Having been working with web based businesses for the past several years, I too have come across this issue. It does not seem to matter what one does, those wanting to steal content just will. It is a shame and has certainly cast a cloud of doubt on several websites. If you suspect this happening do your duty and report it whenever possible.

  • bonnie
    Posted at 10:49h, 26 April Reply

    I think it’s strange they keep stealing, when the article directories have TONS of stuff to use. But what really burns me is when the traditional media steals from bloggers. That happens a lot and it’s really annoying.

  • Beth Graddon-Hodgson
    Posted at 14:17h, 26 April Reply

    Agreed, people think they’re above the rules and they’re only sorry when they get caught (NOT because they have remorse). There really isn’t much that can be done to stop people from stealing content – but we can inform ourselves enough to ensure we don’t do it to others!

  • sewa ac
    Posted at 00:44h, 27 April Reply

    Hi Beth,

    is there a law for online plagiarism? is it a crime? can you give me any kind of information about this issue?

  • Mia
    Posted at 02:49h, 27 April Reply

    One of the good things that Google does, is that it verifies if the content was stolen or not. Of course the system is not perfect and sometimes, the original author is being punished. If you have all your articles documented it’s easy to prove the contrary.

  • poker
    Posted at 04:17h, 28 April Reply

    Very important contribution. By anonymity in the www it is very simple to dublicate articles and publish them as its own.

  • Ces
    Posted at 22:34h, 27 April Reply

    interesting topic. I am still learning how to blog and I am happy there are articles like this that are helpful.

  • Barney
    Posted at 07:00h, 28 April Reply

    I surely agree with you plagiarism is on a great rise these days on the internet. Sometimes one can’t say who is the actual owner of it. There must be some laws about it but the core issue is their implementation. Anyway thanks for the nice post. Cheers

  • Trust deed
    Posted at 08:30h, 28 April Reply

    This is a problem i have found myself many times. Generally if you understand what you are writing about then you shouldn’t need to steal it word for word

  • George Harris
    Posted at 10:34h, 28 April Reply

    Great info, many times we are tempted to use someone elses work. Thanks for pointing out the pitfalls of online plagiarism.

  • Sites N Stores
    Posted at 23:42h, 01 May Reply

    Google search engine also don’t like online plagiarism. by the way good article

  • Lee Pinsanetti
    Posted at 13:49h, 02 May Reply

    Copyscape is a free plagiarism checker. The software lets you detect duplicate content and check if your articles are original. This should be a first source to check when posting an article, and in fact, one to check often to find out who’s copying your own work.

  • bankruptcy filing in florida
    Posted at 02:16h, 03 May Reply

    Online sources primarily include Internet Web pages, electronic books, and full-text journal articles (usually available from library databases).Whether or not something is copyrighted has no bearing on your obligation to acknowledge your sources. But as a point in fact most information available over the Internet is protected by copyright since the law assumes most material published in a fixed media is eligible for copyright protection.

  • Ajay
    Posted at 13:05h, 12 May Reply

    Nice post.

    You can avoid plagiarism by above methods but there are people who think any content on the Internet is free to copy.

    I’ve come across many big organization who have copied my client’s content. They, innocently, reply that they always thought copying content and mentioning the website was ok.

    Plagiarism is going to be there, no matter how much you educate others.

  • Sheila
    Posted at 17:10h, 03 June Reply

    Online plagiarism is going to stay. There is no way to stop it as long as Internet remains free.

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    Posted at 04:21h, 19 August Reply

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