Friday, April 18, 2003

Give Credit Where Credit is Due-Bene links to this Chicago Trib blog piece; old hat, but yet another piece showing how we're slowly seeping into the broader culture. I haven't commented on The Agonist/Stratfor plagiarism issue yet. This doesn't seem to be rocket science, for two basic rules seem to apply. The first is one most bloggers should have picked up by now in school-cite your sources. If it's someone else's idea, give them credit. If you're using their idea in your own words, you just give then credit and if you quote them verbatim for more than two or three words, you put quote marks or blockquote the passage to denote that the words aren't yours. The second rule is the blogger rule-provide a link if there is one. Blogs don't have to follow MLA or APA guidelines on citation; providing a hyperlink is the blog standard. If the page in question doesn't allow to link to a post, point out where the information is on the site. The Agonist went 0-for-2 on these rules. Even if he had referenced Stratfor, linking to a subscription-only site is frowned upon and if the information was privileged, he might have a copyright issue even if he didn't have a plagiarism issue. I'm not sure if anyone used the phrase "fact-check your a**" to the Trib reporter, but the Blogosphere is more robust that the Papa Blog quote of "To be fair to the world of blogging, he was caught by another blogger ... That's how the blog world works -- it's inherently self-policing."

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