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I have seen several answers now that are just cut and paste from other websites. While that is fine as we want to have the content here it is important that these external sources be properly attributed to give credit to the original authors.

When I say external I mean external to this SE site Arts & Crafts such as

  • External Websites like Wiki
  • Books (You know those things made of paper)
  • other SE sites.

At a minimum what should as the authors of the posts here to be sure we are properly attributing external content?

My hope is to link posters to this post if the content is questionable as to being original work of the OP.

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At a minimum what should as the authors of the posts here to be sure we are properly attributing external content?

We should be:

  • Linking to the original source: A hyper link would direct users to the original content. A book can just be link to excerpt of pages (some books are posted online) or online store that sells it.

  • Use block quotes > to indicate when words are not your own: In addition to the links


Basic example could be like:

Consider a quote from Jane Austen's: Pride and Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Excerpt from Project Gutenberg


The markup for what is above is:

Consider a quote from Jane Austen's: Pride and Prejudice

>It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

<sup>Excerpt from [Project Gutenberg](https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1342/1342-h/1342-h.htm#link2HCH0001)</sup>

It does not have to be perfect and formal nor am I trying to set a standard. Just enough so that readers know where the words came from and how to get to it themselves.

Proper Attribution is important and we should strive to give credit where credit is due. In some cases you need to be careful of any licensing restrictions for reposting content as well. In the case of the snippet I have above I can post it because of the first paragraph on the linked page:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.

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  • I agree with this. I've seen a handful of questions where you can tell it's been pasted from another source but there's nothings telling us that. – neongreenfruit Apr 28 '16 at 15:55
  • You should make this CW. Also a point - if you see plagiarism without attribution, either mod flag that, or edit in the attribution. Downvote, comment and move on as well :) – Zizouz212 Apr 28 '16 at 20:52
  • @Zizouz212 I wiki'd it up. The couple of cases I saw so far were suspected and I could not prove otherwise. The op did get back to me on one of them and confirmed paraphrasing not direct copy. I think I would only downvote if the answer was nothing but a quote. Comment always! I usually edit it in when I can find where it comes from. – Matt Apr 29 '16 at 16:20
  • +1. A couple of my posts here exemplify this style of quoting text for answers :-) – Rand al'Thor May 21 '16 at 17:24

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