Re: Philosophical ques. re: plagiarism

Subject: Re: Philosophical ques. re: plagiarism
From: Mark Baker <mbaker -at- OMNIMARK -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 14:10:12 -0400

Rowena Hart writes

>* How ethical is it to skillfully "adapt" information from technical
>sources and pass it off as your own writing?
>Personally, I include a references section or footnotes if I am
>using someone else's work (paraphrasing, not plagiarizing).

Don't confuse copyright law with the academic requirement to acknowledge
sources. Ideas can't be copyrighted, only the expression of ideas. Academic
standards require the identification of sources to allow the reader to
verify your assertions, not to give acknowledgment to the writer of the
source. Acknowledging a source has nothing to do with copyright. If you cite
material beyond the fair use provisions of the law, acknowledging the author
does not absolve you of copyright violation.

In summary: quoting or paraphrasing makes no difference to academic
requirements, acknowledging or not acknowledging makes no difference to
copyright (though it is polite).

Mark Baker
Manager, Corporate Communications
OmniMark Technologies Corporation
1400 Blair Place
Gloucester, Ontario
Canada, K1J 9B8
Phone: 613-745-4242
Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com

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