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Avoiding Plagiarism

Having gone to an academic magnet school, I have quite a few friends who are teaching at the university level now. And every so often I see a post by one of them about a plagiarism issue. This is in college, where the student handbooks clearly have language about what is and is not plagiarism. If the student handbooks don't, then the English courses often cover this information. Yet they still see papers which obviously contain plagiarized content if not the whole paper being plagiarized. And of course, we've had several Twitter firestorms in the SQL Server community in recent months over on-line plagiarism. Thankfully, I haven't seen any of my content be plagiarized. I know, I know, that could be looked at two different ways. I'll choose to mislead myself with the positive one. :-)

After one of the firestorms, I remember saying, "This guy is a college graduate! Surely he knows what plagiarism is!" Then after the one yesterday, I stopped and thought about the fact that my friends who are professors are still seeing the problem, too. So this invaldates my previous statement. Just because someone is a college graduate, that's no guarantee that said person understands what plagiarism is and isn't. So I threw together this blog post as a resource linking to other resources. If you're looking to quote someone else's content, aggregate content, or the like, hopefully these references will help you steer clear of the plagiarism issue.

What is Plagiarism?

Blog Plagiarism and How to Avoid:


K. Brian Kelley - Databases, Infrastructure, and Security

IT Security, MySQL, Perl, SQL Server, and Windows technologies.


Posted by Grant Fritchey on 24 March 2010

Excellent summary. Let's hope the word gets out but I still suspect a lot of the "I didn't know" can be translated as "Oh darn, I got caught."

Posted by K. Brian Kelley on 24 March 2010

That's fine, but with a resource from the community, it should be easy to say, "Okay, I'll by that. Check this, so you'll know what is and isn't acceptable." If it's because someone truly doesn't know, we've fixed the issue.

Posted by Jeff Rush on 24 March 2010

Hey! You stole my article that I somehow wrote inside your head. Just kidding. Some good info.

Posted by mrdenny on 24 March 2010

I think that something which is key that people need to remember, that even if you are going to site the original posted content, if there is a copyright at the bottom which says that you can't repost the material, that's what it actually means, which is where this last set of problems all started from.

Granted it ended in a totally different place then that, but it started with copying and reposting works which specifically said that you couldn't repost without prior written permission.

Posted by K. Brian Kelley on 24 March 2010

True, and that's a very good point. If the original author(s) do not release permission to use, unless you can show something like fair use in an academic circle, you can't use it. In those cases what was cited by Andy Leonard works well. Talk about why you like the content and include the link. Then let the reader go get it.

Posted by Dukagjin Maloku on 24 March 2010

Yes it is a good post to prepare yourself about "avoiding plagiarism". - Nice post Brian!

Posted by Anonymous on 24 March 2010

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Posted by Jason Brimhall on 24 March 2010

Nice post.  I tend to lean the same direction as Grant.  There may be some out there that still don't understand plagiarism even though it is taught from Jr High on.  Most believe they will never get caught.

Also, nice point about fair use.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 March 2010

First, figure out what you want to write about. It should be something you have passion for. And it should

Posted by Anonymous on 8 April 2010

Pingback from  Fear and Loathing in the Blogosphere – A plagiarism primer - SQLServerTimes2

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