August 4, 2012

On Plagiarizing a Website

Mark Goodacre illustrates a rather clear undocumented use of one of his webpages in the commonly used Introducing the New Testament by John Drane. I’m sure the kind of paraphrasing Mark notes would garner a low, maybe failing, grade and/or be referred for disciplinary action if it appeared in a student paper at most universities.

Perhaps Drane felt relieved of the requirement to document his source because his work is introductory and/or because the source was a webpage. Both thoughts are suggested by Mark and those who commented on his post. Both are properly rejected.

Often Mark uses his web presence to explain developed ideas. Unlike Mark, I more often use my blog to experiment with embryonic, sometimes wild, ideas that I may or may not be able to develop. A few have worked out; most have not. It generally takes a year or so to develop those wild ideas that are developable and another year or more to get them published. During that “production” time I always have some fear that a wild speculation here at Abnormal Interests will result in an unattributed finished product at someone else’s hands. That isn’t what happen in the case of Mark’s work. But Mark is surely right for calling Drane out on this and I’m glad he did.

Blogs and websites are not sources of attribution free ideas and information!

Posted by Duane Smith at August 4, 2012 12:18 PM | Read more on Odds and Ends |

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