References: the simple art of politeness

Every true hobbyist who endeavours to share his/her knowledge and experiences of aquarism through a website will eventually encounter the nagging irritation of plagiarism by other hobbyists.

Plagiarism is an imitation of others’ texts and ideas, claimed as one’s own. I must stress that this includes slight modification of the text and translations. Rather than preaching the legal issues surrounding the issue, I wish to highlight something just as important – the disrespect it infers.

When you copy+paste the text from someone else’s website, you are copy+pasting all the time and effort they put into writing the article and gaining the knowledge that they poured into it. It is impolite (at the very least) to not ask permission and to not reference your sources, and doing so will earn you far more respect than the stolen text will.¬†Needless to say, there is a very similar issue with photographs. Ask for permission before use, and reference the owner/source.

Plagiarism is not only highly impolite and disrespectful, but it is also extremely easy to avoid. Be civilised, hobbyists; acquire permission and give references!

An example of how to reference a website is as follows:

Sources:

Green, J. ‘http://www.atyidae.wordpress.com’.

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