Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: not2easy

Message Too Old, No Replies

This an acceptable way of citing sources?

6:17 am on May 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 16, 2003
votes: 0

I just wanted to make sure this is a legal and proper way of writing articles and citing the sources. Don't want to plagerize.


I read 3 articles on cleaning widgets, then I put the 3 articles away (in the desk) and write my own article about cleaning widgets from the general knowledge (no specific statistics or facts) I learnt from the articles.

At the end of the article I give them credit:

Article 1
Article 2
Article 3

7:22 am on May 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 15, 2003
votes: 0

IANAL, but I can't see any killer legal problems here (unless, of course, you signed non-disclosure forms on any of the articles, or get too close to the original author's work.)

What is proper is hard to say. What is considered proper varies from context to context. The net tends to be very loose.

This is generally the way most people write term papers, but would not be okay for a dissertation or work published in a reputable journal.

If you are blogging, I doubt you would see any legal problems unless you were mechanizing article jumbling or ended up somehow copying a great deal of the sentence structure in the works.

There is nothing that prevents sources from suing, especially when money and reputations are at stake. If the parties you cite feel you are doing them material harm, they might sue or send a cease and desist letter.

There have been some high profile suits against popular authors for essentially rephrasing works of others.

The line between research and plagiarism can be thin.
The mere fact that you are asking makes me worry that you are working on a project that is pushing the edges, in which case you probably should have real legal advice.

4:25 pm on May 8, 2004 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 2, 2000
votes: 0

Indeed, most articles are written this way (often without citation). One thing to watch out for are unique facts. If one of your sources was an original study that showed widgets last 3.5 years on average, I'd probably attribute the statistic to that source in the text. For example, "According to a study conducted by Dr. R. M. Smith of the Widget Institute, the average life of widgets is 3.5 years." Not only will this look like fair use, it will add credibility to your writing and provide readers with a path for further study if needed. As noted above, though, doing things correctly doesn't mean you still won't draw someone's ire.
12:00 am on June 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 17, 2004
votes: 0

I'm going to agree with rogerd. At the very least you should be trying to let your reader know that the information did not come from you, but from another. You could use the method rogerd pointed out or you could quite simply put an astrick with a number indicating a citation at the end of your article. Especially since so many do not really read but rather skim the words.

You should be using some form of either MLA or APA way of citing sources depending on what you are writing about. Do a google search on citing sources & look for the English Dept. from Purdue University. They have a wonderful online information specifically geared towards citing from online sources.

That way you will have no worries & your won't have to worry about the bad side of Karma! lol



Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members