Citing Sources

The Executive Committee's pamplet on plagiarism provides guidance on when a citation is required. You may also want to look at the resources at Avoiding Plagiarism.

Here are links to what we consider some of the best citation sources online:

Copyright Issues

According to Black's Law Dictionary, 7th edition,

copyright is a property right in an original work of authorship (such as literary, musical, artistic, photographic, or film work) fixed in any tangible medium of expression, giving the holder the exclusive right to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform, and display the work.

According to the "Washington and Lee University Policy for the Use of Copyrighted Works"

A copyright grants to its owner the right to control an intellectual or artistic creation, to prohibit others from using the work in specific ways without permission, and to profit from the sale and performance of the work. Under the current statute, copyright protection extends to not only copies of the written word and recordings of sound, but visual images such as photographs or illustration or animated i mages such as motion pictures or videotapes. It also extends to live performances that are taped as they are broadcast.

Generally, works of scholarship that use bits and pieces of other works use the concept of Fair Use to cover the "copied" bits and pieces. If you copy an article to use in your study, you are using fair use. If you quote from the article or paraphrase the content in a paper you write (and cite the source), you are using fair use to justify your failure to get permission from the copyright owner. If you fail to cite the source, then you are plagiarizing the source and your use is probably a violation of copyright law as well. Although there are some sources, such as encyclopedias, which are not generally listed in bibliographies, credit must be given when they are quoted or paraphrased. This credit may be given in the text, parenthetically or in a note.



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