I understand that the best course of action is to add a source for a particular question. Is there a stronger way to encourage users to cite their sources in answers beyond down-voting factually correct but copied answers?

  • 7
    I would also want to highlight plagiarised content in tag-wikis as well.
    – jokerdino Mod
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 8:23

3 Answers 3


Simply copying information, word by word or big chunks of it, without citing the source is wrong.

I don't care how you see it or what license the information is shared from.

You should work the information that you obtain, adapt it and fit it to the needs of the site, after you did that you should add a link to the information you based your post on as the source.

Answers that are exact copies of information from other sites should not really exist in a good context, if you can edit them and make some use of that information great, else they should be flagged for moderation and possibly deleted.

Users that continuous paste information from other sources as their own answers will be warned and possibly have their accounts suspended.

  • What about answers, which i gave to serveral questions, thinking they may proved useful. Is it correct?
    – Anwar
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 8:33
  • 1
    @AnwarShah you need to quote the source. If you copied something those words are not yours and the correct source should be quoted at least. Don't make the site a field of copied information from the internet, we should be trying to improve the internet, don't copy the bad examples of internet usage! Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 8:39
  • I was asking what is the case, if i give my words in several answers. though i try to link to that also, sorry for not being clear first
    – Anwar
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 8:41
  • 1
    @AnwarShah Isn't that a dupe question already? I'd flag it as such.
    – lgarzo
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 8:48
  • @BrunoPereira you said to "Copy the information from the website linked and place it here using your own words." to me that is plagiarism. So by linking the site, and using block-quote for the information copied is the way not to plagiarize. Right?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 11:17
  • 1
    Copying in one's own words constitutes paraphrase plagiarism. You still need to cite unless you thought of the answer yourself.
    – nanofarad
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 11:30
  • 3
    @Mitch A simple out of context block quote from a site is not an answer, that was the main point of the comments I sent to you, the information should be copied, should be adapted to fit the site as an answer and the source of the information should be always included in any answer you create based on another source. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 12:46
  • @mateo_salta, it was just for formatting
    – Anwar
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:43
  • @mateo_salta Oh, I never thought block-quote is for only quoting, i used them for formatting. I also edited some to look good with block-quote. is it bad?
    – Anwar
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 16:04
  • I'm not sure, it was a bit confusing. I thought it was just for quoting. could be wrong
    – Mateo
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 18:18
  • 3
    Whether or not it's good to use blockquotes for anything but quoting should perhaps be asked as a separate question here on meta... Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 0:57
  • @EliahKagan I am sure that was already discussed millions of times :/ Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 6:15

I do that sometime. Reason, I don't know much about Ubuntu, and Linux fro that matter, and I know that is not an excuse.

The first rule of copying information from a location to another is to identify the owner. By doing so it is not considered plagiarism. Now copying and changing few word, is still called plagiarism if you don't cite your source.

I try to be Conscientious about what to copy and include the site that it was copied from, just to avoid such a dilemma. I sometimes go back to plagiarism.org in case I get worried about something, and I try to research it. Sometimes I even ask the professors at the university that I work at on how to copy information, and use it without committing plagiarism.

Bruno Pereira said in his answer "Plagiarism without citing the source is wrong" well if you cite the source is not plagiarism, you are merely copying the words verbatim.

Don't miss understand me I agree with Bruno Pereira, you should try to put thing in your own words, but that doesn't relieve you from citing. You still have to cite the source (website) and sometimes that author or creator of the information that you are trying to use.

I hope that all of us here would work in harmony, and help each other in any way we can if possible. I remember asking a question about down-voting earlier, and it was closed as being a duplicate, I looked at that question, and one of the answers said " votes are anonymous, so you should not have to reveal your identity when you down-vote" Gilles.

I agree with that, but there should be an option of multiple reasons that you can choose from, and I think that may help that person to improve his question/answer. I don't know maybe I went off on a tangent here, but lets all work together as one.

  • 3
    We do not care much (that's my personal opinion) where the information comes from. What needs to happen is that the information is explicitly added as an answer and that the source of the information is quoted in the answer. You can use quotes from the source at your will, but an answer should not be only a quote from a random site and a link to it. Main reason for that? When the link dies the answer becomes totally worthless and should be deleted. If you use the information obtained, transform it to an answer that solves an issue and quote the source, there is nothing wrong. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 13:01
  • @mateo_salta I don't think I'm the only one doing this, But, to point someone in the right direction, is better that making them fall off. I can give you answers about windows all day long, and I will do it from my head in my own words, why? because I have been using it for over 20 years, but only 2 months Ubuntu. Once I'm more comfortable, I can assure you that answers will change.P.S. 14 out of 225 isn't bad :) I'm pretty sure that when you all started, you didn't become good at it, it took time. Thank a lot for this great discussion, cause that's the way things get better:) I really mean it
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:05
  • Well, that’s OK. Once I'm more into it, my answers will improve, and I let them speak for me. By the way nice picture (great job). I'm the glass half full kinda of guy. Hope you have a good day, or night. :)
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:24
  • @mateo_salta By the way, thanks for the edit. I would like for you to take a look at this. I know the question is closed, but do look at the answer, that just edited, and let me know if its better. askubuntu.com/questions/152965/…
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:26
  • Sorry, If that came out a bit too direct, There are some where you quoted where I think they are acceptable, aka software recommendations where you quoted the description of the software, but also give them a bit from you how you use the software, or think it might meet their needs. Or If the user wants an "expert" why on a question, other wise I try to test, reword, simplify, and explain possible pitfalls that the original source might have missed, and cite where the information originated.
    – Mateo
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:30
  • 2
    Don't be sorry, As I said, I have no problem in learning. I really love Ubuntu, and I'm willing to do it, I just might need help sometimes.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:33
  • 1
    @Mitch Don't worry m8, I think we are all confusing 2 things here: 1 is low quality posts with a link and a quote that might go bad in a few months, the other is plagiarism. I think some of your post can be fitted in the first case, and none of them in the second. This all question just came on a same day that I commented in a question from you, that's all, don't think it all fits in your case. Keep up and try to improve your questions, thank you for your effort and participation on the site. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 16:25
  • I appreciate what really happened, because you really brought up some really good points, and I agree with you completely. And as a said, I will do my best form now on to come up with better answers, and try to work on the old one, and try to improve them. No worries whatsoever. Thank you very much.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 17:43

Perhaps adding a script to the site that detects pasting of blocks of text over 150 (tweet-length) characters, and prompts an in-site pop-up with "Is this copied from an article?", reminding you to cite your source. For many people it may sadly just slip their mind, and this plagiarism may turn out to be negated by such a reminder.

  • 1
    No. I don't want to be badgered "is this plagiarism?" every time I answer a question.
    – dotancohen
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 10:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .