Monday, 11 July 2016

ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group Lesson 15

Hilary Gadsby

13 July 2016
QuickLesson 15: Plagiarism—Five "Copywrongs" of Historical Writing    
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 15: Plagiarism―Five "Copywrongs" of Historical Writing,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (—five-copywrongs-historical-writing : accessed 10 July 2016).

In this lesson Elizabeth Shown Mills discusses the possible ways that those who write may be copying the works of others. Of we fail to recognize that we are using the works of others inappropriately we may be accused of plagiarism or breach of copyright.

You will often find that I include links to the works of others on this blog, and others to which I contribute, by doing this I am acknowledging that person's work and directing readers to the original. I prefer to do this with anything I find online as it requires that I only discuss that I have found the item useful and/or what I have taken to be the message from the author. The reader can then make their own judgement on the original piece, without the possibility, that substantial amounts of the author's work are being copied to my blog post.

Earlier this year I attended a talk about copyright and how it affects me in the UK. There was discussion about fair use and who owns the copyright of a published work. Whilst it may not be relevant to many genealogists, it was interesting to note that, a blog post or other materials created as a part of an employee's occupation, are under copyright of the employer, rather than the employee. Each and every genealogist should be aware of the copyright law, that affects them, especially if we are to share our work with others.

The majority of this lesson deals with the discussion of plagiarism and copying. Taking large parts of a published work and making little if any changes to how it's presented. Taking the work of others without attribution, even be it only a small part of the complete work, is unacceptable.
If we see a work which cites an original record should we not, where possible, consult that original record rather than an interpretation.

Cite your sources, avoid copying, consult originals and be aware that whilst the facts may be shared the format of their presentation may be the creation of another.

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