Not long ago, I was contacted by an individual to use some information in one of my articles, and since he was an honest man he asked me: “I’m just finishing an essay and am using two quotes from one of your articles. I’ve provided the references and given the proper credits is there anything else I need to do?” Amazing I thought, here is one of the last reputable people on the planet, you see, all too often integrated library system I have not only passages stolen from my articles, but also the whole article itself, which is then garnered with the name of another as the originator. Yes, as a writer that’s enough to fry you.
Indeed, I was so impressed, I sent back a note; “that is fine, and thank you for following proper protocol in this matter, it’s too bad more folks don’t take these things seriously. Good job.” It turns out the gentleman has an extensive library but also often uses the Internet as tool to get information and/or references also.
Yes, I have an extensive library as well, and yes, I too in the interest of expediency, sometimes to the detriment of 100% accuracy also use the Internet for references, still, I do attempt to back it up as possible. I would recommend that all online article authors also consider this issue, when preparing their own works.
On a side topic, I was disheartened when Google said it was going to nix its book project on line, I thought that was a great place to find digitized information from many of the older libraries. You might be intrigued by this concept online, it’s a cool idea and interesting website; “Hypothes.is – The Internet Peer Reviewed!” I think this is absolutely awesome, it could help the Internet become more legit? If you watch the video there, you’ll see what I mean.
Why is all this important you ask? It’s simple, because there is just too much bad information online, and so much of that information is unverifiable, and without references. Further, much of it is lifted, stolen, or even plagiarized content, and this is a real problem for our future. The Internet is supposed to be a place to find all the world’s information, but it’s only as good as the content provided, so please do your best to do it right, just as this gentleman did when he used my references and cites in his essay.