Friday, November 20, 2015

Proper Attribution of Sources


Citing sources is always an issue when using the Internet. How do you use the proper citations for materials you, or your students, find online?

Using Creative Commons materials is a good way to go as long as you follow the licensing conditions. And that includes proper attribution. The CC website includes some examples that are good, pretty good, all the way to not acceptable. You can see the examples here:

When should students (and instructors) in online courses be citing their sources?

Most online courses include some kind of discussion. There are ground rules, sometimes called netiquette, for participating in the online discussion. One of the ground rules, besides be polite, kind, patient, participate, respect for others ideas, no flaming, no yelling... , is cite your sources. If you use material that is not "yours" or includes intellectual property from others from books, magazines, newspapers, in-print or online, photos, etc., then you MUST cite your sources. Proper attribution is a must.

The instructor is the model for the students. Students will follow the lead of the instructor. Making proper attribution of sources a requirement is one way to get the students in the habit of always citing their sources.

What about Fair Use? Fair Use is an option if you meet the criteria.

"The Center for Social Media and Washington School of Law at American University are sponsoring development of a growing number of Fair Use Best Practices statements that inform a fresh approach to the subject and make it easier than ever to know what's fair. The Best Practices statements follow recent trends in court decisions in collapsing the Fair Use Statute's four factors into two questions: Is the use you want to make of another's work transformative -- that is, does it add value to and repurpose the work for a new audience -- and is the amount of material you want to use appropriate to achieve your transformative purpose? Transformative uses that repurpose no more of a work than is needed to make the point, or achieve the purpose, are generally fair use."
 from Copyright Crash Course, retrieved from on November 18, 2015.

Some resources that will help you understand the difference between content curation and content-scraping can be found here:

Other Resources:

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

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