Wiki Life: Best Practices for Giving Credit

Hello and welcome everybody to our Wednesday – Wiki Life post.

When writing an article, have you ever struggled with whom you have to give credit? As a person, who mainly works in the academic area, I have this problem every day. But it is not only a problem in research and academics, it is a general problem when writing for the public or giving public presentations. During the last months there was a lot of effort to ban article which are one-one-1 textual copies of third party articles. In my opinion that should not be a general practice. It should only be used in rare cases.

So, what do we have to do to make this an exception? Raising awareness! This post aims to raise the awareness for whom you have to give credit. That is the reason why I want to point you to an article started by Bruno LewinBest Practices for Giving Credit. It points out what you should/might ask yourself and explains the difference between legitimate credits and spam and the difference between legitimate quotes and plagiarism.

Definitely worth reading!

– German Ninja Jan (Twitter, BlogProfile)

Comments (8)

  1. Thank you for turning the spotlight on giving credit and the related problem of plagiarism. Bruno’s article is a great help to keep standards.

    In this context it’s good to know three other articles: Bruno is also a contributor of the article: “Wiki: Types of Articles Not Appropriate for TechNet Wiki” –

    In case you have to report an article (spam, plagiarism, duplicate, …) Ed’s article “Wiki: How to Report a TechNet Wiki Page” is like a Swiss army knife.

    If you want to get an impression of the extent of plagiarism, you may want to read the article “Plagiarism Charts – September 2013” which provides many numbers and figures:

  2. Durval Ramos says:

    In my opinion, we should all exercise the “duty” to grant credit of a Information. After all, who does not consulting, at least one source to create a new solution ?

    “Give Credit” is extremely commendable and show your professional character.

    Great Post “Horizon_Net” !

  3. Shanky_621 says:

    If You right an article as per your concept or understanding and take a few line from someone who is expert in the field or from MVP’s view I dont feel any harm in that ofcorse credit should be given,Anotherwise it would become a monopoly for only highly experienced professionals.
    Actually we all use Boks online to create some article or to give answer ,can that be classified under you are taking from MS ,no absolutely not,but at the same time
    I would like to discuss more on this

  4. Horizon_Net says:

    @Shanky_621 I don’t know if I get your comment right, but I will try to explain my opinion (and hopefully start a discussion a lot of people will join).

    It depends, in my opinion. If you use something that is common knowledge there’s no need to mention someone special, because a lot of people have already written about it (for example how the MVC pattern works). But it is something different if you make 1-to-1 copy of someones content (for example a blog post).

    What I normally do when writing articles or blog posts is to do some research. If I find something really useful that is not common knowledge (or a great picture) I’ll give some credits, that means I mention it somewhere (for example in a “Resources” or “Further reading” section, when not directly mentioned in the content).

    I personally have no problem if someone mentions something I have written, but was the article tries to prevent are (nearly) 1-to-1 copies of the work another person has done (which is something I don’t particular like – especially if you don’t see what/who the original source was).

    I don’t think that MVPs or experts have a monopoly. Of course, mostly you’ll reference content from these people, because they share their knowledge more compared to other persons or they write about something unique. But everyone can create something unique. Even MVPs have started from scratch somewhere back in time. As an example, if you create a library and you write about it, you are the expert regarding this library and you’ll be (hopefully) the cited person.

  5. Thanks Horizon! And that’s a good list of resources from Carsten as well! Carsten, we should have you do the Wiki Ninjas interview!

  6. Shanky_621 says:

    At Horizon_net I agree to your thought ,I was trying to say if a newbie(3-4 yrs exp) wants to write an article he somehow has to take help of expert in writing like some MVP or industry expert .If he will not, he might not be able to correctly portray his thoughts, so might not feel encouraged in writing .On the other hand MVP or an expert can write it easily, in such case most of the articles would be from experts .Monopoly wont be a good word here so i take it back .Just wanted to say that little reference should be allowed so that it can encourage others to write an article.
    These are just my thoughts please tell me if I am correct
    Thanks for your post Anyways I love it and looking forward for discussion.

  7. Horizon_Net says:

    @Shanky_621 I totally agree. Of course, it is easier for an experienced person to write an article. I had a similar experience. I wrote my first article at the time I was a second-year student (which is only three years ago). At this time I wrote two articles, one about Windows Workflow Foundation and one about MongoDB. For the WF one I have read a lot of resources from a German MVP and a Microsoft Employee. After that I tried to create something unique (something both had not written about). The MongoDB article was a little bit different. It was the time I had done my first experiments with MongoDB, so I made an article out of my experiments. After publishing I became great feedback which helped me to write the next articles. In summary, for a newbie it just needs a little bit of curiosity to start writing.

  8. Thanks Horizon for bringing this up… Giving Credit is also a way of saying Thanks to the original author who deserves it !!!!!!!!!!!!