Salon gathers lawyers, academics, psychologists, the head of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists and others to debate what plagiarism actually is.
Notes Columbia University’s Emily Bell:
The core of what plagiarism is remains undented by the digital publishing environment. Copying out the words of others and passing them off as your own is still what it always was; wholesale plagiarism is a sacking offense in most newsrooms. It is of course much easier to detect now, thanks to Google text search, but beyond the clear example of screeds of lifted text or images passed off as your own, the issue of who is a plagiarist is also a little more porous at the edges than it was.
In digital journalism, one of the most valuable functions you can perform is to aggregate and link to the content produced by others. We do however also see the problems of “over aggregation,” where credit and sourcing is not clear enough, links are missing, attribution is fuzzy and where the idea of “fair use” is enormously stretched. Is this plagiarism or enthusiastic aggregation?