Friday, February 17, 2012

Cite Your Sites

Do you give create where credit is due? The other day, I happened across a blog and the author quoted me, without stating my name. While I don’t believe that is illegal, or even plagiarism, since she didn’t claim the statement as her own, it would've been nice to have my name next to the quote, even nicer if there were a link back to the statement I made. (Or course, you realize I’m mentioning what she did without providing a name or a link.)

My thought is this: if you use something someone has said as the basis for an argument or a point of disagreement, it is important to cite your source. If you are giving an example of something someone has done, but you believe it is representative of what many people do, it isn’t so important to cite them, especially when it may place them in a bad light.

From doing research papers, you know the importance of citing your sources so that people can verify your work. When it comes to online stuff, one of the reasons I think it is important to provide links back to your source is because it gives the person who made the original statement the opportunity to rebut or provide more insight. The links you provide made it easier for that person to find the people who are referencing his material. Indirectly, it can also help your site in the search engine results. Links to a blog will often result in links that are automatically linked back to your site, making it easier to people to find you.

Another reason to provide links to the sources you cite is that it encourages people to link to your site as well. If you are not willing to link to other sites, then why should other sites link to you?

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