There is a code of conduct that supports Brown University's commitment to building a scholarly community. Essentially, the key concepts are:
Read the full Brown Academic Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity.
Most cases of plagiarism are accidental. In order to prevent accidental plagiarism, you can use citation management software to help keep track of your sources while you research and write.
When you don’t provide attribution (acknowledgement or credit to previous work) you are committing plagiarism. Plagiarism can look like more than simply copying & pasting the words of another in your paper and can even be unintentional. It is your responsibility to make sure you are adhering to the Academic Code and US law as well as the preferred citation style of your instructor.
We can criticize, comment, report, build upon and teach using ideas of others, but we need to ensure that we are crediting the author or creator properly. This way, when other people go to use our intellectual work they can credit us as well and trace back to the intellectual works and ideas we found interesting and helpful.
According to the Council of Writing Program Administrators, an understanding as a user of information entails:
The Brown Library can support your course by leading a workshop on citation management software or citation styles. Request a workshop for your course.
A citation is: "A reference providing information about where a particular quotation, text, etc., is to be found; a bibliographical reference."
- Oxford English Dictionary Online, version March 2015
There are many different citation styles which reflect different interests and preferences of disciplines and often publications. If you are unsure which citation style to use, it is best to ask the person you are writing for, such as a professor or journal editor.
You need to cite your sources whenever you:
Cite the source that you used.
In other words, cite only what you have seen. To cite a work that you have not seen or used is dishonest and can perpetuate inaccuracies.
Ideally, you should try to view original sources because other authors may have misrepresented quotes, statistics, ideas or meaning from an original source.
Example: A 2008 article examined the accuracy of citations to a commonly referenced hand surgery study. Of 154 articles that referenced the original study, 63 (41%) had at least one inaccurate reference to this study. The authors concluded: "Care must be taken in referencing biomedical literature, particularly articles that have a potentially profound impact on clinical patient management."
Source: Porrino, J. A., Tan, V., & Daluiski, A. (2008). Misquotation of a commonly referenced hand surgery study. The Journal of Hand Surgery, 33(1), 2–7.
You need to provide enough information for your reader to easily find your sources. The information that you include in a citation depends somewhat on the type of source, e.g. book, book chapter, journal article, or website.
All citations include:
In addition to the information above, citations for BOOKS or BOOK CHAPTERS include:
In addition to the information above, citations for JOURNAL ARTICLES include: