I have noticed that a lot of questions and answers include images and quotes without attribution. In many instances images are used that aren't licensed for reüse1. In some instances I have found large blocks of text copied-and-pasted without it being quoted or clearly attributed2; this is typically considered to be plagiarism. I've been going through and making at least some attempt at fixing these and gently reminded people to provide proper attribution. It does feels like a game of whack-a-mole at times though. How should this be handled?

1 In some instances (e.g. a single diagram from a paper) this may well be covered by fair use provided the images are attributed. This answer is a good example of proper fair-use usage (IMO).

2 The initial version of one answer for example. Initially I honestly thought that it was original writing. It wasn't until several hours later that I discovered that it was almost entirely a quote from an article.

  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh Regarding your just-deleted comment, I will likely post another question along the lines of "Can I include other people's images or text in my questions and answers?" The answers could provide guidelines, best practices, etc. $\endgroup$ Dec 29, 2018 at 3:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While there is variation in style, most users here do take the time to add a simple [Source]() notation or a more detailed citation, some people under time constraints or using "primitive devices" may feel pressured to skip it, then forget to fix it later. Still, in some cases I suspect people do in fact just ignore citing the source altogether. This is wrong and should be called out each and every time. I think a well-written answer here can serve as a way to call it out in the future, providing the user good instructions how to do it, and why they really need to do so. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 29, 2018 at 3:45
  • $\begingroup$ This question is about users behavior here so it's good to ask here. For your "another question" you might first check the main meta site. That's probably addressed fairly well for all of SE there. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 29, 2018 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh I poked around the other day and didn't see anything there. I'll take another look though. $\endgroup$ Dec 29, 2018 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ 1, 2, 3 just for example. If you have something unique, then you should definitely ask it. It's up to u if u ask here or in main meta. One of my questions here got migrated to main meta and did well. Why is the changing-link-color scheme so subtle for beta sites? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 29, 2018 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ Don't know how I missed those. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Dec 29, 2018 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ This answer looks about spot on. From that answer: What to do when plagiarism is discovered and How to reference material written by others. $\endgroup$ Dec 29, 2018 at 3:53
  • $\begingroup$ Please flag whenever you find these, even if you take action. It helps keep track of patterns of behavior. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 31, 2018 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage Flag as in "Needs moderator intervention"? Or flag as in leave a comment? $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2018 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexHajnal Flag as in need moderator intervention. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 31, 2018 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage Shall I edit this question to note/request that? $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2018 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexHajnal No, I just meant to use the flag feature when you see what you describe in the question. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 31, 2018 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage OK $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2018 at 21:23


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