Saturday, January 17, 2015

Discussions Only We Know - Citing Sources

Discussions Only We Know

Citing Sources

This is more a jumble of thoughts and questions today.

During Armchair BEA in 2013, one of the topics for the day was about ethics. Naturally a lot of stories about plagiarism came up because as bloggers that's one of the most widely unethical practices we encounter. But I also came across several people who discussed in their posts that they would suggest asking for permission from a blogger before quoting them and linking back to them. So my question is...when is it appropriate to quote someone and link back? And what crosses the line into needing someone's permission before quoting and linking to them?

Here are my thoughts. First let me say that I'm open to opinions on this for real. But I think if you're just quoting something someone said in a review or a discussion post once then quoting them and linking back to them should be fine. I don't contact an author of a book every time I cite their work in a research paper. No, I just document my source appropriately. I don't think there's a much more appropriate way to document my source than to link back to them--especially if I can link directly to their post or comment I'm referencing.

I think contacting someone for permission would definitely be necessary if you're interested in playing off an idea that you got from them. Whether that be a feature or meme or something like that. But off the top of my head, I'm not coming up with many other situations where I think that would be necessary.

What do you guys think? When is it necessary to contact someone before quoting them or playing off an idea you got from them? I've even seen bloggers say something like "I've not seen any posts like this before, but if you know of anyone who has please let me know in the comments so I can give them credit." REALLY? Is that necessary? I'm just curious. I mean citing sources is great, and I 100% think we need to do so, but if you've never encountered an idea, topic, or thought from any outside source then is it necessary to ask for sources?

I need your thoughts guys. Let me know!


  1. It is important not to plagarize, but as long as you disclose where the idea came from and link back I think you are okay. I don't feel the need to ask for a source if I didn't find the post done somewhere else.

  2. I am usually flattered if another blogger links back to my posts and I don't think it's necessary to ask about that.
    The only situation were I think askign would be necessary is when you want to copy something big or like you said with a feature or meme. But even with smaller things like using about the same topic for a discussion posts I don't think asking is necessary. I once did a post about my favourite and not so favourite genres and later I noticed another blogger saw that post and used it for a topic on her own blog and linked back to me. I only see that as a compliment and am happy she found it inspirational.

  3. That's a great way to looking at things Lola! Imitations is the purest form of flattery.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting Lola!