Writing and Publishing

Copy and Paste Plagiarism

At work, I receive a steady stream of article submissions for my magazines and websites. Lately, I’ve noticed something alarming: plagiarism. It’s not that I’m on the lookout for it, but some authors don’t even bother to cover their tracks.

They copy content from a website and paste it directly into their article, including the embedded links back to the source. Although they reformat the text so that the telltale indicators aren’t visible, the links remain preserved by Microsoft Word.

Usually, there are only one or two instances—not that limited copying is acceptable—but one article contained a half dozen such sections, accounting for the majority of the piece. People who copy the work of others without giving credit or citing sources disturb me. I’m even more troubled that they don’t care.

With computers and the Internet it’s easy to copy and paste text, but using the work of others—whether online or from printed material—is plagiarism; it’s stealing and it’s wrong.

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Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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