Tuesday, January 22, 2008

“What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.” —Dean Inge

Re-Searching, Re-locating, Re-reading Sources

When I co-authored Wrong Way, Jonah with Kay Arthur I included a sidebar of rabbinical laws from the Talmud and the Mishnah. The publisher received the manuscript on deadline from an exhausted writer—me. I enjoyed the relief until the editor called, “We need the citations for the sidebar.”

Which tractate or pages did I find those interesting tidbits? I did not know.

To re-locate the source, I re-read the entire Talmud and Mishnah—twice. Did I mention? There are 72 volumes in the Talmud and half as many for the Mishnah. Reading through an eight-foot-wide section of 9” x 12” x 2”-sized books is stressful when faced with a short deadline.

Do As I Say…Not As I Did!

When meeting writing deadlines, the last thing you want to do—trust me—is spend time decoding cryptic notes or re-searching your source materials.

Do you ever quote, paraphrase, summarize, or refer to someone else’s intellectual property? ALWAYS (Yes, I know I’m screaming and you will too if you don’t…) write down all details required to obtain permission or to create a bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes.

What Do You Need to Record?

Print Publications
Author(s) or editor(s)
Journal, magazine, article, book, or encyclopedia title
Newspaper or article title
Newspaper’s name
Date of publication
Newspaper: Section, page and column location of article
Journal or magazine: Volume, issue number, and page numbers
Date of publication
Book publisher
Place of book publication

Online Publications or Databases
Journal, article, eBook, or project title
Author(s) or editor(s) (if provided)
Online magazine or journal title
Original source publication
Journal or magazine volume, issue number, accession number, section, page or paragraph numbers (if provided)
Date of publication
Page or paragraph numbers (if applicable)
Address of the site
Date you accessed the site
URL (site address)
Place of publication (if applicable)
Date of publication (if applicable)
Name of Database
Vendor/supplier of database
Library through which article was accessed

Primary Sources

Author’s name
Recipient's name
Date written
Name of collection
Name of depository
Depository's location

Interviewee’s name
Interviewer’s name
Date conducted
Name of collection
Name of depository
Depository's location

Motion Picture
Director’s Name
Producer’s Name
Film Company
Running Time
Featured Performers

Author (if given)
Title of work
Group responsible for the site (if applicable)
Date site was last updated
Date of access
Address of the site

Online Postings (Chat Room, Listserv or Blogs)
Title of post
Post number (if numbered)
Date of post
Address post was made to
Address of message archives
Date of access

Email Messages
Author’s name
Subject line
Description of message that includes recipient (e.g., e-mail to the author)
Date sent

Book Review
Reviewer’s name (if indicated)
Title of review (if indicated)
Name of author of the reviewed book
Title of work where the review appears
Date of publication (of the source where the review appears)

Government Document
Issuing agency
Title of the document
Number of the Congress
Session number of Congress
Place of publication
Date of publication
Document number (if given)
SuDoc number

The lists above are adapted from Duke University Libraries (2007). “Assembling a List of Works Cited in Your Paper.” [Updated August 1, 2007]. Retrieved January 21, 2008. Available from http://library.duke.edu/research/citing/workscited

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