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Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing

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* Appropriating an idea (e.g., an explanation, a theory, a conclusion, a hypothesis, a metaphor) in whole or in part, or with superficial modifications without giving credit to its originator.

In the sciences, as in most other scholarly endeavors, ethical writing demands that ideas, data, and conclusions that are borrowed from others and used as the foundation of one’s own contributions to the literature, must be properly acknowledged. The specific manner in which we make such acknowledgement varies from discipline to discipline. However, source attribution typically takes the form of either a footnote or a reference citation.