5 Mar 2018
Attribution and authorship are very important in academia. While any form of wrongful appropriation is unwarranted, PETA’s lawsuit claiming copyright infringement on behalf of a Macaques, Naruto, was frivolous. As noted in the article, I agree that the purpose and workmanship for which any work is needed is centered to any claim of authorship. Any claim must demonstrate that the results from an action were thoughtful, intentional, and purposeful. From my limited review the PETA’s lawsuit on behalf of Naruto, my opinion is that the photographer initially acknowledged that the “selfie” was taken by Naruto.
But, as a practical matter, we often use different citation methods for academic and professional writing. Per my fields of practice, I use either the APA (American Psychological Association) style or the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). These are the common citation style used in urban planning and public administration and policy. Both styles provide me the ability to use footnotes, bibliographies or references in my writings. I find the CMS very useful in referencing sources through footnote and endnote citations, and bibliography pages as well. As a local government worker, I follow a well-prescribed pattern and logic in writing to ensure that content data is clear, and understood by my audiences.
Although I am not an expert on citation management software, I find that their use is a big time saver. I think CMS are probably, the best way to record and manage research materials. Additionally, I believe improvements in academic writing may help avoid some cases of plagiarism and other dishonest acts. Providing all students with access to citation management software, and other developmental opportunities in the areas of academic writing, proposal writing and research through workshops, may also help the quality of their research and writing. Making tools like the OWL Lab and other related web tools such as EndNote and Zotero free to Virginia Tech students will go a long way to increase academic integrity.