All work completed for this course must respect the intellectual property of others. When using somebody else's copyrighted material, whether words, images, media, or ideas, proper credit must be given. If direct quotations are used, they must be enclosed in quotation marks and properly cited. If copyrighted material is used indirectly, it must still be properly cited!
If in doubt, include a citation. If you have any questions at all, ask your instructors before the project is submitted. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism is not an excuse!
When you completed the registration form at the University of Florida, you signed the following statement:
"I understand that the University of Florida expects its students to be honest in all their academic work. I agree to adhere to this commitment to academic honesty and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University."
When submitting work for this course, the following honor pledge is implied:
"On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment."
If you are aware of academic dishonesty, please notify the instructor or contact the Student Honor Court (392-1631) or Cheating Hotline (392-6999).
Special Notes Concerning Plagiarism on the Web
Stealing another person's content is painfully easy on the web. I'm positive that nearly all of us have at some point downloaded pirated music, watched movies or television shows uploaded illegally to foreign websites, or found other ways of getting free stuff online that normally should be paid for. Perhaps you even think it is ethical to download copyrighted material instead of giving your money to big corporations. Whatever you do online outside of class is your own business, but when it comes to turning in work for this class, we strongly expect you to credit anything you get from somebody else.
If you get an image or clip art from another website, you must have permission and give credit. If you get audio or video from another website, you must give credit. Over the course of this semester, you'll likely find many websites that provide tutorials on how to design websites, or tutorials on how to do something cool on your website. Even if you borrow code from another website, you must still provide credit.
Just because it is easy to steal somebody's content doesn't mean it is ethical. Internet behavior is dictated more by developing cultural norms than by law. You can right click on any image or multimedia and click "Save Target As" to download that image. You can also right click on any webpage and click "View Source Code" to get the HTML code for that page. The web was built (and is still being built) through a culture of collaboration and open sourcing. Many people even want you to use their code and templates in your own websites. But most of them also expect credit to be given where credit is due.
We will be discussing ethical issues like this later in the semester, but if you have any doubt, ask your instructors.
How to Give Credit to Others
Designing websites is not like writing an academic paper: there are far fewer rules, and you have much more freedom in how you present your content. Many students have asked over the years how to give credit on their websites. While there's no right answer or best answer, below are some of the ways students give credit to others whenever they borrow or reference their work:
- Provide a simple text link back to the website.
- Leave a comment in your HTML or CSS code acknowledging where the code came from (you will be shown how to do this).
- Include a reference page on your website that lists where everything came from.
- Include a reference section at the bottom on every single webpage, perhaps in smaller print, telling people where your information comes from.
There are likely many more ways to give credit to others. We take plagiarism very seriously, and students from previous semesters have been known to fail a project or the course for plagiarizing another's work.