Some naive individuals forget that a person researching business information and insights on-line browses through enormous quantities of content, almost on a daily basis. It is astounding to me just how many times I come across material claimed and publishes by an individual that is almost identical to items I have viewed before.
I recently looked at a piece about the importance of personal branding in 2017, only to discover that basically the claimant had done nothing other than alter the date in the headline. Their profile and headshot was attached to the article, so they were apparently quite proud of their flagrant plagiarism. What is also amusing (and in a perverted way gratifying), is discovering my own words regurgitated verbatim and misrepresented as another’s contribution to a debate.
I once discovered about 1 page of a 12 page government report on business tourism plucked verbatim from comments I had made about a year earlier in an industry forum on the subject.(without crediting me or the forum in which it was made). There are simple plagiarism checking software packages such as http://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/ that you can past any passage you have prepared into to have its originality checked, it will identify any passages you may have (inadvertently) read and included from another’s on-line material. You can also check material already published simply by copy/pasting the content and excluding the URL where it is published from the plagiarism scan.
There are many others used by professionals and educators to check the validity of CV’s, White Papers and authenticate examination responses. Surprise surprise! My learned personal branding experts article received a 100% plagiarism rating (that = 0% original content). With so much sharing going on, one might think that claiming someone else’s material is an easy way to appear smart. Nothing is further from the truth! So before you potentially humiliate yourself and destroy any commercial credibility you have earned, make certain that your on-line contributions (whether scholarly or not) are never plucked from another’s website unless that originator is appropriately credited and a link to the original material’s URL included. Worse than that, the content you plagiarise is very likely to be copyrighted property belonging to the writer and/or its publishing website. Written permission must be obtained before anyone can reprint it in part or in full, either online or in print. Republishing content without permission and/or payment is theft and is punishable under law. Embarrassing as well as costly!
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