To My Readers: Avoiding Plagiarism, Understanding the Creative Commons License


To My Readers,

Many things happen in the blogosphere that can be qualified as plagiarism and stealing. My guess is that much of this is unintentioned and done out of ignorance or carelessness. Nevertheless, I want to be perfectly clear with how you can and cannot use my material.

I spend a tremendous amount of thought, research, time, energy, and love crafting the words that go into this blog. If you use my work, which I welcome, I respectfully request that you do the following:

  • Put my words in quotes if you are quoting text directly
  • Cite me by name, journal title, and the URL of the post (Maya Norton, The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy, www…)
  • Leave me a message or send me an e-mail letting me know that you have done so– if we have the same interests, I would like to get to know you

CreativeCommons Cartoon

You will find a link to the Creative Commons License 3.0 as the very top image on this website. Please familiarize yourself with it if you would like to quote my material on your blog and you have not already done so. It is very straightforward.

If I find material on the web that I see without quotes or attribution (even if there is a link), I consider it plagiarism and will take steps to have it removed. I will always assume that there has been a mistake first and will e-mail you, but you must have contact information on your page or allow comments in order for me to do so.

If you need clarification, here are two examples:

A note on best practices. It is always advisable to have contact information on your blog and to let all users comment (regardless of Google account, Blogger account, etc). If I can’t find any way to contact you, I will not consider you an authority blogger.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. Again, I encourage linking and quoting, but only with attribution. I value your efforts and ask you to value mine.

Thanks for reading.


Title photo sourced from here, Creative Commons cartoon attributed to multiple sources, including here.

* Best practice in citing resources from blogger Michele Martin of The Bamboo Project and Beyond the Glass Ceiling.


13 Responses to To My Readers: Avoiding Plagiarism, Understanding the Creative Commons License

  1. blogging4 says:

    Hi Maya–thanks for citing me as a best practice in crediting content. I get so much from my readers and from my tours through the blogosphere–I can’t imagine not giving credit where it’s due.

    The site you mention needs major work looks like a scraper site to me, where someone has set things up to automatically collect or “scrape” content off of the web and into their blog to create essentially a spam blog. Usually it’s to get ad revenue, although in this case I’m not sure what the thinking is. Personally I tend to have less of a problem with those because they aren’t individual people stealing my info. I think of them as more of a nuisance than anything.

    Great article, Maya!

  2. Dima says:

    I think the blog you site as needing improvement is an aggregate. I see this kinds of blogs linking to my all the time. Most of the times it is just a blog that has no real content (or contact information for that matter), but a lot of Google advertising. I wonder what are you doing to remove your content from those? Thanks!

  3. thenewjew says:


    You’re welcome, of course. You know I admire your work.

    No question that the blog has no core content, indicating that it is indeed an aggregator site. It doesn’t even look as if it has a purpose– not even ad revenue, as you say.

    It’s an example of one of the times I have come across my work in other people’s mouths, and in this case it was an easy example to site.

    I have great readers, but I did want to post a reminder nonetheless since it has been happening a bit more recently.



  4. thenewjew says:

    Hi Dima,

    Thanks for your comment, I am glad to see you here.

    It’s just a base blog with no real purpose as far as I can tell (including no ads being visible).

    I am not quite sure what you would do. Next time it happens I will research it on the host site’s FAQ and perhaps contact them. At least this time there was a link to the original content.

    Hope to see you back again soon,


  5. Vicki Davis says:

    I think this is an excellent article and the kind that all bloggers need to write. Many people just don’t know, and I too see this sort of thing happening all of the time with my blog with whole posts copied and one tiny hyperlink. In fact, their readers go so far to respond as if the person citing it had written it themselves!

  6. thenewjew says:

    Thanks, Vicki. I am a big admirer of your blog, by the way, if we’re speaking of important lessons.

    I often see readers replying to the blog’s author on guest entries, not realizing– from the brief citation in the last line or the different style and tone– that it was a guest author.

    As social media networking increases and the blogosphere becomes more professional for the wider community, the issue of credit and responsibility are certainly ones that we need to work harder to teach and learn about.

    Best wishes,


  7. […] Using Creative Commons Licence”. To quote her, the following “…post titled “To My Readers: Avoiding Plagiarism, Understanding the Creative Commons License” made some great points about giving attribution in blog posts beyond a link.” Using what is […]

  8. Clarissa says:

    FYI, your “needs major improvement” example goes to a blog that no longer exists.

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