Marketing With Articles: How to Document Sources Used in a Free Reprint Article

Here are some ways to document sources and avoid plagiarism in your online articles.

Whenever you are writing an article where you have employed research from other sources, you need to document those sources in your articles.

This is true when you are writing offline research papers and also when you are writing articles used in article marketing.

For offline research papers there are official ways that universities and scholarly journals require that sources are credited, but the same is not always true of online articles.

If you would like to use one of the official guidelines for offline research papers when citing sources in your online articles, then that is fine; however, you should know that most publishers are not really as strict as a university professor would be (all sources must still be cited though).

(One thing to consider–an online publisher may be more relaxed about documentation methods, but that does not mean that the person whose work you are referencing will not require some sort of official looking documentation. It depends on who your resource is.)

At SubmitYOURArticle.com we do not have any standard that we require you to follow when citing sources either. We do expect that any sources that you use will be cited in some fashion though.

At the end of this post I’ll give some links to some pages that list official ways to document offline research papers, but in the meantime here are some unofficial ideas for documenting sources in your online articles.

When should you document a source?

I’m sure you already know this, but it bears repeating–it is not alright to find content online and then “reuse” parts or all of that content in your own articles without giving credit to the original author. In fact, it is a good idea to contact the original author beforehand to see if it is alright if you use an excerpt from their online content with the appropriate credit.It is not enough just to rephrase what someone else has written–if you are getting information from an outside source, you must give credit to the source.It is not a good idea to use other people’s articles as “research”, unless you are truly writing a research piece. What is a research piece? Let’s say you are a dietitian who is writing an article about the latest scientific discoveries pertaining to carrots and eyesight. That would be an article that contains research, and you would want to state where your scientific information is coming from.

How should you cite a source?

Let’s say that you would like to quote someone’s content. You can give credit to another author by giving the person’s name and credentials, their name and organization, the website they’re associated with, or some combination of the above.Within your own article, can you link to another article as a means of crediting the other work? Sure, unless the article is on your own website. An exception: If you are a Gold Level member of SubmitYOURArticle.com and are submitting “naked articles”, then it is fine to link to your website within the article body (up to 2 links).If you are not literally including parts of the other person’s content but have been strongly influenced by something that another author has written about, it is good form to credit them in your article. You can do so by just giving the name of the person who gave you the idea and then tell what their website is. As an example, I did this in my article about how to create a sneeze page for your articles. The original idea about the sneeze pages came from Darren Rowse of the site Problogger, and I adapted it to suit articles used in article marketing.

Some tips for avoiding plagiarism:

Do not look at other people’s content in your niche and then use their content as “inspiration” for your own articles. That makes it way too easy to copy someone else’s work.

I remember back in college when I had an art class–the teacher told us that we could do a painting off of something we saw in real life or off of a photograph, but not off of someone else’s painting.

It’s a similar situation when you’re writing articles. You can get inspiration from many sources (clients, real life experience, books, etc), but generally speaking one of those sources should not be your colleague’s articles on your topic.

Some Documentation Guidelines:

In case you would like to be more formal in your documentation style, you might find what you need at the resources below. I just did a search on the web for these, so these guidelines may or may not be familiar to you:

MLA (Modern Language Association) Documentation

Are your resources on the web?

Citing Electronic Resources Using MLA Style

Photo credit:

The Colorful Library of an Interaction Designer (Juhan Sonin) by See-ming Lee

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A VIdeo on Article Marketing

References

Article Marketing Success

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