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Academic integrity is more than just standing for something. It is standing up for someone. Unfortunately, most of us only pay attention to the punitive side of this issue–plagiarism.

“We read words, not minds. So think of plagiarism [academic integrity] not as an intended act, but a perceived one” (Turabian, 2013, p. 81).

Consider what giving credit where credit is due (i.e. source documentation) does for you.
• It builds up your reputation personally and professionally.
• It establishes trust in you and your ideas by being transparent–allowing for fact checking and source evaluation.
• It empowers others by sharing sources enabling them to follow the study of a particular topic or extend the research on their own.

Source documentation: 2 halves that make 1 whole. Neglect one or the other and you damage your academic integrity–often referred to as accidental or negligent plagiarism.

1. The bibliographical listing provides the complete documentation identifying the source. All formatting styles require three basic groups of information in this listing.
a. Author(s)
b. Title(s)
c. Publishing information or location (for easy retrieval)

These listings are alphabetized according to the first piece of information provided so readers can quickly and easily find any one of them. That first piece is either the author’s last name, or if not individually named then by the title.

2. The in-text citation acts like a label or file name connecting the summary, paraphrase, quote, or image being cited in the content with the corresponding bibliographical listing. This label must match the first piece of information in the listing to properly function (author’s last name or the title). Neglecting this detail fails to uphold an appropriate level of academic integrity.

NOTE: Introducing your source in your sentence is not enough. Formatting standards still require a formal in-text citation.

Source documentation is typically framed from a negative and punitive perspective–plagiarism. I think it’s time we recognize its power to show character and generosity.