Pls. Refer Why eating rice is prohibited on Ekadashi? for my comment on "Plagiarism. I want to know the difference between Plagiarism and opinion based answer?.

Is it against the rules that for a novice person who have just started to learn to give answers and is still learning the basics in background , to take some initial information \text from some other sources like other websites for some time at least ?

secondly for the same if novice provides his own answer for the same with his own belief /nohow can it be termed as opinion based answer and requires proof. And shall be liable to be flagged so.

  • 2
    It is absolutely fine to quote sources like scriptures, books, or websites. But you should put the text you're copying and pasting within blockquotes, and you should mention the source of the text you're copying and pasting. It's only if you copy and paste text from a website without crediting the source that it becomes plagiarism. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 20:21
  • @ Keshav Shrinivasan , very thanks for your answer. Will keep that in mind . Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 20:25
  • You're welcome. By the way, I suggest you take a look at my answers: hinduism.stackexchange.com/users/36/… Almost all of them contain quotes from sources. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 20:29
  • ok I will surely check them all . :) Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 20:31
  • Related post The copy-paste issue, Hinduism version Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 8:04

1 Answer 1



Plagiarism already been discussed in meta before:

The copy-paste issue, Hinduism version

To understand it more clearly Stack exchange main meta also have similar post

What to do when plagiarism is discovered

I am writing it word to word here for clearing it:

Important: Don't be a lynch mob, even if you're (understandably) angry. Do not pile downvotes on recently uncovered plagiators' answers. Let the moderators handle it - they will destroy any occurrences of egregious plagiarism, and may suspend the user for a while.

1. Double-check

Check again whether the OP didn't add a source somewhere after all. Sometimes it is at the end of the copied text, or hidden behind a single-word link. Check out all the links in the answer. Sometimes they get hidden by bad formatting - it's worth clicking 'edit' just for one final check to make sure.

Make sure that the original source you found really is a legit source, and not one of the ripoff sites copying Stack Overflow content (efreedom.us, etc.) or some other content aggregator.

2. Edit or flag If it looks like a minor, single incident, editing the attribution in is the way to go. You can do that yourself,

either directly or through a suggested edit. Put the attribution in front of the copied material, and put everything into blockquotes that isn't the OP's original speech. Use nice wording, like From the Wikipedia Article on xyz: After that, proceed to step 3.

If it looks like there is an egregious pattern of plagiarism, and deletions seem necessary, flag for moderator attention. Explain that you believe the answer has been plagiarized, and paste the source URL into a comment underneath, say Plagiarism: copied without attribution from ....

If your flag gets declined, flag again and/or raise the issue on Meta. Here is previous discussion.

3. Educate the OP The OP may be innocent(-ish) simply because they're ignorant of how gravely wrong plagiarism is - this is the

case more often than one would believe. If there is no indication the community has had a conversation with them about the issue, consider leaving a polite comment along the lines of

Hi, it appears that you copied this answer from (insert URL here). You're using someone else's work without giving the author credit. This amounts to plagiarism, and is not welcome on Stack Overflow. Remember to always add prominent attribution when using other sources. Thanks!

or a more nicely worded suggestion from JMort:

Hi User, it looks like you just copied most of this content from this blog . Can you edit your post and give attribution to the author? Plagiarism isn't really welcomed on Stack Overflow, and it's always nice to give credit where credit is due. Good luck!

4. Go hunt for more

Moderators have enough to do already - they won't be able to check out a user's entire profile for further instances of plagiarism. If you feel like it, take that task upon yourself, and flag each occurrence as described above.

For "Opinion based answer”

We can refer Shog9's words as official statement to our different meta question :

We definitely don't want folks composing their answers entirely of someone else's work, but backing up their assertions should be considered normal.

These two ideals don't really conflict with each other either. You should be able to summarize a scripture and relate it to the asker's question in your own words, while still tying it back to a more canonical source.

In other words, answerers should strive to share their own interpretations but back them up by references to verifiable sources.

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