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I was always taught that direct copying of another source is plagiarism, even if the source is properly referenced. I've seen this a few times in answers here but, at the same time, I also understand that we're not writing formal publications. Is there an official stance on this?

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you link to a couple of examples? $\endgroup$ – Rory M Jun 16 '14 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ In general, quotations should be used to support an answer rather than form one in its entirety/majority $\endgroup$ – Rory M Jun 16 '14 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ Just to be clear: I'm not trying to "out" anyone or accuse anyone of maliciousness. This is the answer that raised the question for me: biology.stackexchange.com/a/19118/6307 That said, I've directly quotes sources in many answers as well. Perhaps all that's missing are quotation marks. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Jun 16 '14 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ As another example, my answer to that question does not properly cite the images that are linked to. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Jun 16 '14 at 21:27
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Plagiarism is not allowed here, and entirely plagiarized posts are subject to deletion.

The rules here are the same as for academic publications, all sources have to be cited and quotes must be marked in some way to indicate that those parts are quoted, and not your own words. The best way to do that is to put the text in blockquotes.

The source of images also must be cited if you didn't create them yourself.

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  • $\begingroup$ Some time ago I found a post in SO that was a blatant copy/paste of a book (available online), without any attribution. After complaining to the poster he/she added a reference at the end, but not quoted the text (which was >95% of the whole post), giving the false impression that the contents of the post was mainly his/her own. What's the proper way to deal with seemingly plagiarized post? Flagging it for moderation attention? $\endgroup$ – ddiez Oct 30 '14 at 9:28

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