Credit where it’s due

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I cannot give credit to whoever coined the phrase “credit where it’s due”; I fear that is lost in the mists of time.

It is a common term in education and academia, but it was – and probably still is – more everyday than that, used to divert (often) praise away from oneself and on to someone more deserving, the person who wrote, made, did whatever

We often use the term in education, one of the reasons for citing one’s sources (at point of use in text), but I am not sure that students are always aware enough of what academic writing is all about to fully appreciate how helpful it can be.

This notion was brought home to me in a recent online workshop. Asked to design a poster or a slide sequence, several participants produced “citations” on the slides which were simply the URLs of the web pages (and occasionally the sites, but not the exact page) of the source of image or text they had used; references listed on the last slide or two also comprised URLs only.

These participants were being honest, saying “this is not mine, this is where I found this text or image” – but it occurs to me that they are not giving credit to the author, designer, photographer or whoever produced whatever it is they are using that is not their own. I am tempted to tell them, “This web page did not write this, that web site did not design that infographic.” And the urge is even stronger when the name of the person or institution is clearly listed on the page or site.

I am going to yield to temptation when this happens, in fact, in my current workshop, I already have.

End of rant.

4 thoughts on “Credit where it’s due

  1. A number of teachers I work with are perfectly happy to accept URLs only from students, especially when they are creating slide presentations. I do on occasion, feel that I am banging my head against a wall. Having said that, the same teachers don’t bother to give credit to sources used, in any presentations they do for use in class. Sigh!

    • Sad, isn’t it, Susan?
      Citing and referencing are about so much more than honesty…
      And of course, it does not help when teachers are poor role-models. If we show that we value good, helpful. citation and referencing ourselves, students are more likely to value it too. If we seem to suggest (by poor role-modelling, seeming not to care in our own work) that good practice is optional, students will not care either. Which, in external assessment, could be disastrous for them.

  2. I had a “win” with our MS art teacher – they’re doing sculptures with the theme or human rights and asked to come to the library for some “inspirational” books – that led to a conversation and crediting the works, so they came back today for a quick lesson on citation and Noodletools AND the teacher loved the notecard feature as the students can put in the (digital) images and cite them and she can see the whole process of inspiration to final product and it’s all in her inbox in one place!

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