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One of the great difficulties with the Internet is that people can beg, borrow or steal information, images and even web design itself. There are even some websites on the internet composed of nothing but 'stolen' images or information.

There are already ways of protecting images. Removing certain information from an image, before posting it on a website, can mean that when downloaded it cannot be reconstructed as a valid picture file. Picturemarc (TM) from Digimarc Corporation, allows web designers to embed an imperceptible digital watermark in their images.

The creator ID because it is embedded in the pixels of an image stays with that image, irrespective of picture format, cropping, printing or being digitally distributed.

So far, there seems to be no real way of protecting an idea or textual information. Obviously, industrial and manufacturing ideas and innovations should be patented before being posted (published) on the Internet.

Most Website designers and webmasters realise there is no way to absolutely protect their text and images from being misused. Copyright, in any practical way, is difficult to protect on-line. There are, however, numerous landmark legal decisions that demonstrate copyright on software and information itself exists even while it is being digitally transmitted.

DIFFICULTIES IN INTERNET CITATION

The purpose of this page is to discover a means of correctly citing sources on the Internet--including images--for academic and other research purposes. Most internet websites have a title. Authorship of a website is often unclear or omitted. However, the authors of particular pages can often be located in the meta-tags.

Another major hurdle is how internet browsers and windows display settings can affect how you see a particular website. Therefore, unless you are using Netscape Gold 3 (now long outdated), with a display setting of 600 x 800, you will not be seeing this page as it was originally designed to be seen.

One obvious way of citing a particular page is to print it out, so as to also include the full internet address. This printed page is 'evidence' that the source existed (even if the website is later moved, or removed from the internet altogether), and can be added to your sources and citations, or used as an addendum.

Since the purpose of citation is to allow others to find the quote or text you have cited or interpreted quickly and easily, the internet page you have used should first be 'bookmarked' -- so that you yourself can relocate the information quickly. If, for some reason, your citation of the page turns out to be insufficient, you can use the bookmark to relocate the information again and more fully cite that site or webpage.

HOW TO CITE INTERNET SOURCES

There is no reason why conventional citation styles cannot be followed in citing internet sources.

Let's say you have quoted the above paragraph in your research. Perhaps the citation could read:

What if you couldn't find my name (hint: in this case, it is easy to find in the html heading source code for this webpage)?

For clarity, it might be wise to create an Internet sub-section of your sources. 

          INTERNET SOURCES:

Remember that the webpage(s) you are quoting can be printed out in hard copy as a record, if required...


More Help

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) library, citations page.
Click here.

Internet Citation Guide for Genealogists, includes how to cite abstracts and online images. Click here.

This external blog deals with growing trends in web content theft: image theft, feed scraping and website hijacking.
Click here.

Cheryl Murphy of Colorado in September 2012 recommended 'Internet Resources on Citing: The Trademark of a Good Writer'. Click here.

Lindsay Parnell of Melbourne in November 2014 recommended The College Student's Guide to Citation Styles.

Notes:

This webpage was published in January 1998.



 
 



 

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