Another dot in the blogosphere?

Due credit?

Posted on: December 12, 2019

One difference between an academic article and a news article is that the latter does not always cite its sources (e.g., APA style) or give credit where it is due.

This news article announced a new MRT map. It did not mention how a 17-year-old and a 31-year-old might have prompted this change or have been consulted about the changes.

Perhaps the newspaper and transport authority are living by an informal adage among academics: To steal from one is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

Perhaps that is why students who are encouraged to read our newspapers do not learn how to attribute sources. The academic adage that should apply here is: We stand on the shoulders of giants.

The last* line of the article did state that the transport authority “included consultations with community groups like SG Trains, a group of train enthusiasts”, but the newspaper did not provide links to such groups.

We should give credit where it is due. One of the best ways for students to do this is writing. But they first learn this from what they read. How do they learn to attribute if what they read does not model this?

*Note: The news article was edited after I drafted and posted this. There are now new lines after that previously last line. The article did not indicate clearly what was added and that is another bad modelled behaviour.

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