Berritzegune Nagusia

Web Search Matters (& III): Reference, Plagiarism & Curation

Tokyo Japan Pattern Senso Ji by Fran Simó
Web Search Matters (I): Searching the Net eta Web Search Matters (II): Open Educational Resources ostean, sare-bilaketen inguruko hirugarren post honek iturriak aitortu, zitatu, sailkatu, gorde eta konpartitzeko baliabideak batzen ditu.
Tras Web Search Matters (I): Searching the Net y Web Search Matters (II): Open Educational Resources, este tercer post sobre búsquedas en la red recoge herramientas para mencionar, citar, clasificar, guardar  y compartir fuentes.

We already know how to search the web for reliable information (Web Search Matters (I): Searching the Net), which sources we can freely use, which ones we shouldn’t avail of, where to find free-to-use resources and how to license our own creations (Web Search Matters (II): Open Educational Resources). It’s time we learn how to save and acknowledge them.

By doing research, preparing assignments, getting presentations and essays ready students end up storing hundreds of links, books, documents, videos, you name it… in a real clutter. Either this, or not keeping them at all. As part of our students’ training in their digital and learning to learn competences, they should work on a system to keep record of all the materials they use or come up with when getting their tasks ready. Not only does saving references in bibliographies help keep sources in order and revisit them for further reference, it also prevents plagiarism and adds credit to assignments as well as acknowledging respect to the creator’s rights.

Here are some resources to help us: for a nice introduction to plagiarism, ask your students to watch this video or take this 10’ eye-opening tutorial from Acadia University. It includes valuable advice about quoting, citing (different styles MLA, APA, Chicago & Turabian), paraphrasing and the risks of not doing so. This other short video also shows when citing is needed. The worksheets included in “How to Cite a Site” will help students understand the anatomy of reference. Bibliographic managers such as Bibme or Easybib help create citations automatically and according to standards. Other tools are valuable to take, organize and share notes as well as references –Zotero & Evernote– and can be installed in your web browser. Find these and other resources here:

Moving on a little further, the way our students learn is getting more and more complex[1], the sources they use are more and more varied. More and more, their projects include network and collaboration. Content curation is another of the options we could be using with and promoting among our students in order to organize, store, share and keep their information updated according to their learning styles. It also means that they can take advantage of the efforts others have done when working on similar projects. The way Downes[2] puts it:

Knowledge informs learning; what we learn informs community; and the community in turn creates knowledge. And the reverse: knowledge builds community, while community defines what is learned, and what is learned becomes knowledge

Back to referring and to loop the attribution loop, the curator’s code proposes the ᔥ (via: direct discovery) and ↬ (hat tip: indirect discovery, story lead or inspiration) symbols[3] to acknowledge the effort of discovering sources (mocked here).
There are so many curation platforms available (keep an eye on your liability while curating your content)… It’s hard to make up our minds on which one to favourite, here you are some pearls related to curation.


1 Siemens, George. “Shifting Shapes: From Hierarchies to Networks.” Learning and Knowing in Networks: Changing Roles for Educators and Designers. -: ITFORUM for Discussion , 2008. 11. Print.
2 Downes, Stephen . “Knowledge, Learning and Community.” ~ #change11. N.p., 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <>
3 ↬

Ibone Amorrortu

Comments are closed.