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CodeProject Plagiarism FAQ

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30 Jul 2015CPOL6 min read 135.9K   13   24
An overview of plagiarism that provides examples of what to do and what not to do when it comes to referencing content that is not originally yours.



Plagiarism is a persistent problem on CodeProject. In many cases plagiarism is committed by well-intentioned authors who are trying to teach members about a concept and "borrow" a definition from msdn or some other source. In some cases authors seem less well-intentioned and plagiarize entire works, word for word. But what is clear in all cases is that there is a lack of understanding and respect for plagiarism.

This article is meant to educate authors about plagiarism, as well as other community members on how to spot it, so it can be reported.

Examples of Plagiarism

Word for Word Copying

If you copy text word for word from another document and do not reference it clearly and immediately, that is plagiarism.

For example, if you are discussing client-side validation and you take this text from msdn1:

If client-side validation is enabled, the page includes references to script libraries that are used to perform the client-side validation.

And you place this text inside your article, like this:

If Client-side validation is enabled, the page includes references to script libraries that are used to perform the client-side validation. Every validation control makes sure that a standard block of client script is emitted into the page.

With no reference, this is plagiarism.

Slightly Modifying Words

Sometimes you come across a definition and try to make it your own by changing a few words. If you do not refrence this, it is plagiarism.

If you write:

The Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern is an architectural design principle that separates the application components of a Web application into three layers.

And it is a slight re-write of what is on msdn2:

The Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern separates an application into three main components: the model, the view, and the controller.

This rewrite is close enough to the msdn original from that a reference would be required.

Improper Referencing

Throwing a reference at the bottom of an article does not give you permission to copy any text from that source wherever you want. Each reference you make must have a clear citation. For this you can either provide a link to the material immediately, followed by a Reference list at the bottom, or simply throw a superscript number3 that either links or corresponds to the numbered reference listed at the bottom so that users know precisely what you are citing and where it occurs in your article. Each instance of copied text in this article uses BOTH citation forms, as an example.

Not Enough Original Content

While we can appreciate that there are only so many ways to define things and that in your article you may require a number of definitions in order to help the reader understand a concept, there is a limit to the amount of references you can use in an article before you have committed plagiarism. As a rule of thumb, allow yourself no more than three references or instances of copied / modified text. 90% of the content must be your own, and you should aim for 100%.

For example, suppose the following image was your entire article, with the yellow highlights indicating referenced material:

Image 1

This has so much referenced content that you have now committed plagiarism.

Re-using Code Samples

While CodeProject is a site that encourages teaching others about coding in as much detail as possible and encourages authors to use code examples in their document to help illustrate points, this does not tacitly imply that all code examples are a free-for-all use and reuse wherever you want. This is also true of the rest of the code examples you find on various sites on the internet. Wherever you get your code sample from, you must first read the license associated with that code / the site from which it originates to ensure you are abiding by the stipulations set out in that license. Most importantly, make it totally clear that some/most of the code isn't yours. If you use someone else's code then DO NOT remove their copyright notices.

For example:

(function ($) {

    $.fn.FlickrImageWall = function (options) {

        var wwsAreOk = false;
        var workersCompleted = 0;
        var src = "";
        var workerArray = new Array();
        var imagesSoFar = 0;
        var maxImages = 15;
From Sacha Barber's article HTML5 WebWorkers Experiment4

Again, the majority of code examples should be your own.


Copying/re-using someone's image is a copyright issue, rather than plagiarism. Fair Use, Royalty-free, and images licensed under Creative Commons all have their own particular rules about re-use, which you will have to look at carefully before you can use someone else's image.

Ideally, if you want to use an image in your article it will be either a photo you took yourself, a graphic you created. If you re-use an image from another source you must provide proper attribution for the image (and additionally ensure that, if the original image was published under a particular license that you honor the licence's policies regarding attribution).

If you discover an article that has re-used images please either report the article using our reporting system as "Formatting/Layout issues" and offer an explanation of what image was re-used, or email us with that information directly so we can email the author to request proper attribution. If authors fail to provide proper attribution on their articles the re-used images, the article itself, and the author's account my be forfeit.

What happens if I plagiarize?

We've tried many things to tackle plagiarism on CodeProject. We've re-activated accounts of plagiarists and even worked with them to teach them what plagiarism is, and tried to help them them to get their articles in working order.

Experience has taught us this method does not work. A recurring theme with plagiarists is that they want their articles published, regardless of the cost. Plagiarists often have great difficulty grasping a full understanding of the concept, and there is a consistent theme of being unwilling to work with us to track down their own plagiarism and properly remove it from the site.

We are a site of authors and to see one author steal from another devalues the site and community as a whole, and is disrespectful to authors in general. As a site that lives and dies by the contributions of others, we cannot condone plagiarism. Plagiarism conflicts with CodeProject's goals, community, and ideals and will not be tolerated. If you submit plagiarized content on CodeProject you risk losing your account and articles permanently, and without a chance of rebuttal.


  1. Client-Side Validation for ASP.NET Server Controls - msdn
  2. ASP.NET MVC Overview - msdn
  3. CodeProject Plagiarism FAQ (you don't need to reference you own article this is just an example)
  4. HTML5 WebWorkers Experiment - Sacha Barber - CodeProject


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Technical Writer CodeProject
Canada Canada
Sean Ewington is the Content Manager for CodeProject.

His background in programming is primarily C++ and HTML, but has experience in other, "unsavoury" languages.

He loves movies, and likes to say inconceivable often, even if it does not mean what he thinks it means.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionI might have an issue with this... Pin
Kenneth Haugland2-Feb-23 3:37
professionalKenneth Haugland2-Feb-23 3:37 
AnswerRe: I might have an issue with this... Pin
Sean Ewington2-Feb-23 5:52
staffSean Ewington2-Feb-23 5:52 
PraiseMy vote of 5 Pin
ChristianNeumanns15-Mar-21 4:02
ChristianNeumanns15-Mar-21 4:02 
QuestionNot Plagiarism Pin
Giridhari Mishra6-Apr-18 9:16
Giridhari Mishra6-Apr-18 9:16 
QuestionIf it is not Plagiarism Pin
Sergey L. Gladkiy20-Mar-18 22:49
professionalSergey L. Gladkiy20-Mar-18 22:49 
QuestionFailed to make them believe, that I AM NOT ROBOT !!! Pin
Md. Shazzad Kabir Shotez5-Jan-18 21:39
Md. Shazzad Kabir Shotez5-Jan-18 21:39 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Suvendu Shekhar Giri4-Sep-16 23:56
professionalSuvendu Shekhar Giri4-Sep-16 23:56 
Questionhow to display total sold qty for each month , depending on item name and date Pin
Member 1225492215-Mar-16 0:26
Member 1225492215-Mar-16 0:26 
SuggestionPersonal comment Pin
Perić Željko19-Jan-16 3:07
professionalPerić Željko19-Jan-16 3:07 
GeneralRe: Personal comment Pin
Jochen Arndt23-Jan-16 5:55
professionalJochen Arndt23-Jan-16 5:55 
QuestionIs copying unattributed headers that were probably generated by a tool in the first place considered plagiarism here? Pin
danah gaz30-Dec-15 19:36
professionaldanah gaz30-Dec-15 19:36 
AnswerRe: Is copying unattributed headers that were probably generated by a tool in the first place considered plagiarism here? Pin
Sean Ewington31-Dec-15 5:54
staffSean Ewington31-Dec-15 5:54 
GeneralRe: Is copying unattributed headers that were probably generated by a tool in the first place considered plagiarism here? Pin
danah gaz31-Dec-15 6:51
professionaldanah gaz31-Dec-15 6:51 
QuestionAutomatic plagiarism detection tool? Pin
Amarnath S10-Aug-15 21:27
professionalAmarnath S10-Aug-15 21:27 
SuggestionThere is still a hope Pin
Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan4-Aug-15 2:11
professionalAfzaal Ahmad Zeeshan4-Aug-15 2:11 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Jochen Arndt2-Aug-15 22:16
professionalJochen Arndt2-Aug-15 22:16 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 Pin
Sean Ewington4-Aug-15 6:52
staffSean Ewington4-Aug-15 6:52 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Frank T. Clark31-Jul-15 8:49
professionalFrank T. Clark31-Jul-15 8:49 
QuestionTimely Pin
User 5924130-Jul-15 18:15
User 5924130-Jul-15 18:15 
AnswerRe: Timely Pin
Sean Ewington31-Jul-15 4:41
staffSean Ewington31-Jul-15 4:41 
DrABELL30-Jul-15 7:28
DrABELL30-Jul-15 7:28 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
DrABELL30-Jul-15 7:26
DrABELL30-Jul-15 7:26 
GeneralMessage Closed Pin
30-Jul-15 8:21
Ella SS30-Jul-15 8:21 
GeneralMessage Closed Pin
30-Jul-15 8:22
Ella SS30-Jul-15 8:22 

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