Plagiarism is the act of depriving another writer or writers of their unique expression of thought. Facts, as the old adage goes, are free, but specific wording isn't. It is the general aim of this wiki to be wholly written by its users. Mass copying of text from elsewhere is frowned upon, and could result in the suspension of your editing rights. If you are ever in the slightest doubt about whether a block of text can be copied into this wiki, it is safer just to avoid the import and put the sense of that text into your own words.

If you "import" (read: steal) text from a source which is not compatible with the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license, then you may have actually violated copyright. At the very least, you've given someone else's text a legal status they didn't originally anticipate. This is the most serious form of plagiarism, and may force an admin to block you.

Taking from CC-BY-SA-compliant sites is still less desirable than simply writing articles from the ground up, but it may be allowable in certain circumstances.

What's the CC-BY-SA?

The following represents a "good faith effort" by admin at explaining what is, in fact, a somewhat complex bit of legal theory. It has not been written by legal professionals. A more authoritative rendering of this information can be found at FANDOM copyrights and off-site. If you would like a ruling on a specific copyright issue, you are encouraged to explain your situation to a member of Fandom Staff, via Special:Contact/general.

The CC-BY-SA 3.0 license is a specific type of legal license which allows collaborators to share their work freely, but still retain ownership of their material. It is not the same thing as the "public domain", which is a legal status in which no one owns the material in question. Because the material on this wiki — and indeed throughout Fandom — is not in the public domain, care must be taken when "importing" material from another source. As a general rule of thumb, that means that as long as the material comes from a CC-BY-SA 3.0 source — which again, covers practically all of Fandom — then no copyrights have been violated. Nevertheless, all material taken from another Fandom source must mention the source in some way — that is, it must be attributed. Attribution does not necessarily have to be visible, but it must — at a minimum — appear in an edit summary. Your attribution also can't suggest that the original authors actually endorse your usage of their material.

Importing code

Generally code and documentation may be copied wholesale from one Fandom wiki to another, an indeed from Wikipedia to here. Credit should always be given in the initial revision note, or in a "remarks" section within the body of the code, as to the origin of the code, as far as you are able to determine it. It can be extremely difficult finding the true origin of, for example, templates that have been around for years. Nevertheless, if you take code from another wiki, leave a breadcrumb to the place you got it from.

Understand, however, that most code cannot be simply imported here. It will have to be tailored to meet our needs. Do not be surprised if the cool template you found on Wikipedia doesn't work here, even if you copied and pasted it in its entirety. Many templates depend on sub-templates, and those sub-templates on even more sub-templates. Just to add to the confusion, sometimes templates depend on JavaScript code, CSS changes, or both. The act of importing a template from another Wiki here can be surprisingly difficult.

Thus, putting a link to the original source can actually be of tremendous practical benefit. It can help our admin investigate the template in its "home" environment, so that they can better figure out how to make it work on our wiki.

Non-CC-BY-SA sources

Just to reiterate, sources outside the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license "zone" shouldn't have their text copied verbatim. You can't just leave a note in the revision history of where you got the material. The material cannot, under any circumstance, come directly from a non-CC-BY-SA site to this one. Doing so will likely result in your editing rights being suspended. Among the many popular Doctor Who reference materials that shouldn't be directly copied are:

This list is obviously not exhaustive, and the absence of a resource from this list doesn't make it a resource from which you can copy.

Example of what not to do

Say one day that you notice, "Wow, we have a lot of blank story pages around here." Maybe The Terror of the Darkness' catches your eye. So you go off to the Doctor Who Reference Guide, and find a plot summary there. You then copy and paste that plot summary into our site.

At this point you are caught by an admin and blocked from further editing our site. This behaviour is absolutely forbidden.

How to avoid plagiarism

No one owns a fact. Almost all information on a wiki is taken from secondary sources. Plagiarism is not about having the same information here that might also be found on the official BBC website, or in a reference book. Instead, plagiarism happens when you copy the precise wording used in another source. Put everything you submit here into your own language, and you'll be fine.

You'll avoid the appearance of plagiarism even more if you show your sources so that other readers can verify your information. See The Dark Dimension for an example of good citation.

If you find a turn of phrase elsewhere that is remarkably succinct or novel, it's completely acceptable to bring short quotations from it onto this wiki. However, be sure you properly enclose it in quotes — generally through the use of {{quote}} — and that you properly source it. There are many ways to integrate a quote into the prose of your edits, and no definitive "format" for quotations therefore be given here. However you decide to include a quote, however, the reader should be left in no doubt as to the origin of the quote. A couple of places where properly cited quotations exist are Companion#What does the word "companion" actually mean? and Doctor Who (2009)#Setting for the Tenth Doctor.

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