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Is copying a question word-for-word from another site allowed? I’ve seen three cases where this has happened, and I don’t know whether it’s allowed. (The site in question was the CoS Forum.)

If it’s not allowed, should I or the user link a source and then reword the question so that it’s no longer plagiarising?

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Word-for-word copying of relatively small amounts is only allowed as evidence / supplementary material, and even then must be properly quoted and attributed.

A quote should never be a full post, attributed or not, and presenting it as one's own is strictly forbidden.

The best course of action when you encounter something like this is to flag one of the user's plagiarized posts with a custom flag and tell the moderators you found plagiarism, with a link to a word-for-word source of the actual text.

If it's a good question worth keeping around, you could rewrite it in your own words and perhaps a link to the original question. If it's not, it will probably just be deleted.

  • what if the question was yours on another site? Then should it stay unchanged. – Pobrecita Dec 8 '14 at 8:19
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    @iliveunderawesomerock - Since there's no immediate proof that you're the same person, it would still flag as plagiarism. The simplest thing to do is to spend 5 minutes re-writing it so that it's not a direct dupe. – Valorum Dec 8 '14 at 10:25
  • @Richard Thank You 1+. I thought so. – Pobrecita Dec 8 '14 at 18:37
  • Well, if the original post is marked with a public domain or creative commons license, it shouldn't be a problem. – bitmask Dec 12 '14 at 16:55
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    @bitmask I'd still expect users not to present public domain work as their own, and especially not as the entire post. If a good source can be identified, that should be cited; if it's all over the 'net, the post should at least acknowledge that it was from widespread public-domain content. – Kevin Dec 12 '14 at 17:28

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