When does content curation turn into plagiarism?


Hello everyone and welcome to another wonderful Tuesday! We made it, it is no longer Monday. I am so excited for this Tuesday because my husband, 14-month-old and I are traveling to where we went to college. My husband has been asked to speak at a Pre-Physical Therapy class. While he is in class, I plan to tour the new soccer field with an old family friend.

I remember when I first was asked to write as a ghost writer at R & R Web Design LLC. Right away, Robin Strohmaier, the owner and my editor, started teaching me and giving me information on blogging. She introduced me to some of my blogging heroes like Social Media Examiner and Copyblogger.

She also introduced me to content curation.

Content Curation

At first glance, I thought for sure she was asking me to plagiarize. My mind went right back to college when 3 baseball players got kicked out of class because they all turned in the same paper.

If I’m honest, content curation terrified me. I know, I know, many say that content curation is a buzz word. Well, yes it is, but it is hard to produce a lot of content without it.

Definition of Content Curation

Today, I wanted to share about plagiarism, content curation and answer whether or not content curation can become plagiarism.

In keeping with a collegiate theme, Webster’s Dictionary defines plagiarize as,

To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own; use (another’s production) without crediting the source.”

While Webster’s Dictionary has yet to define content curation, Forbes defines it as,

In simplest terms, content curation is a form of content marketing where a publisher (in this case, a small business) editorially collects the best content related to a specific niche and targeted to a specific audience then enhances that content by adding personal opinions and expertise.”

How to Avoid Plagiarizing

  • First, give credit where credit is due. When you bring in someone else’s ideas, give them the credit and if possible, link back to their website.
  • Add your own spin. This is a big one. If you just repost someone else’s article, you may be opening yourself up to legal issues and your audience is going to start skipping you and moving on to the original author.
  • Derek Halpern of Social Triggers offers a great suggestion here:

    A Malcolm Gladwell article referred to Steve Jobs as a“Tweaker.” The reality was, Steve Jobs didn’t invent anything. Instead, he simply found what existed, and made it much better and more user friendly.”

Where do you draw inspiration from when you curate content? Do you think that there is a fine line between content curation and plagiarism?

Christine King is a staff writer at R & R Web Design LLC. She is passionate about writing and loves what blogging and businesses can achieve. Armed with her degree in social work, she brings the unique ability to motivate readers in every blog article she writes. She specializes in creating content and writing blog articles for a variety of businesses at R & R Web Design LLC.

2 comments on “When does content curation turn into plagiarism?
  1. Ben says:

    It sounds to me like the age-old offense of plagiarism has been re-branded “content curation.”

    • Hi Ben, thank you for stopping by. I can see your point. There does appear to be a fine line between content curation and plagiarism. The term curation actually derives from the art world where curators select art pieces and display them in a show. The artists are highlighted and retain the ownership of their unique work.

      Content curation in an article with a similar concept. Instead of art, ideas are brought together. One may give a synopsis of a number of different authors’ perspectives. Quotes from the original author are cited and a link is provided to that author’s website. It is an ethical and respectful practice that always gives credit where credit is due.

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