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I've recently suggested a tag wiki edit, for my company's new Stack Overflow tag, . For the long description, I've copied some content that I have written myself for our developers site. 2 days after submitting the tag wiki edit, it was rejected for "plagiarizes content from an external source without proper attribution".

Am I not allowed to "plagiarize" my own content for a tag wiki?

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11  
"plagiarizes content from an external source without proper attribution" - Did you attribute yourself? It might not have been obvious to the reviewers if you didn't state this. –  Mysticial Sep 24 '12 at 22:10
    
@Mysticial +1....though that would only make sense in the edit summary, and not in the actual wiki, to be clear. –  Shokhet Jan 4 at 23:12

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Assuming you own the text (i.e. you wrote it, and didn't assign the copyright to a company you don't control), it is of course fine to submit it as a tag wiki here.

However, reviewers don't know that. You should write in the edit summary what is going on, so that reviewers know it's legit. If necessary, also put a link to your Stack Overflow user page from your website, as proof that you are the same person as the website author.

Unfortunately for a new tag, the system doesn't let you set an edit summary. Instead, consider adding a message "Text from (URL), used with permission" at the bottom of the tag wiki body.

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Even if this summary is yours, it is still required that you give a link to the original source. There may have been no way(I have not seen the suggested edit) to verify that this was indeed your tag. Anyway, this content is Creative Commons by Stack Exchange, and so you would have to officially give permission for this data to be used. I suggest you rewrite it, or give a link and permission to use by your company.

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5  
He can just post it here under CC even if he already posted it somewhere else under no/other licenses. Why would he be required to give links to other places where he might have said the same thing or rewrite stuff just because he wants to publish it here under CC? –  sth Sep 25 '12 at 16:04

Just reason it out:

The fact that you probably won't work there forever potentially creates a difficult process for proving that an authorised employee gave permission 5 years down the line.

They would need to contact you and get you to confirm this with the company you used to work for. That's a manual process that'd take time. Now imagine that needs to be done for more than one tag. Even letting one or two slip by or making an exception would open the door to confusion - users might start accepting unattributed edits - and ultimately could create time-consuming issues if left unkept.

Instead, to avoid absolutely any potential legal issues, you have the means to make a simple statement at the time of copying the text, and avoid any trouble later on.

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The "plagiarism" referenced is more self-plagiarism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism

Looks like all that's needed is that you make your source (i.e., your own words) explicit?

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