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Sometimes comments are answers to the question. What should I do if somebody used the copy & paste method to write an answer which is built from comments' content? Should I mark that answer as plagiarism for the moderators' attention?

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2 Answers 2

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Turning somebody else's comment into an answer is perfectly okay.

Of course, referencing the original comment is very strongly encouraged, if not mandatory, depending on how much of it you use. If you copy & paste the words verbatim, you absolutely have to give attribution.

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    Whether or not you're copying the words verbatim, if the content is derived from the work of another it requires attribution. Paraphrasing or summarizing someone else requires attribution just the same as quoting. If it happens to contain the same information, but was not derived from those comments, then it would not require attribution.
    – Servy
    Mar 6, 2014 at 22:12
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    @Servy legally - possibly not. But morally, yes, absolutely.
    – Pekka
    Mar 6, 2014 at 22:14
  • Per this site's rules, they are. From a legal perspective, that is another matter.
    – Servy
    Mar 6, 2014 at 22:14
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    @Servy I don't think it's that clear even by the site's rules, really. If a comment gives you a starting point that you then research and you turn the results of that research into an answer, the question whether you absolutely have to give attribution to the comment is at least a grey area. It's the classy thing to do, though, of course.
    – Pekka
    Mar 6, 2014 at 22:15
  • Deriving new content from other content still requires attribution. That you have modified it in some way does not instantly mean that you are no longer required to cite it.
    – Servy
    Mar 6, 2014 at 22:18
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You should ensure that the answer properly cites the comments (in this case that means providing a link and mentioning the author of the content), if it does not already.

Then upvote it, if it's a good answer.

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