Writing

Copyscape… that was a title, man


Closeup Portrait Of Handsome Young Man Looking Shocked, Surprise

Word to the wise when writing for content sites, they run through copyscape. Which they should, of course. This is clearly important. So, yes, do that.

But, here is a tidbit you might not know and I just found out, your sources may be flagged. I wrote an article and obviously inline linked my sources but in general, I list them at the end of the article as well. I like it when articles list their sources down at the bottom and so I generally do so, so that the person can either use it or not. I leave it up to them. It really depends on style and where they are posting it.

Don’t do that.

It flagged two lines of source articles… basically studies because, yes, the title is indeed word for word. I didn’t list just links. I listed the title of the study and then the link. It flagged two titles. Oddly, not the others. No, Copyscape, I didn’t plagiarize… I was using a title which I rather cannot whimsically change. This study shall now be called ‘that thing where they studied something that time’.

I changed it because on this site it warns you, at least initially. But, damn, you’d think a human would be checking this as well. Because other than my list of sources I can think of one other obvious incidence of this happening… quotes. I can’t think of an instance where you would use a quote on such sites, but perhaps for an entertainment article, you would indeed do so. But, no, don’t do that. Unless Copyscape avoids quotes because clearly, they would be word for word. I have no idea but being paranoid, I’d avoid it.

Lesson learned. No list of sources. It honestly didn’t occur to me that it would pull titles.  However, maybe it doesn’t if I had put them in quotes? I have no idea. Best avoid it altogether.

 

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