Tag Archives: SHU US Visit

Plagiarism In The Digital World

By David G. Taylor, Ph.D.

Today, it is easier than ever before to commit plagiarism, and the lines are as to what constitutes plagiarism have grown fuzzier and hazier. As a result, even marketers who consider themselves ethically constrained may cross those lines.

As a university professor, fighting student plagiarism is a battle as old as my profession, but today it is even more difficult. Students can copy and paste entire documents with a few keystrokes. But plagiarism has also become more difficult to define. Our university handbook defines plagiarism as “misrepresenting the sources of one’s information and ideas” or “presenting another person’s written words or ideas as one’s own.”

In the age of social media and content aggregation, this notion seems almost quaint. Content sharing and assimilation is an integral part of the social media environment, and millennials have grown up in this world. But it’s not unique to the younger set. When any of us connected consumers find something that catches our fancy, we “like”, “retweet” or “share” it. It’s the social part of social media.

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Marketers are no different. There is a world of content out there, and we want to share it with our customers, or highlight information that support our messages. It’s a vital part of maintaining our presence in digital and social media. But it’s easy to slip into questionable acts of plagiarism. How many times have I needed an image for a PowerPoint presentation, and simply copied and pasted from Google? More than I’m willing to admit.

The format in which Google returns search image results, in particular, makes the process of plagiarism seem more innocuous. We receive a page of images disconnected from their source, and a simple right-click makes it our own. Similarly, it’s a short leap from using text as source material to just copying it outright. With all of the sharing going on, it can also be difficult to cite original sources, even if we want to. For example, in researching this article, I found an info-graphic that claimed that the level of plagiarism on the Internet could exceed 63%. I found no source for this statistic, despite URLs listed as sources, so I am not going to cite it as fact, tempting as it may be. I will simply say that this claim exists on the Internet.

As a marketer, there are steps you can take to avoid becoming part of the significant percentage of Internet content (whatever that percentage may be) that is plagiarized:

Don’t use Google image search as a content tool.

Just don’t do it. Subscribe to a royalty-free stock image service such as ShutterStock instead.

Use hyperlinks to refer readers to the original source.

It is unlikely the content owner will complain if you cite a short snippet of their text and drive traffic to their site. (If you’re reading this and want to share it on your website, feel free. Just link this page.)

When retweeting or otherwise sharing posts, be sure the original source appears prominently.

If you’re sharing an industry report, attribute whatever you say to the organization that created it.

Avoid retweeting images or graphics.

Unless you have explicit permission to share, or the image appears in your Facebook feed when you share a link to a page, use text and hyperlink to the image. (And, of course, credit the source.)

Don’t copy and paste text.  

Unless you are planning to directly quote text, don’t copy and paste it into a new document.  It’s a commonly used shortcut – copy, paste, then change the copied text to paraphrase – but too often the last step is either insufficiently original, simply overwriting a word here or there, or skipped altogether.  Rather than copying and pasting the original text, type the paraphrased section on the new document in your own words (and, of course, be sure to attribute the source material.)

David G. Taylor, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Marketing at Sacred Heart University.  Dr. Taylor has more than 12 years of experience in the interactive marketing industry, and his research into online branding, social media and digital marketing has appeared in top academic journals.  

CONNECTED forever!

Being on the field is always a wonderful experience, be it anywhere. The five students from SHU, Luxembourg had the first hand experience in Business market functions during their two weeks of 2016 USA-Luxembourg Connections Summer Enrichment Program in the U.S. From July 17 to July 30, 2016, these students attended classes with their U.S. counterparts at SHU campuses in Stamford and Fairfield, and also visited corporate houses like NYSE, IBM, and Sandler O’Neil. Having been exposed to the bigger world, what were the main insights from the program? Let’s hear it from them.

Paulo Fernandes (Student, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA):

PauloThis was not my first trip to the U.S. but the experience was different and refreshing. The 2016 USA-Luxembourg Connections Summer Enrichment Program created strong links between the MBA colleagues, both Luxembourg and the U.S. based.

Out of the corporate visits we had, I personally liked the Sandler O’Neill visit the most. The takeaways from the discussions with Bob Castrignano (Principal, Equity Sales, Sandler O’Neil), about what made his success, amongst other topics, were very interesting. The story about what happened to the company after 9/11 and his commitment to help rebuild the company was inspiring. A very good visit.

The classes were also very interesting. Obviously, due to cultural differences, professors and students have different point of views and perspectives on many subjects, which is a good thing as it created very interesting discussions.

During the weekdays we went to the beaches close to Stamford several times. We went for a run regularly and played sports such as Basketball and Tennis. For our free two-day weekend, we decided to rent a car and drive to Atlantic City. It was a lot of fun! We enjoyed the beach, the good food and the parties.

I realized the importance of connections and creating and keeping a good network with this trip.

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 Maria del Rosario Cleofe Chavez Cortez (Student, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA with internship)

MariaThe CONNECTIONS program was full of great moments, but this trip gave me the opportunity to meet new people with awesome perspectives and ideas on different business topics. This trip was my best experience, and of course it was more than what I expected. Being there, with perfect sunny days, visiting important companies and meeting new people, gave me the chance to acquire more business insights and earn new connections.

All the corporate visits gave me the opportunity to learn something new and also taught me some important lessons. The most interesting visit to me was to the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange). It was so exciting to see people working on the trading floor, a place which I am used to seeing in photographs, newspaper and on business TV channels.

The SHU students from Fairfield are friendly and everyone supported us for any need. They are competent and showed engagement during classes. It is difficult to compare professors, because all our professors are amazing professionals that answer all our questions concerning doubts or curiosities. Through an international perspective, all classes were explained under different point of views, and everyone was unique.

I enjoyed every corner of New York City. I visited the MOMA, the Rockefeller center, Atlantic city and also some amazing beaches, such as West Beach and Cove Island Park in Stamford. I will remember the nice people I met from this trip and all the efforts of Prof. Mary Trefry who worked a lot for this program. And New York City, with all its chaos and frenetic life, it was simply magic.

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 Fabián Mejía Pinto (Student, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA)

FabianWith this trip I reinforce the importance of the technology-enabled connections and the social capital and also the importance of developing strong and weak links through social media and different technology based channels.

All our corporate visits were very interesting, but IBM visit was my favorite. We met Watson, the technology platform that use natural processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data (http://www.ibm.com/watson/what-is-watson.html). This kind of machines can really improve the capacity to analyze large amounts of data and help in decision making processes in any service or industry.

We had very good lectures and group discussions about Developing Social Capital in the era of global networks connections, Marketing in the age of social media and Big data and predictive analytics. We had an excellent atmosphere between the Luxembourg based students and developed very good relationship with the US based students. In class, we had interesting debates about US presidential elections, sustainability and environment, where we could see differences of opinions.

Meetings and dinners with SHU professors like Alfred Steinherr and Mary Trefry and with US executives like Richard Robustelli and Robert Castrignano were very interesting and enriching.
Now that we all are back, we expect to keep in contact with the U.S. based students and maintain the great relationship we built with them.