In the library, we talk about the importance of source attribution. Giving credit to your sources (words, pictures, media, etc.) is crucial; if you didn't say it, create it, or write it yourself, you need to give credit to the person who did. If you don't, you are committing intellectual property theft. This can be split into two forms: plagiarism, which is an ethical issue, and copyright, which is a legal issue.
Aside from the ethical and legal repercussions of failing to properly attribute a source, however, sometimes those improperly cited words are just plain...wrong. As in, the person cited as the author of a quote never said those words. It happens all the time, and it needs to stop. Don't be that guy--check out your sources before you pass those inspiring thoughts along! Read more here:
We start learning the names of colors when we are babies...but what exactly is color? That question was at the center of Alan Alda's 2014 Flame Challenge. The Flame Challenge, created in 2012 to recognize the importance of clearly communicating complex scientific concepts, was inspired by a question Alda asked his teacher when he was eleven years old: "What is a flame?" Her answer? "It's oxidation."
"I didn't know any more about than I did before," Alda said. "It's just like calling it by another name. It's [as if] I said, 'What's a flame?' and she said, 'Oh, that's Fred.'"
Alda announced the winner of the 2014 challenge, "What is Color?" this past Sunday at an event on the final day of the World Science Festival. Previous years' competitions have asked, "What is Time?" and, of course, "What is a Flame?" Learn more here and here.
Why am I talking about the Flame Challenge on the Library Media Center Blog? Clarity of information, of course! This award is all about explaining complex ideas in ways clear and easy enough for elementary students to understand. Clarity is a difficult but important skill to learn, and it certainly isn't limited to scientific ideas. The next time you are researching a new topic, reading a book, or looking something up online, pay attention to the expert or author's clarity of speech. Do you understand what he or she is trying to say or explain? Understanding and using information effectively are two of the most important information literacy skills we hope you learn in the library.
About Mrs. Stern
WRHS Library Director