Attribution

Attribution refers to the act of citation—i.e., the act of referencing or attributing a source of information. Avoid plagiarism and academic dishonesty by understanding when you need to provide attributions.
"The referee takes his red card out as he prepares to send of Zlatan Ibrahimovic of PSG, as the Chelsea players gather round Oscar" by Ben Sutherland is licensed under CC BY 2.0 "The referee takes his red card out as he prepares to send of Zlatan Ibrahimovic of PSG, as the Chelsea players gather round Oscar" by Ben Sutherland is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What is Attribution?

  • Attribution refers to the act of citation–i.e., the act of identifying the original source for a summary, paraphrase, or quote.

People attribute sources

  1. to acknowledge the inventions and ideas of others
  2. to adhere to copyright law and avoid plagiarism
  3. to follow professional standards of ethical behavior in the workplace
  4. to bolster our ethos in texts we are composing
  5. to allow readers to access their source(s), which they might want to do in order
    1. to more fully assess the source’s credibility
    2. to identify the status of the conversation on the topic.

Synonyms

The terms attribution and citation are synonymous.

Related Concepts: Archive; Canon; Citation Tools; Intellectual Property; Paraphrase; Quote; Summarize


Why Does Attribution Matter?

To learn more about the importance of attribution, see Citation.

When writers attribute sources, they use citation. A citation refers to information about where a source is from and who authored the source.