Armchair BEA: Ethics & Non-Fiction | Alexia's Books and Such...: Armchair BEA: Ethics & Non-Fiction

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ~ Mark Twain

Friday, May 31, 2013

Armchair BEA: Ethics & Non-Fiction

We get back into discussions on Friday with the heavy topic of ethics. Do you have recommendations to new bloggers to ensure credit is given to whom/where credit is due? Have you had an experience with plagiarism? How did you deal with it? What are the guidelines as bloggers that we must follow?

While I've never had first-hand experience with plagiarism (knock wood), I have lived through a couple of scandals where bloggers I know had their work stolen. It's heartbreaking, confusing, and mindboggling. Honestly, how hard is it to write your own review? Why would you steal someone else's work? If you read the book, why can't you share what you thought in your own words? Doesn't make sense to me.

I'm hesitant to even glance at reviews of a book on my TBR pile before I've completed my own, just in case I subconsciously use the same phrasing as anyone else. I know that my reviews aren't the best and that I need to work on editing and descriptions, but I know that the finished review is all me.

During the last big plagiarism scandal, I was proud of the book blogging community for their zero tolerance stance. Some people wanted to give the thief the benefit of the doubt because she was a nice person and popular, but the majority took a stand and refused to support her. It was a tough time for the community, but most stood up for what was right.

The only advice I can really give is to be honest. You might not have the best reviews out there, but if they are your honest reaction to a book, what more could you ask for?

We bridge the genre gap from fiction to all things non-fiction. Do you read non-fiction? Why or why not? Is there a specific type of non-fiction that you prefer to read (i.e., historical, true crime, memoirs, biographies, etc.)? What is the perfect book for a first-time non-fiction reader?

While I do read non-fiction from time to time, I have to admit that my first love will always be fiction. No matter how fascinating the story, I don't think that non-fiction can hold a candle to fiction. Mainly because non-fiction has to stick to the facts!

When I do read NF, it tends to be a biography of someone I find fascinating or a collection of essays that caught my eye. To be honest, I can't remember the last NF title I read, so guess it's been awhile.

16 comments:

  1. I'm with you: why would you steal someone else's work? What's the point? Where's the satisfaction? Thanks! :0)

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    1. I've never understood it either... :(

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  2. As long as the review is yours, it's good. Writing down a review is not about who is the best, it's just expressing your feelings and thoughts :)

     Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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    1. Exactly! Thanks for stopping by Mel!

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  3. Yes, it is best no matter the final quality (those yours DO rock) to use your own brain, your own reading adventure. After all, it is truly your own. As for the Fic vs Non Fic - I read both now, but still MAJORITY will ALWAYS be FICTION. ^_^

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I need to remember to leave time to edit my posts instead of just writing them and throwing them up there, but I tend to be lazy sometimes. ;)

      Yea for fiction! :D

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  4. I'm with you on the reading of reviews as it is all so easy to be influenced Or (shudders) inadvertently use someone's else words thus possibly breaching copyright.

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    1. Me too! I'm always afraid that I'll unintentionally use something I read in another review, so tend to be paranoid about reading other's reviews before mine is done. *shudders*

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  5. I don't typically read reviews of books I'm reading or planning to read before I write my review either. It's just too easy to get caught in the trap of having something someone else said stuck in my head. It's a tough subject with a lot of heated opinions. Nice post.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

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    1. It seems that there are several of us who don't read reviews in advance of writing our own. Glad to know I wasn't just being paranoid! ;)

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  6. I agree and try not to read reviews from other bloggers of the books I'm reading so their opinion doesn't sway me in any way, and it can be all my thoughts. I'm with you too, my reviews aren't the best but mine. Here are my thoughts on ethics and useful links I've found to help decipher what I need to do. Hope you will stop by. Happy Friday and keep up the good work from your friendly ABEA cheerleader today! I see you live on the Carolina coast. I wish I did, but I live inland NC.

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    1. Thanks Tanya! Learned something new thanks to your great post! And I love North Carolina! :)

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  7. Plagiarism (using another's words as your own) is one thing, but also think of copyright infringement which is using another's work without permission.

    Let's not forget getting sued for thousands on those grounds. Never, ever use pictures or copy that belong to someone else, because it can get very expensive.

    Nice post. We need to keep this forefront when posting.

    Anna from "Shout with Emaginette"

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    1. Good advice! I think people often forget about giving credit for images and pictures.

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  8. I don't read reviews of books that I plan on reading either. I don't want anyone elses ideas planted in my head - even if it's accidental!

    Honesty is very important. You don't have to be the best review writer out there (I'm certainly not!) but be honest about your thoughts and it's all good!

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    1. I think that's what it boils down to - give your honest opinion and you should be fine.

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