Feedback appreciated: citation, references & copyright guidelines for coursework

I am working on statements re: citation, references & copyright guidelines for my students.  Feedback on the memo below is appreciated!



Copyright and attribution can be confusing. How confusing? Check out this recent article from the Economist explaining “How does copyright work in space?” We want to send a brief reminder and helpful resources to make sure all MAET students are modeling best practices in their coursework.

Many of the resources you use to create and share your work falls under Fair Use guidelines.  A great resource for understanding the guidelines for Fair Use is: The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education: (A more in depth and fantastic resource on the topic is Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning by Dr. Renee Hobbs.)

One thing we want to make sure you are doing for your MAET coursework is the following:

“Whenever possible, educators should provide proper attribution and model citation practices that are appropriate to the form and context of use.” (Center for Social Media, 2011, p. 10).

Fair Use is intentionally flexible.  We have set guidelines (as you will see in your MAET Certificate Courses syllabi) that requests that any web or print text resource that you use in your MAET work be referenced using APA formatting. This request is to avoid any issues of plagiarism. A great, quick read along these lines is Is it Plagiarism Yet?

In addition to referencing the APA manual for formatting guidelines, there are many “tricks” to helping find your APA formatting. You can google the title of the work and “APA.” Websites like or help with formatting.  Purdue Owl is another fantastic online resource for all things APA: We do know that many blog formats make it very difficult to put the required indent into an APA citation.

Sidenote: You do not have to spin your techno-wheels if you cannot get the indent to work on your blog. The proper citation, without the indent, will work just fine (examples at the bottom of this very email.)

There are APA guidelines for multimedia works, though depending on the project or assignment, it may not be necessary to cite the works in APA format.  You do however still need to give proper credit to your sources.  When creating multimedia works, you can use your own images (that’s one easy way to avoid copyright issues!) or search on the Creative Commons: for works that were meant to be remixed and adapted.  Keep in mind, Creative Commons works still need to be properly referenced.

Your instructors are here to help you in this quest, while we ask that you make your best effort to cite and reference everything properly before turning in your work, we are realistic and know something may be missed – this is why we are a team working together! If your instructors point out areas that need to be referenced or cited, please respond promptly.   Our efforts in doing so are in no way punitive. You are doing extremely exciting and innovative work. As many of you have experienced, your posts are being tweeted and re-tweeted – you’re making a difference, you have a voice.  We want to make sure that we are helping you put your best digital footprint forward and serving as exemplars for your peers and colleagues.

Thank you,

Works Cited
Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format. Retrieved from

The Center for Social Media, The Media Education Lab, and The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. (2011) The Code of best practices in fair use for media literacy education. Retrieved from

G.F. (2013, May 23). The Economist explains: How does copyright work in space? [blog] Retrieved from:

Hobbs, R. (2010). Copyright clarity: how fair use supports digital learning. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin.

Stolley, K.,  Brizee, A., Joshua M. Paiz, J.,  (2013, February 13) Is it plagiarism yet?. Retrieved from