Attribution and Credibility

what is the relationship of attribution to credibility?

In both academic and professional settings, the prevailing assumption is that the work that an author presents is a representation of their own work. When there are instances in a presentation or creative work where other people’s research, creative products, properties, or performances are included, the author is expected to cite the other authors according to the standards of their academic discipline or industry.

From an ethical perspective, conforming to this expectation is mostly a matter of common sense. However, there other collateral effects of non-attribution if someone discovers an element of an author’s work that had not been given proper attribution. If the error of omission was accidental, it would confer a sense of the author’s unprofessional attention to detail. However, if the error of omission was intentional, it would affect the credibility of the author. Errors of the latter kind have led to the dismissal of candidates for employment as well as a loss in the credibility of otherwise important research.

Plagiarizing and credibility:

Mesa attorney withdraws Arizona judge application after being accused of plagiarizing” – by Lauren Castle, Arizona Republic, Published June 14, 2019

This article describes a candidate for a judicial appointment that was halted by the discovery of plagiarized material in his application. An exceprt from the article:

A court staff member emailed Reeves on June 11 with Bales’ concern: “It appears that your answer to question 62 in the application (Statement Why I am Seeking a Position on the Arizona Court of Appeals) in several places quotes verbatim from Justice Neil Gorsuch’s 2017 opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, although your statement does not attribute these remarks to him.”


attribution in COMM543

The visual media that you create for COMM543, as well as for all of your academic and professional work, should include attribution according to the following standards:

  • If you use an image that is not your own, you must attribute it.
  • If you use an image owned by someone other than yourself, use the attribution according to the copyright attached to the work by the author.
  • If you use an image that is in the public domain, no attribution is necessary. However, if there is information about the original author readily available, it is customary to include attribution anyway. (This is applicable when using images from, for example, whereas attributing an image created in the year 1550 from an unknown author would not attributable, even though if it were in the public domain.)


If you have any questions about copyright basics or attribution standards, review the GSC Library’s resources or contact the GSC Librarian directly using the contact information on the Library website.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Visual Communication by Granite State College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book