A Note On Citing Sources

These guidelines will become part of the Member Agreement, but I thought I'd share them here first since that document is not yet done.

Ruby Says: Do Not Plagiarize!

The Internet makes it extremely easy to cut and paste from a site that contains information about the doll company, brand, person or other thing on Dollation that you've been researching, but don't copy information without crediting the source! It is OK to incorporate a paragraph or two from an external source if you put the text in a blockquote (select the text and click on the quotation mark symbol on the toolbar) and you link to the page where you got the text. You can create a link by copying the address from your browser's address bar then selecting the text you want to link there and then use the globe with the chain links icon to add a link.

For example. If I am writing a description of the American Girl company, I might do the following --

From the American Girl website's Our Company / Brands / American Girl characters page:

Introduced in 1986, the historical characters give girls an engaging glimpse into important times in America's past. Each character's story is told in a series of compelling books, focusing on such themes as family, school, holiday, birthday, summer, and winter adventures. Gentle life lessons throughout the stories remind girls of such lasting values as the importance of family and friends, compassion, responsibility, and forgiveness. Each book concludes with a nonfiction picture essay, "A Peek into the Past," that further explores the character's historical period.

This is especially important when quoting from other reference sites -- it is unethical to take the words that the researcher has carefully crafted and to paste them into Dollation because that implies that the author of the Dollation content wrote the words.

Even if you do not use another researcher's words directly, it is still important to credit the source of the information you have gathered by adding a link to the site in the content's Links field or by adding a reference book associated with the content. This not only gives credit where credit is due, but it also leads the reader to further sources of detail and additional information.

An exception to this rule is product catalog descriptions and picture. These are created by the company to market their products and are covered by the statement at the bottom of the page that, "The images and product descriptions shown on this page are copyright by the company indicated unless otherwise specified." If the product page is still available from the company for this item, it is important to add the URL to the "Buy direct" field -- this not only helps the company by creating a direct referral to the product, it also increases the search engine rankings for their page.

Never Use Images Without Permission

You may find a terrific picture of an doll item on Flickr, as part of an eBay listing or somewhere else on the web. Do not add the picture to Dollation unless you have permission from the creator. This can be easy on Flickr because you can check to see if they have made the picture available through the Creative Commons. If they have, then you may use the image if you credit the creator. You can also e-mail the person and ask for explicit permission, for instance through the eBay contact form, but you still need to credit them on Dollation.

Again, an exception to this rule is catalog pictures created by companies to advertise their products. Because Dollation is promoting their products for free, we assume that we have permission to use these copyrighted images unless we are told not to by the copyright owner. (In this case, there will be a warning at the top of the Edit pages for Companies/Brands/Products in the Dollipedia that are effected.)

An Aesthetic Issue

When you're copying and pasting from another source (like a document or a website), try to remove the source formatting. When you paste using CTRL-V or the Paste from Word clipboard icon on the toolbar, you're going to get the fonts, text size, text color, etc. from the original source. In most cases, that will make the body of the page look odd because the style will not be consistent with the rest of the site. 

You can remove the formatting by selecting the text (CTRL-A makes this easy) and clicking the eraser icon on the toolbar.

If the eraser removed formatting that made the text more readable, you can use the toolbar icons to restore it. Note that using the Paragraph Format drop-down to identify Headings is an excellent thing to do because it formats them consistently with the rest of the site and they can be used for creating a table of contents for long content in the future. (Not to mention they improve the results from search engines.)

You can also use the Paste as plain text clipboard icon to paste your content then the formatting won't be carried over in the first place.

If You Notice a Case of Badly-Cited Content

If you notice an instance where there is text that you suspect is not properly cited you can edit most of the pages yourself to insert the proper citations and add the appropriate block quotes if you know where the content came from. Or you can add a comment on the Editors' Comments tab. If the author doesn't address the issue right away, you can use the Flag for admin link and some "on the staff" will take a look at it.

I want to thank you again for sharing your knowledge at Dollation! These rules may sound academic (and remind you of your essay writing days in high school or college) but they're important for being fair to everyone. Remember, sharing is fun!

 

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crazyquilter
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Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/07/2011 - 8:17am

Thanks for writing this. It's really helpful.  I have asked a couple of times to use photos.  I've been politely turned down once, given permission once and I didn't hear back another time.

A question about photos from the company.  What about if they are photos from the company, but they are no longer available from there and we find them somewhere else like an online doll store?  On the older dolls this happens a lot.

It amazes me, on some of the dolls that I've researched, how little is available about them, even the ones that are only a few years old.

Also, is it OK to use scans of a catalog for a company that is no longer in business? I hope so because there is literally almost nothing that I can find about the Global Friends online and I have a catalog. The wayback machine isn't useful here because an adult dating site has taken the URL and they blocked the machine.

I just recently discovered the paste as plain text button, so that's what I've been doing.  There are probably things I need to go back and clean up from before I spotted it.

You mentioned search engines. I was wondering about that. Will dollipedia show up on search engines and will nonmembers be able to read it?  

Ruby
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Last seen: 3 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 06/11/2011 - 4:59pm

I'm glad you found it helpful! 

Yes, it is fine to use a company's product photos even if you have to save them from another site. (It's not like we're linking to the other site and using their bandwidth to serve the photos, we're copying them then uploading them to our own server.)

It is discouraging when it's so hard to find info on "older" dolls, isn't it? And we collect mostly modern dolls! I guess we need to start keeping our eyes open for old catalogs and scan them in like you're going to have to do for Global Friends. I can help there too because I have an old GF catalog in my stash. (That's a bummer about the adult dating side taking over GF.com. LOL!)

We can all clean up formatting when we see it! I need to start getting myself to use the spell check button. cheeky Please feel free to fix my typos.

Yes, Dollation is going to be very, very search engine friendly! Kevin, from Tonner Dolls, even clued me into a new "metadata" feature that will make it even better. Actually, right now the site is on-line like it will be once it's officially launched, so if you log out you'll see how non-registered visitors see it. (I wanted to use a testing tool that checked the metadata I added so I had to put it on-line temporarily.) As you can see, the only thing blocked from anonymous users (like the Google indexing robot) is the ability to add, the ability to see people's profiles, and naturally there's no My Collection or Wishlist. They can browse the Dollipedia to their heart's content, so you're really doing the doll community a service by adding information.

 

Ruby ~ Your hostess.
lindsayj
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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/06/2012 - 9:25pm

OK, I don't quite understand everything under An Aesthetic Issue or the other picture stuff.  I understand you would prefer "official" pictures in the entrys-am I right?  I'm not entirely sure how to go about getting the pictures and everything-would it be better for me to add what I can (I have several spreadsheets of clothing items I could input) or should I wait until I can figure out the pictures?  I would love to help, but I am worried I might mess something up.

crazyquilter
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Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/07/2011 - 8:17am

Lindsay, it refers, I think, to when you copy text from a web site.  I was doing some copying and I had large pink letters and smaller green ones for example.  What I did to get rid of it all without having to worry about it is to click on the paste as plain text button.  I later discovered that when I right click my mouse I have a paste as plain text option there too.  I had never noticed it before.

I'm not sure what your question is about the pictures, so I can't help there.  All I know about the photos is that we may use photos from the original website or catalog (scanned), but if we want to use photos taken by anyone else, we need permission.  I've tried writing for permission a few times without much success.  A couple of people said, sure use them, but most either said no or never bothered to answer back.

A way to not have to worry about permission is to just take the photos yourself.  I think we are going to have to resort to that with the Just Pretend doll's clothes since we can't find any from the original web site.

lindsayj
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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/06/2012 - 9:25pm

I didn't know that about copy/paste as plain text, so thank you much.  I would do my own pictures, but unfortunatly, most of my collection is in unaccessible storage until I get into a more permanent home.  I'll see what I can do in my spare time-maybe I can figure the pictures, I knew how at one point-I think.

crazyquilter
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Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/07/2011 - 8:17am

Which dolls are you wanting to post?  Are they still available online?  If so, I can talk you through posting photos here.

Ruby
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Last seen: 3 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 06/11/2011 - 4:59pm

Hi, Lindsay! I assume you're talking about Product entries? (Since you mention outfits.) It's the Product pictures that we would like to have be the official catalog pictures, if possible, but it's EXTREMELY HELPFUL to have as much information as you ahve added even if you don't have pictures. Other people (or you) can come along and add the pictures later. Once a Product is in the Dollipedia, people can click on the "I own this" link and add it to their collection lists. Then they can start adding photos of their own item which will also show up on the Product page as well.

The bottom line is we want people to share as much or as little information as they have about doll stuff. It's fun, too. :)

Lately I've been doing it "backwards" -- I've been adding pictures I already have of dolls I own and now I have to go back and add the Products (and in some cases the Brands and Companies) that those dolls and their outfits correspond to. Either way works!

Ruby ~ Your hostess.
lindsayj
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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/06/2012 - 9:25pm

Yes, that answered my question!  I will do what I can, and add pictures when I get that figured out.   Thank you so much, and I already am having fun doing this-I was at the point of doing spreadsheets for myself, but it's much more fun when I can share :)

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