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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

Digital Fluency

Introduces the concept of Digital Fluency.

Using Information Responsibly

At Mary Washington, our common values and honor code apply to everything we do – including digital fluency! As you work toward digital fluency, remember to do so responsibly, which can include crediting other authors and contributors in your own work, respecting copyright and terms of service agreements, thinking critically about the information you make publicly available, and so much more. At UMW, you have support on your path to digital fluency. Your professors and academic support centers are here for you, every step of the way!

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a standardized way for content creators to allow others to reuse their work, with specific limitations.  

There are six types of Creative Commons license:

CC BY:  allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

CC BY-SA:  This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

CC BY-NC:  allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

CC BY-NC-SA:  allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

CC BY-ND:  allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

CC BY-NC-ND:  allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

Copyright

Copyright is the part of intellectual property law in the United States that protects published and unpublished creative works, including print and electronic books and journals, films, music, poetry, and other forms of expression.  There are many aspects to copyright law, but the aspect that applies most directly to the use of copyrighted works in an academic setting is Fair Use.

Fair Use allows for the use of excerpts of copyrighted works in certain circumstances, including criticism and commentary and parody.  In evaluating Fair Use, the courts tend to use these four principles:

  • the purpose and character of your use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market.

For more detailed information on Copyright and Fair Use, check these resources:

Stanford University Libraries Copyright and Fair Use site

University of Virginia Library Copyright Resources

Citation and Attribution

The UMW librarians and the Writing Center can help you in determining how to cite your information sources properly.  Here are some great resources:

Citing Resources guide, writen by Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales.  This guide covers all of the citation styles used at UMW, and it includes multiple examples, usually drawn from Mr. Bales's own research and from his work with students.

Zotero is an online tool that makes it easy to collect all your research resources.  It will also generate a Works Cited list for you in most standard citation styles.  Zotero is free! 

The Zotero guide, created by librarian Peter Catlin, walks you through the process of downloading and using Zotero.