Writing a research paper is one of the most important activities you will do as an academic (student, instructor, or faculty). There are a number of responsibilities related to any type of intellectual activity.
It is imperative that intellectual work and scholarship be practiced with academic integrity and using ethical principles. This includes the recognition of intellectual property and related ownership rights.
Copyright provides legal protection for authors of intellectual works. Citing other people's works is the legal way to acknowledge intellectual property of others' referenced in your work. This is done using prescribed formal citation styles, e.g., APA, AMA, Chicago, CBE, etc. (see Citation Format Resources tab) and citation guidelines, the style of which may depend on what is prescribed by the person (e.g., professor) or entity (e.g., journal) to receive the work. There are a number of citation management resources that help organize, manage, and create citations using the citation style you need for your work.
When someone uses intellectual property without properly crediting (citing) that work, it is called plagiarism. Plagiarism is a very serious infraction and can lead to expulsion from the institution where the offender is working or studying. Learn what your institution's policy is, and what it takes to not plagiarize.
To assist you, this guide provides links to both general and UIUC-specific information related to conducting research, including process, ethics, academic integrity, intellectual property, copyright, citation format and management, and plagiarism.