I've noticed lately that a particular member whom I won't name is answering a lot of questions in a way that indicates he might not clearly understand the concepts he is attempting to address. Just today I saw a question that appeared to be a follow up to another question asked a few hours earlier. About 75% or more of this user's answer to the second question appeared to be verbatim quotes of parts of my answer to the previous question.

While I might occasionally answer a question with similar information to a previous answer, the reason I would write an additional answer is because I might feel the previous answer didn't communicate the information in as clear and concise a way as would be hoped. Similarly, I have written a few answers in response to a question that incorporated information from answers to several other questions after discovering there was no other single question that collected the necessary information in one place.

What is the policy concerning plagiarism here when the source used is another users input to photo.stackexchange?

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    And of course, now you have me curious, so I'm going to have to go digging to try and figure out which user it could be. :) I love a good mystery.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    May 20 '13 at 16:24

I would say that this would be unacceptable since SE is licensed under an attribution required license. Thus, reusing someone's post and stripping the attribution to that author would be plagiarism. Even if this wasn't the case, I still would frown on such behavior as it goes counter to the spirit of the site.

A link to the original author's post would be the appropriate way to address a question for which someone else already has a good answer (and possibly a vote to close as duplicate).

I guess it is a little trickier when specifically looking at a question that isn't a duplicate but can make partial use of another answer. Perhaps it would be ok to include portions of another user's answer from another question as long as attribution is given and preferably a link to the original question/answer is given.

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    I fully agree with this assessment. It is not acceptable to plagiarize another users answers, snippets or in full. If someone wishes to offer answers here, they should really know what it is they are talking about, and have the capacity to back up their answers with references if necessary. Referring to another user's answer is not really an adequate reference for one's own.
    – jrista
    May 20 '13 at 18:47
  • I think that about sums it up...
    – Joanne C
    May 21 '13 at 2:21

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