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I am new in the field of writing papers and publishing them. This is my first work. While writing my paper, I am using a paragraph from an external website.

This is the paragraph that I am using

A replay attack occurs when a cybercriminal eavesdrops on a secure network communication, intercepts it, and then fraudulently delays or resends it to misdirect the receiver into doing what the hacker wants. The added danger of replay attacks is that a hacker doesn't even need advanced skills to decrypt a message after capturing it from the network. The attack could be successful simply by resending the whole thing.

As we can see I have multiple lines copied directly from the website. Now what is the proper way to cite the work to avoid plagiarism? What I am doing currently is that, I am citing it like this,

A replay attack occurs when a cybercriminal eavesdrops on a secure network communication, intercepts it, and then fraudulently delays or resends it to misdirect the receiver into doing what the hacker wants. The added danger of replay attacks is that a hacker doesn't even need advanced skills to decrypt a message after capturing it from the network. The attack could be successful simply by resending the whole thing. [1]

And in the citation section, I am mentioning it as,

[1] : https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/replay-attack

Is this the correct way to cite?

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  • At least use quotes to isolate the paragraph. But I am on the same line as Federico Poloni's answer.
    – Alchimista
    Jun 3 at 8:05
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In my opinion, there is no proper way to add citations when you are copying a paragraph like that. Just don't do it, unless it is something written in stone like the statement of a theorem (and I don't think this is the case here). You should have sufficient command of the topic of your paper to formulate these definitions in your own words.

See for instance these guide styles on when to quote and when to paraphrase:

For instance, here is a direct quotation from the first source:

Should I paraphrase or quote?

In general, use direct quotations only if you have a good reason. Most of your paper should be in your own words. Also, it’s often conventional to quote more extensively from sources when you’re writing a humanities paper, and to summarize from sources when you’re writing in the social or natural sciences–but there are always exceptions.

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  • Ok.. Thanks a lot.. :)
    – Turing101
    Jun 2 at 19:33
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    This is the right way to go about it - verbatim cites only if the actual words are central to your point, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for example - , so I won't put my own answer up. But I'd add that for something like a definition it's better to refer to (paraphrase & cite) a standard textbook, a dictionary of computer science or the like rather than a random vendor's website.
    – chryss
    Jun 4 at 1:00
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Yes, the citation is typically put at the end of the quotation (at least, according to some style guides).

However, the reference needs a few more details. First, check if the target journal or conference has guidelines on how references should be formatted, especially for what concerns online works (e.g. some journals require that you specify when you last visited the page). So, a more appropriate reference could be:

[1] "What Is a Replay Attack?", AO Kaspersky Lab, https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/replay-attack [Accessed: 2 June 2021]

The above is just an example and every journal has its own conventions (e.g. Kaspersky can be also considered as the author, some journals put the [online] tag, others make the tag clickable etc.). So, again, check the journal's guidelines.

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    Although the literal question may be answered here, this answer fails to address that exactly copying an entire paragraph is generally a Very Bad Idea: it makes the authors look lazy or uninformed, and may break copyright law. A website (even if it is by a cybersecurity company) should not be cited if it can be avoided, for many reasons discussed in answers to other questions. Although technically it could be argued that it is not plagiarism because there is a citation, copying an entire paragraph (nearly literally) is close enough to plagiarism to advise avoiding it even with the citation.
    – Louic
    Jun 2 at 19:42
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    @Louic There's too little context to know whether that quotation is appropriate or not (it could be if the paper discusses the definitions of replay attack). The OP posed a specific question, I answered that.
    – Massimo Ortolano
    Jun 2 at 19:47
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    Personally I would consider unacceptable to copy a full paragraph like that, even with a citation mark at the end, without an explicit use of quotation marks or similar formatting (the equivalent of a "quote" environment). Jun 2 at 19:47
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    Because OP does not specify it. The way I read it, that "quote" environment is used to include here a paragraph from OP's paper. In any case, I think that it should be mentioned explicitly that such a citation is acceptable only with explicit quotes, and only in specific cases (like in your example of a paper comparing different definitions). Jun 2 at 19:52
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    I've upvoted the answer saying that such a citation isn't appropriate. But if OP thinks otherwise, this is the answer, too.
    – Alchimista
    Jun 3 at 12:33

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