I'm writing a mobile application which will be part of my master's thesis. In my application I'm using contents from the wikipedia (small fragments of articles and pictures) to present my solution on the specific data.

Must I add links to articles, images and to them licenses?

If so, where: README.txt / about section / directly in the written part? Thx in advance for help

  • The term "small fragments" makes this question difficult to answer, as we have to rely on your judgment of what "small" means. As far as copyright law goes, if you quote a piece of something for critical commentary, you're not violating copyright even if it's under full copyright. In an academic context, I imagine it would rely on many factors. More clarity/specificity in the question would make it easier to answer. – Pete Forsyth Feb 5 '19 at 2:56

In a thesis you must reference any material/code that you did not solely created.

So in your case, I would suggest in the the background chapter, explain, the used data gathering techniques (e.g., using an API), and then add all the required references into it. So in later chapters, the reader knows what are these data and where they came from.

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    Also, if your application displays any content from Wikipedia, you need to also display the attribution/reference. Even if you're remixing the content in some way. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… for more info. – mhwombat Sep 24 '15 at 15:15
  • @Dave Rose, thx, but I don't use API to gathering data from Wikipedia. I put manually images and fragments of articles in my database. So, in this case must I add reference to all of single articles? Is it enough to write that the materials contained in the application are from Wikipedia? – Bakus123 Sep 24 '15 at 15:54
  • @mhwombat, for public domain images, also? – Bakus123 Sep 24 '15 at 16:55
  • Not for public domain images, no. – mhwombat Sep 24 '15 at 23:58

I am not sure if you mean what is on my mind, but Wikipedia is not a reliable source for theses or academic papers. If you are using Wikipedia as a proof or reference for your content, I would suggest you to use a more reliable source. Wikipedia usually cites the content, so you can find the original reference, unless it has been written by an anonymous person.

But if you want to use media such as an image and you are concerned for the copyright issues, just use the license of the image (e.g. Creative Commons or GNU), and it should be enough. If the image is in the public domain, however, there would not be needed to use any reference for it, and you can do it if you want.

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  • I agree with you and in 'written part' of my thesis I try to avoid citations from Wikipedia. Regarding images... so, If I will use public domain images I don't need any reference for it, truth? Second question, If I will use images on CC/GNU license, where I should put the license in my thesis? – Bakus123 Sep 24 '15 at 17:19
  • You write: use the license of the image and it should be enough but @mhwombat writes (below) that: you need to also display the attribution/reference Who's right? – Bakus123 Sep 24 '15 at 17:27
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    I strongly disagree with the last paragraph. For material that is in the public domain, the law may let you do what you want, but academic ethics still insists on appropriate citation to credit the source. Failing to do so won't get you arrested or sued, but it might (in extreme cases) get you kicked out of university for plagiarism. – Nate Eldredge Sep 25 '15 at 0:08
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    "Plagiarism would not be happened without copyright violation": That is absolutely not true. Using material created by someone else, without giving proper attribution, is plagiarism. The copyright status of the material is irrelevant. For example, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is in the public domain worldwide, as far as I know, but if a student were to copy a paragraph from Pride and Prejudice into their essay without appropriate attribution, they would absolutely be guilty of plagiarism, and suffer the consequences. – Nate Eldredge Sep 25 '15 at 14:25
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    In other words, plagiarism and copyright violation are completely independent concepts. One is a matter of ethics and is about failing to give attribution. The other is a matter of law, and is about failing to get permission. It is entirely possible to commit plagiarism without violating any copyrights, and vice versa. – Nate Eldredge Sep 25 '15 at 14:31

You need to consider both copyright law and academic standards for attribution. There isn't enough information in the question to fully evaluate your situation in relation to either.

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