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Wildlife Online Disclaimer

Content Updated: 23rd August 2012

Quality of Site Content
I have done my very best to ensure that this site provides good, accurate information on its subjects. During my research I have drawn on material from the scientific literature (including peer-reviewed journals and scientific book publications) and well respected books from the respective field. In some cases, I have drawn on Internet sources, but where this is the case, the information is referenced as such (and additional caution should be applied when assuming accuracy) or has been referenced to the appropriate literature; where possible use of Internet sites has been restricted to scientific institution and animal welfare websites. Information is also presented based on my own personal observations and the observations of others; where such information is included, it is clearly noted as such.  Ultimately, Wildlife Online is my creation and I am responsible for its upkeep and content – any problems with, or questions about, the site and/or its content should be directed to me. Should you have a grievance with the way I have presented or interpreted any of your research/observations, please contact me in writing explaining your complaint; if you require information removing from the site this will be done within 24 hours, subject to my availability and access to the server.

Presentation of Material and Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the appropriation of ideas, writings, etc. from another work or author as your own. In other words, plagiarism is claiming or implying that you’re the author/creator of something that you are not, or incorporating material from someone else’s work in your own without the appropriate credit. In 1997 a study was published in the Psychological Record that gave the results of a survey of undergraduates; according to the paper 36% admitted to plagiarizing material at some point. Despite this, such false attribution is a very serious academic offence.

In my opinion, plagiarism -- by its most rigorous definition, at least -- is actually a rather difficult problem to avoid when writing a non-scientific website. In the scientific literature, it is fairly easy to guard against; basically every statement you make that isn’t derived from your own research/experience should be cited appropriately. So, for example, something like the statement on my homepage would be written as: An increase in brain cavity from the roughly 500 cubic centimetres of Australopithecus (the oldest known hominids) to the modern Homo sapiens’ brain volume of 1,400 cc in only about three million years (Dawkins, 1991) has helped us manipulate the global environment in a way unlike any other species before us.  I would then have a bibliography, in which I would pick-up the citation above as: Dawkins, R. (1991). The Blind Watchmaker. Penguin Books, London. This would let anyone reading the piece know that my claim of Australopithecus’ brain size was not discovered during the course of my research; rather that it was quoted from someone else’s data. Well, actually, I would usually try and cite from the primary literature (i.e. the first paper to document the brain size), rather than a science novel, but you get the picture! My intention was not, however, to write a scientific literature review of the species featured here. Rather, my plan was to incorporate data from a number of reliable sources (from the scientific and popular literature) into an approachable and accessible resource. As such, I did not want citations in the text or a bibliography.  So, I have done my very best to cover the primary bases of courtesy and make note of the more general details of the science when I use it.  So, I mention that the information is taken from a scientific paper (generally stating the journal name, date and at least one of the authors). Where I have relied heavily on quotes or references from particular books, I have given the name of the authors, title of the book and clearly indicated that it is a quote – typically putting direct quotes between quotation marks and in italicised font.  I also give a full list of the books I have used on my Recommended Reading list and I am happy to provide specific citations for information upon request.

I hope that my attempts to make the work of others distinct from my own observations are sufficient to placate the researchers whose work I reference. Nonetheless, I would like to make it abundantly clear that unless otherwise stated, the information contained on this website does not stem from any of my own research.  Where such material is my own, I have made this clear. If anyone feels that their work has been misrepresented or inappropriately cited/referenced, please contact me and I will strive to resolve the situation as quickly as I can (to show my commitment to this – I hope to have such instances corrected/removed within 24 hours of your initial e-mail). If I receive a substantial number of complaints about the style, I will consider revising my citation procedure.

Use of Graphic Material
I accept that I have not seen every photo of a fox, badger, squirrel, hedgehog, etc that has ever been taken and, as such, I cannot be 100% sure that someone isn’t passing off someone else’s photo as their own.  I am confident, however, that all the photos and artwork featured on this site either appear with the artist’s express permission or are circulated on the Internet under a GNU Licence. In no instance, have I ‘lifted’ photos or drawings from the Internet or from books and I would be most appreciative if you would refrain from doing the same. The photos have been provided by people who love their local wildlife and want to share their experience with others – their photographs help make WLOL that much more entertaining and this site would be lost without them.  The photographers/artists retain copyright of their images and are free to request the image be removed at any time. Each photo or drawing has line credit to the contributor and his or her name is listed on the Many Thanks page, where a link to their website -- or a website of their choosing -- can be found.

If you see a photo you have taken or a picture you have drawn on here for which you have not provided permission, I would appreciate it if you could inform me ASAP and I will either remove or reattribute it (depending on your wishes). I can assure contributors that any subsequent use of their photos (for example incorporating them in a screensaver or publishing them in other associated WLOL media, such as leaflets or other websites) will only be done with their express written permission. Please see the Photos Needed page for full terms and conditions of submission.

Anyone wishing to use a photo from my site must obtain permission directly from the photographer/artist.  Where said contributor has a website, there will more often than not be a contact e-mail on it for you to reach them. Where no such website exists, requests can be directed through me.

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