One Secret for Advancing Your Career
Five of the entries are file folders: “Case Health Biz” is a dossier on Case’s new venture. “Case-Levin Anncmnt” has a number of stories covering the disastrous Time Warner-AOL merger and the embarrassing press conference where Case and TW prexy Gerald Levin dislocated their shoulders patting each other on the back.
The entries that start with “SEE” are blank file folders for cross-indexing purposes. Under AOL, which is a massive file, are “SEE Case, Steve” and “SEE Levin, Gerald.” All of these are designed to connect dots when doing research. Search the computer for "Brandt, Janice," Case’s brilliant marketing VP responsible for AOL’s explosive growth, and you will find my Target Marketing cover story naming Brandt Direct Marketer of the Year 2001.
Backing Up the Archive
Once a week, the archive is backed up into an external 40 GB drive that lives outside my house. At the same time, it's transferred to my laptop, so if I'm traveling, the laptop becomes my main computer.
Using the Material in Your Private Archive
Everything in your private archive will be under copyright, owned by the author or the organization that published it. Under the Fair Use provision of the copyright law, you can reprint some of these pieces in order to discuss or analyze them. It is imperative that you understand Fair Use so you don't get sued for copyright infringement. Here's the link.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
Some famous celebrities have been mightily embarrassed because they used the exact words of other writers without giving proper attribution. Among them: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Nina Totenberg, Steven Ambrose, Molly Ivins and Mike Barnicle, who was fired by the Boston Globe for stealing George Carlin jokes without giving credit.
Plagiarism is easy to detect now because texts can be compared using the Internet, unlike the pre-Web days when this exercise had to be accomplished by hand on a page-by-page basis.
I'm sure plagiarism by Steven Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin was inadvertent. Most likely, they were copying text from library books into their notes and failed to use quotes—or a big fat Q—and the original work slipped into the printed books.
Here's how I avoid plagiarism:
- Use the quote exactly with full attribution.
- If working online, give the gist, attribution and a hyperlink so the reader can click on the URL and go directly to the original source.
- If I want to use the material sans attribution, I create two Word documents and position them one above the other. In the top document, I paste the original paragraphs that I want to use (but not steal). In the bottom document is my text. I then use the bottom document to rewrite the material in the top document, changing words, syntax and emphasis until I have said the same thing, but so differently that I can't be accused of plagiarism.