Researchers love Ancestry and similar websites. Attorneys, biographers, genealogists, medical scientists, professional historians, and students all turn to them as the world’s largest shopping malls for historical records. These providers offer censuses, deeds and land grants, legal suits, medieval manorial rolls, military records, probate proceedings, prison files, vital records, and thousands of other types of materials for studying the past and reconstructing human lives.
Intellectual pickpocketing. Stealing a ride on someone else’s train of thought. Taking something from someone and making it worse. Larding your lean work with the fat of others.1 Wits and sages, through the ages, have described plagiarism in many ways—not one of them flattering. The P-word is a label none of us want the world to attach to us. Yet it can happen so easily when we are inattentive, naïve, or beset by a bout of laziness.