The legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of information go beyond properly citing sources and avoiding plagiarism. Researchers should be knowledgeable about issues related to privacy and security and censorship and freedom of speech, as well as have an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use.
Plagiarism means taking the words and thoughts of others (their ideas, concepts, images, sentences, and so forth) and using them as if they were your own, without crediting the author or citing the source. Plagiarism is a serious offense with consequences ranging from receiving a zero on an assignment all the way to expulsion from the University. The UK University Senate further defines plagiarism and consequences in Plagiarism, Cheating, and Misuse of Academic Records.
To avoid plagiarizing someone else words or ideas, make sure you: