Contributors to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia license their submitted content under a Creative Commons license, which permits re-use as long as attribution is given. However, there have been a number of occasions when persons have failed to give the necessary attribution and attempted to pass off material from Wikipedia as their own work. Such plagiarism is a violation of the Creative Commons license and, when discovered, can be a reason for embarrassment, professional sanctions, or legal issues.
In educational settings, students sometimes copy Wikipedia to fulfill class assignments. A 2011 study by Turnitin found that Wikipedia was the most copied website by both secondary and higher education students.
Many notable individuals and institutions have been credibly said to have committed plagiarism from Wikipedia.
- Chris Anderson (writer)
- Jill Bialosky
- Monica Crowley
- Jane Goodall
- Michel Houellebecq
- Benny Johnson (journalist)
- John McCain
- Oxford University Press
- Rand Paul
- The Pentagon
- Gerónimo Vargas Aignasse
- Alejandro Zaera-Polo
- Okayama Prefectural Assembly
- Five Star Movement (Italian party)
- Peter Schweizer's book Secret Empires
- Siniša Mali, Serbian Finance Minister, who the University of Belgrade found had plagiarized his Ph.D. thesis
- Internet Research Agency
- "Should students be allowed to use Wikipedia as a source?". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
- "Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers Tops for Academic Copying - Plagiarism Today". Plagiarism Today. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
- Rich, Motoko (June 24, 2009), "Chris Anderson apologizes for plagiarizing Wikipedia", The New York Times
- Zax, Talya (October 4, 2017), "Poet Jill Bialosky Faces Plagiarism Accusations Over New Memoir", The Forward
- "Trump pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book", CNNMoney, 2018-02-07, retrieved 2018-02-07
- "Why plagiarism took down Monica Crowley, Trump's pick for a top national security post", The Washington Post, 2017-01-16, retrieved 2018-02-07
- Flood, Alison (2013-03-25), "Jane Goodall book held back after accusations of plagiarism", The Guardian, retrieved 2018-02-07
- Lichfield, John (2010-09-08), "I stole from Wikipedia but it's not plagiarism, says Houellebecq", The Independent, retrieved 2018-02-07
- Coscarelli, Joe (July 29, 2014), "Plagiarizing Wikipedia Is Still Plagiarism, at BuzzFeed or the New York Times", New York magazine
- "Did McCain Plagiarize His Georgia Speech From Wikipedia?", The Huffington Post, September 11, 2008
- The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia—for Pay, The Atlantic, August 11, 2015
- Peters, Jeremy W. (2013-10-31), "Senator Rand Paul Is Accused of Plagiarizing His Lines From Wikipedia", The New York Times
- Wong, Kristina (2016-11-17), "Intel chairman: Pentagon plagiarized Wikipedia in report to Congress", The Hill, retrieved 2018-02-07
- Masnick, Mike (May 14, 2010), Argentinian Politician's Proposal For New Anti-Plagiarism Law Plagiarizes Wikipedia, Techdirt
- "Un diputado K presentó un proyecto de ley contra el plagio, plagiado" [A deputy who presented a bill against plagiarism, plagiarized]. Clarín. May 14, 2010.
- "Gerónimo Vargas Aignasse - Presentó un proyecto contra el plagio y plagió a Wikipedia" [Gerónimo Vargas Aignasse-presented a project against plagiarism and plagiarized Wikipedia]. Todo Noticias. May 16, 2010. Archived from the original on May 21, 2010.
- Fairs, Marcus (20 March 2015), "Princeton accuses former architecture dean of making "inaccurate" plagiarism statement", Dezeen
- "Okayama Pref. lawmakers copied Wikipedia entries in official reports on US trip", Mainichi Shimbun, January 31, 2018, archived from the original on 2018-03-13
- "Italy's Five Star Movement accused of plagiarizing Wikipedia and rivals' political speeches in election programme", The Local Italy, February 8, 2018
- Markay, Lachlan. "Book Alleging Biden Corruption in Ukraine Lifted Passages From Wikipedia". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on October 3, 2019.
The Daily Beast found more than a dozen instances in which Secret Empires, the bestselling book by investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, copied nearly complete sentences or sizable portions of them verbatim or near-verbatim from other sources. In a number of instances, those sources were uncited Wikipedia pages created before the book’s publication in early 2018.
- "Serbia finance minister plagiarised thesis - university", Times of Malta, November 21, 2019
- Alba, Davey (March 29, 2020). "How Russia's Troll Farm Is Changing Tactics Before the Fall Election". The New York Times.
The Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which interfered in the 2016 election, is using different methods to hide itself better...Now Russian operators are trying to avoid detection by copying and pasting chunks of texts from other sources directly into their posts. When Facebook took down 50 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency in October , many of the posts featured text copied from Wikipedia.