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Students are beginning to use this site heavily. It's great for PDFs of complete books no longer under copyright like Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party. However, I'm questioning the ethics of students using books listed as "previews" on the site. The preview provides some, but by no means the complete text of the book. If a student finds a quote on a page provided, that supports his or her thesis, is acceptable to use that quote and cite the book on the Works Cited page? What are your thoughts?

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Patty -- I'm not so sure it is an ethical question as much as it is an issue of the students perhaps getting the wrong information. My concern would be that the quote they happen to lift in a preview section is discussed further on in the book giving background, definition, or even contradiction and that information is not available to them because of the preview nature of the work.
We used Google Books as a bibliography builder. When students would search for a book, they would use the index and then if there was enough information, they would interlibrary loan it. It really helped them zero in on search terms and to be able to access good information. We did have some who only wanted to just use the online preview or book, but we tried to nip that in the bud and the kids were pretty good at understanding the reasoning behind it.


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