January 1, 1980
In an attempt to provide both basic information about scholarly attribution and a guide to appropriate practices in specific disciplines the student-faculty academic panel published a booklet entitled Originality and Attribution: A Guide for Student Writers at Vassar College, under the general editorship of Assistant Professor of English Robert DeMaria. Dean of Studies Colton Johnson explained that conversations in the residences halls on the topic revealed to the academic panel "a good deal of honest confusion, much ignorance and, sometimes, no evidence of any previous thinking about the reasons for and means of proper attribution of sources in the writing of essays." The Dean explained, said Laurie Wimmer '80 in The Miscellany News, "that 'knowledge has becom so codified that many think that only poetry is original,' and that seemingly everything else 'can be found in 17 places,' precluding the possibility for originaity."
The booklet discussed basic considerations of originality and attribution, and faculty members of the panel contributed guides for proper scholarly attribution in the English, political science, anthropology, biology and history departments. "Dean Johnson said that it is his hope that in future editions...more departments will contribute to this section.... Johnson assured this reporter that 'all of the (guide) is original or with proper attribution.'" The Miscellany News