Increasing Professionalism in Babywearing Education: Introduction


It had never really occurred to me that plagiarism might be something to consider in the babywearing world. Sure, research methods, referencing sources and acknowledging the existing body of knowledge were all concepts that were familiar to me from my first degree and MSc in accountancy, but I hadn’t realised that they may be applicable to babywearing matters as well. However, some eight or nine years ago, it became clear to me that they were just as important in the babywearing world when I was active on I saw the enormous care the site takes over such questions when I became a moderator there. More recently, since I have been part of the international Trageschule network, with its links to health care providers and researchers, and during my own Trageschule learning around how to facilitate Trageschule courses, I have remained well aware of the issue. I realise everyone comes to babywearing via their own unique path and has their own particular contributions to make, and perhaps these are questions that you have not encountered before.

I hope that this article may be another contribution of mine to the babywearing profession being taken more seriously in its own right. Hopefully, this will also contribute to us becoming better integrated into a wider community of professionals.

I am sure everyone involved in babywearing circles would like to see babywearing adopted more widely. I am sure everyone would like for the benefits of babywearing to be accepted by more healthcare providers, or to see supportive articles in the media, or to persuade academics that it is a subject worthy of their attention. I strongly believe that we—the babywearing professionals who support parents and promote a culture of babywearing—can take a few simple steps towards presenting our knowledge in a positive and credible manner. By doing this, I believe we increase our chances of getting our message across. I believe that acknowledging the sources and referencing our work can be a significant step in this direction.

How can we do this in practise? I suggest looking briefly at the following five questions (click on each heading to read the discussion):

1 What’s in it for me?

2 How can I tell if it’s original work, plagiarism or derivative?

3 Isn’t it a bit strange to talk about original work when babywearing is an ancient art, passed down the generations?

4 Ok, so how do I do the referencing then?

5 Ok, so how can I help spread this best practice within the community?

6 Bibliography

If all this sounds like a lot to digest at once, feel free to bookmark the page and come back when you have a cup of tea brewed. Also, if you would like to deepen your knowledge in this area, and apply it in practice, why not attend one of our Certification courses where you would use referencing and create bibliography for your babywearing-themed presentation.

The scope of this article is to give you a starting point to explore widely accepting publishing conventions on distinguishing between original work and derivative work/plagiarism. It does NOT address issues of copyright, which is another theme in its own right. What I am looking at here are intellectual issues, rather than commericial concerns. If the distinction between plagiarism and copyright infringement is one you are interested in, here is a useful summary at Plagiarism Checker (“Plagiarism vs. Copyright Infringement: Is Copying Illegal?,” n.d.) and also  “Plagiarism is nothing to do with copyright” (Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week,” n.d.).

A disclaimer

All this is to the best of my knowledge. I have drawn on my understanding of the subject from my previous studies. I used the sources cited (see bibliography). I checked the end result for factual inaccuracies with two people who have taught at university level and completed their own research. I also had some input from a professional journalist. Please also bear in mind that it is an article for informative purposes only, and is not meant to be a replacement for professional advice! If in doubt, please consult a suitably qualified person.

Also, I am using ‘original work’, ‘derivative work’ and ‘plagiarism’ here as commonly accepted labels that can be looked up in dictionaries etc., thus making it easier to discuss the subject. I do not mean to use them as value judgements/’right’/’wrong’ labels.

So, let’s delve into the question of how we distinguish original work from derivative work (including plagiarism), and how we can acknowledge and reference sources: Part 1 – What’s in it for me?

Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Bibliography

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