Q: I am writing an article and need to draw on previously published facts for my own article. Can you give any tips?
A: Proceed with caution! Although there is no copyright in ideas or facts, there is in the way they are written, delivered or expressed. Any direct copying of other writers material -even close paraphrasing - can leave you open to legal action. It’s ok to draw on facts, ideas and statistical information but it needs to be delivered in your own words and you should ideally conduct your research from several established sources so that you can check the accuracy of the facts. You should also keep a record of your reference material so that you can go back later if you need to clarify anything. Some magazines ask writers to provide details of their reference material.