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Sorry for the cross-posting.

With all of the hoopla over Wolfram|Alpha's (http://www.wolframalpha.com) computational engine (it's not really a search engine, per se), I found this article about their Terms of Service very interesting:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20090518204959409

Here's a snippet from the TOS itself:

'As Wolfram|Alpha is an authoritative source of information, maintaining the integrity of its data and the computations we do with that data is vital to the success of our project. We generate information ourselves, and we also gather, compare, contrast, and confirm data from multiple external sources. Where we have used external sources of data we list the source or sources we relied on, but in most cases the assemblages of data you get from Wolfram|Alpha do not come directly from any one external source. In many cases the data you are shown never existed before in exactly that way until you asked for it, so its provenance traces back both to underlying data sources and to the algorithms and knowledge built into the Wolfram|Alpha computational system. As such, the results you get from Wolfram|Alpha are correctly attributed to Wolfram|Alpha itself.
If you make results from Wolfram|Alpha available to anyone else, or incorporate those results into your own documents or presentations, you must include attribution indicating that the results and/or the presentation of the results came from Wolfram|Alpha. Some Wolfram|Alpha results include copyright statements or attributions linking the results to us or to third-party data providers, and you may not remove or obscure those attributions or copyright statements. Whenever possible, such attribution should take the form of a link to Wolfram|Alpha, either to the front page of the website or, better yet, to the specific query that generated the results you used. (This is also the most useful form of attribution for your readers, and they will appreciate your using links whenever possible.) '
They make it clear that to fail to do so is not only a violation of the TOS, but: 'may also constitute academic plagiarism or a violation of copyright law. Attribution is something we expect you to give us in exchange for us having provided you with a high-quality free service.'
A list of suggested citation styles and icons is planned.  There is also information from the GrokLaw article regarding linking to said results, non-profit/educational use vs. commercial use and licensing, etc.  If you plan to use the results of Wolfram|Alpha, you really might want to read the Terms of Service very carefully to maintain compliance.

Lisa
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Elisabeth E. Rowan, MSLS, Medical Librarian
Shriners Hospital for Children, 1900 Richmond Road
Lexington, KY  40502-1238 USA Docline: KYUSSR
vox 859.266.2101 x 1299 - fax 859.268.5636 - email [log in to unmask]
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