Attribution is the acknowledgement of the the author of a work, when the work is reused.
Attribution is required by most open licenses ("copyleft"), including Creative Commons licenses. It is not required for public domain material, but may still be regarded as good, ethical practice, and can prevents accusations of plagiarism.
- allows an author to benefit from an increase in their reputation
- prevents others from falsely claiming the work as their own.
- allows a reader to explore ideas further, if they wish, by following them to their source.