A 5-Min Guide to Plagiarism

In the 1st century, the use of the Latin word "Plagiarius" (literally "kidnapper") to denote stealing someone else's work was pioneered by the Roman poet Martial, who complained that another poet had "kidnapped his verses". Plagiary, a derivative of plagiarus, was introduced into English in 1601 by dramatist Ben Jonson during the Jacobean Era to describe someone guilty of literary theft.

Plagiarism is the representation of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one's own original work. In educational contexts, there are differing definitions of plagiarism depending on the institution.

Plagiarism is considered a violation of academic integrity and a breach of journalistic ethics. It is subject to sanctions such as penalties, suspension, expulsion from school or work, substantial fines, and even incarceration. Recently, cases of "Extreme plagiarism" have been identified in academia. The modern concept of plagiarism as immoral and originality as an ideal emerged in Europe in the 18th century, particularly with the Romantic Movement.

Plagiarism might not be the same in all countries. Some countries, such as India and Poland, consider plagiarism to be a crime, and there have been cases of people being imprisoned for plagiarizing.

Plagiarism in Academia:

Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors, or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud, and offenders are subject to academic censure, up to and including expulsion.

 Some institutions use plagiarism detection software to uncover potential plagiarism and to deter students from plagiarizing. However, plagiarism detection software doesn't always yield accurate results and there are loopholes in these systems.

There is a virtually uniform understanding among college students that plagiarism is wrong. Nevertheless, each year students are brought before their institutions’ disciplinary boards on charges that they have misused sources in their schoolwork.

But despite plagiarism being widely considered evil, and there being strict measures against plagiarism, plagiarism is still widespread. Rogeting-plagiarizing by use of sufficient word substitutions to elude detection software- is also widely used. A 2015 survey identified 10 main forms of plagiarism that students commit:

  1. Submitting someone's work as their own.

  2. Taking passages from their own previous work without adding citations (self-plagiarism).

  3. Re-writing someone's work without properly citing sources.

  4. Using quotations but not citing the source.

  5. Interweaving various sources together in the work without citing.

  6. Citing some, but not all, passages that should be cited.

  7. Melding together cited and uncited sections of the piece.

  8. Providing proper citations, but failing to change the structure and wording of the borrowed ideas enough (close paraphrasing).

  9. Inaccurately citing a source.

  10. Relying too heavily on other people's work, failing to bring original thought into the text.

For professors and researchers, plagiarism is punished by sanctions ranging from suspension to termination, along with the loss of credibility and perceived integrity.

Plagiarism in Journalism:

Since journalism relies on public trust, a reporter's failure to honestly acknowledge their sources undercuts a newspaper or television news show's integrity and undermines its credibility. Journalists accused of plagiarism are often suspended from their reporting tasks while the charges are being investigated by the news organization.

In journalism, plagiarism is considered a breach of journalistic ethics, and reporters caught plagiarizing typically face disciplinary measures ranging from suspension to termination of employment.

Some individuals caught plagiarizing in academic or journalistic contexts claim that they plagiarized unintentionally, by failing to include quotations or give the appropriate citation.

While plagiarism in scholarship and journalism has a centuries-old history, the development of the Internet, where articles appear as electronic text, has made the physical act of copying the work of others much easier.

Plagiarism of the Self:

The reuse of significant, identical, or nearly identical portions of one's own work without acknowledging that one is doing so or citing the original work is sometimes described as "Self-plagiarism"; the term "Recycling fraud" has also been used to describe this practice.

In academic fields, self-plagiarism occurs when an author reuses portions of their own published and copyrighted work in subsequent publications, but without attributing the previous publication.

Identifying self-plagiarism is often difficult because limited reuse of material is accepted both legally (as a fair use) and ethically. Self-plagiarism is considered a serious ethical issue in settings where someone asserts that a publication consists of new material, such as in publishing or factual documentation.

Plagiarism is most commonly found in Academia, writings, and journalism. But these aren’t the only forms available. To read more on plagiarism and how to avoid it check out: How to avoid plagiarism.

Written By -  Joshua

Edited By - Dana Asnan



Post a comment