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What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional. Under
the regulations for examinations, intentional or reckless plagiarism is a disciplinary offence. The necessity to acknowledge others’ work or ideas applies not only to text but also to other media, such as computer code, illustrations, graphs, etc. It applies equally to published text and data drawn from books and journals, and to unpublished text and data, whether from lectures, theses or other students’ essays. You must also attribute text, data, or other resources downloaded from websites.
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means
1) to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
2) to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
3) to commit literary theft
4) to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterwards.
All of the following are considered plagiarism:
• turning in someone else’s work as your own
• copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
• failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
• giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
• changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving
• copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of
your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on “fair use” rules)
Attention! Changing the words of an original source is not sufficient to prevent plagiarism.
Plagiarism is derived from the Latin word “plagiarius” which means “kidnapper,” who abducts the child. The word plagiarism entered the Oxford English dictionary in 1621. Plagiarism has been defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “the act of taking the writings of another person and passing them off as one’s own.” It is an act of forgery, piracy, and fraud and is stated to be a serious crime of academia. It is also a violation of copyright laws.
Types of Plagiarism
There is a number of forms of plagiarism. The most important is the followings:
Verbatim plagiarism ( The Ghost Writer): When one submits someone else’s words verbatim in his/her own name without even acknowledging him publicly. Copy and paste from a published article without referencing is a common form of verbatim plagiarism. Most commonly, it is seen in the introduction and discussion part of the manuscript.
Mosaic plagiarism: In this type of plagiarism each word is not copied but it involves mixing one’s own words in someone else’s ideas and opinions. This is copying and pasting in a patchy manner.
Paraphrasing (The Labor of Laziness): If one rewrites any part/paragraph of a manuscript in his/her own words, it is called paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is a restatement in your own words, of someone else’s ideas. Changing a few words of the original sentences does not make it your writing. Just changing words cannot make it the property of the borrower; hence, this should be properly referenced. If it is not referenced, it will amount to plagiarism
Self-plagiarism: “Publication of one’s own data that have already been published is not acceptable since it distorts scientific record.” Self-plagiarized publications do not contribute to scientific work; they just increase the number of papers published without justification in scientific research. The authors get benefits in the form of an increased number of published articles. Self-plagiarism involves dishonesty but not intellectual theft.
Roig gave a classification of self-plagiarism and divided it into four types:
i. Duplicate publication: When an author submits identical or almost identical manuscripts (same data, results, and discussion) to two different journals, it is considered as a duplicate (redundant) publication. As per COPE guidelines, this is an offence and editor can take an action as per the COPE flowchart
ii. Augmented publication: If the author adds additional data to his/her previously published work and changes title, modifies the aim of the study, and recalculates results, it amounts to augmented publication. Plagiarism detection software usually does not pick it because it is not the same by verbatim. This self-plagiarism is as such technical plagiarism and is not considered with the same strictness as plagiarism. The editor may consider it for publication in the following three situations: If the author refers to his/her previous work; if ’methods’ cannot be written in any other form; and if the author clearly states that the new manuscript contains data from previous publication
iii. Segmented publication: Also called “Salami-Sliced” publication. In this case, two or more papers are derived from the same experimental/research/original work. Salami-sliced papers are difficult to detect and usually are pointed out by reviewers or readers. The decision regarding such manuscript is again on the editor’s shoulder. The author must be asked
to refer to his/her previously published work and explain reasonably the connection of the segmented paper to his/her previously published work.
iv. Text recycling: If the author uses large portions of his/her own already published text in his/her new manuscript, it is called text recycling. It can be detected by plagiarism software.
Cyber plagiarism: “Copying or downloading in part or in their entirety articles or research papers and ideas from the internet and not giving proper attribution is unethical and falls in the range of cyber plagiarism”
Image plagiarism: Using an image or video without receiving proper permission or providing appropriate citation is plagiarism. “Images can be tampered on support findings, promote a specific technique over another to strengthen the correctness of poorly visualized findings, remove the defects of an image and to misrepresent an image from what it really is”?
Why Plagiarism Matters?
There are several reasons why plagiarism is taken seriously, and many have to do with expectations for academic work.
1. Originality is important in academic writing:
Academics try to add original contributions to human knowledge by finding gaps in research and by studying very specific topics in detail. As a student, you are not expected to make any big discoveries. However, a level of originality is still expected in your writing.
Incorporate originality into your work by:
• Analyzing the sources you use, rather than merely summarizing arguments
• Presenting your ideas in a unique way, not copying the structure or pattern of a source’s argument
• Coming up with your own examples to support a point
• Relating examples to your experiences
2. Questioning sources is expected, not a sign of disrespect:
Perhaps you grew up learning that copying large portion’s of an author’s text was a sign of respect for an author’s expertise. In Canada, this action would be considered disrespectful. Ideas are other people’s work and should be acknowledged through citations.
3. Critical analysis is important
Your assignments, articles, and thesis will require you to analyze ideas from multiple sources, draw connections between them, and come to your own conclusions. As you read sources, you should ask questions about the text, even if it is a source written by an expert.
4. Academic writing is an ongoing conversation:
In academic writing, authors respond to and build on what others have said before them. By citing your sources, you demonstrate that you “listened” to the conversation before coming to your conclusions and also make it easier for your reader to learn more.
5. Academic dishonesty devalues everyone else’s hard work:
When one student unfairly cheats or plagiarizes and gets away with it:
• It devalues everyone else’s hard work
• It means that not all graduates with the same grades did the same work or have the same skills
• Damages the reputation of the college because employers will realize that graduates of the college do not possess the skills that they should
Why Plagiarism Important?
According to UGC Regulation, 2018 (Gazetted Notification), every Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) should establish the mechanism to enhance awareness about the responsible conduct of research and academic activities, to promote academic integrity and to prevent plagiarism.
The UGC has defined the level of plagiarism according to the percentage of similarity of original works. The level of plagiarism would be quantified into the following level in ascending order:
i. Level 0: Similarities up to 10% – Minor similarities, no penalty
ii. Level 1: Similarities above 10% to 40%
iii. Level 2: Similarities above 40% to 60%
iv. Level 3: Similarities above 60%
UGC Penalties for Similarities:
Penalties in the cases of plagiarism shall be imposed on students pursuing studies at the level of Masters and Research programs and on researcher, faculty & staff of the HEI only after academic misconduct on the part of the individual has been established without doubt, when all avenues of appeal have been exhausted and individual in question has been provided with enough opportunity to defend himself or herself in a fair or transparent manner.
Penalties in case of plagiarism in the submission of thesis and dissertations
Institutional Academic Integrity Panel (IAIP) shall impose penalty considering the severity of the Plagiarism.
A. Level 0: Similarities up to 10% – Minor Similarities, no penalty.
B. Level 1: Similarities above 10% to 40% – Such student shall be asked to submit a revised script within a stipulated time period not exceeding 6 months.
C. Level 2: Similarities above 40% to 60% – Such student shall be debarred from submitting a revised script for a period of one year.
D. Level 3: Similarities above 60% -Such student registration for that programme shall be cancelled.
Note 1: Penalty on repeated plagiarism- Such student shall be punished for the plagiarism of one level higher than the previous level committed by him/her. In case where plagiarism of highest level is committed then the punishment for the same shall be operative.
Note 2: Penalty in case where the degree/credit has already been obtained – If plagiarism is proved on a date later than the date of award of degree or credit as the case may be then his/her degree or credit shall be put in abeyance for a period recommended by the IAIP and approved by the Head of the Institution.
Penalties in case of plagiarism in academic and research publications:
I. Level 0: Similarities up to 10% – Minor similarities, no penalty.
II. Level 1: Similarities above 10% to 40% Shall be asked to withdraw the manuscript.
III. Level 2: Similarities above 40% to 60%
- Shall be asked to withdraw the manuscript.
- Shall be denied a right to one annual increment.
- Shall not be allowed to be a supervisor to any new Master’s, M.Phil., Ph.D. Student/scholar for a period of two years.
IV. Level 3: Similarities above 60%
- Shall be asked to withdraw the manuscript.
- Shall be denied a right to two successive annual increments.
- Shall not be allowed to be a supervisor to any new Master’s, M.Phil., Ph.D. Student/scholar for a period of three years.
Note 1: Penalty on repeated plagiarism – Shall be asked to withdraw manuscript and shall be punished for the plagiarism of one level higher than the lower level committed by him/her. In case where plagiarism of the highest level is committed then the punishment for the same shall be operative. In case, level 3 offence is repeated then the disciplinary action including suspension/termination as per service rules shall be taken by the HEI.
Note 2: Penalty in case where the benefit or credit has already been obtained – If plagiarism is proved on a date later than the date of benefit or credit obtained as the case may be then his/her benefit or credit shall be put in abeyance for a period recommended by IAIP and approved by the Head of the Institution.
Note 3: HEIs shall create a mechanism so as to ensure that each of the paper publication/thesis/dissertations by the student, faculty, researcher or staff of the HEI is checked for plagiarism at the time of forwarding/submission.
Note 4: If there is any complaint of plagiarism against the Head of an HEI, a suitable action, in line with these regulations, shall be taken by the Controlling Authority of the HEI.
Note 5: If there is any complaint of plagiarism against the Head of Department/Authorities at the institutional level, a suitable action, in line with these regulations, shall be recommended by the IAIP and approved by the Competent Authority.
Note 6: If there is any complaint of plagiarism against any member of DAIP or IAIP, then such member shall excuse himself/herself from the meeting(s) where his/her case is being discussed/investigated.
Read more: UGC Notification for Plagiarism, 2018
Where to Check Plagiarism (Authentic)?
Plagiarism is considered a form of intellectual theft and fraud. It involves using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own by not providing credit, either deliberately or accidentally. Now, Plagiarism is an unethical activity and also it is a crime. There are some severe penalties for students as well as for faculties or academicians if plagiarism is proved. To avoid such activities of stealing someone’s work, students or academicians should write plagiarism-free assignments, manuscripts, thesis etc.
To prevent plagiarism of the work, a number of free and paid websites are available to check similarity. You can use anyone based on your needs and requirements. But, Turnitin is the most authentic and acceptable plagiarism checker. You can generate reports by highlighting the plagiarised sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes, good publishers and journals demand the plagiarised reports along with manuscripts.
Urkund is also a software for plagiarism check, provided by UGC to all universities. UGC demands a report generated by Urkund along with the thesis submission.
If we compare the service of Turnitin and Urkund, the database of Turnitin is the most potent and plagiarism reports generated by Turnitin are acceptable across the world by almost all universities and institutions.
You can check Plagiarism by submitting your assignments, articles, and theses.
Plagiarism Check by Most Authentic and Acceptable Service Provider
(Note: Plagiarism reports will be sent within a few hours)