Understanding Plagiarism for Academic Institutions

June 14, 2019
Plagiarism check

Plagiarism and copyright infringement are two different terms, and can be easily expressed as under:

Plagiarism – It is an act of using other’s words or ideas without giving due credit/ without acknowledging the original author. Using of even small portion of the work without credit to author will amount to plagiarism.

Infringement – When any person without authorization from the author, performs the acts which are exclusive rights of the author/ owner. For the purpose of copyright, in order to claim infringement, there must be substantial copying of the work.

Plagiarism is a term which is most associated with the educational Institutions, and the reason for it is bulk projects and research thesis for the students. Plagiarism is considered as more of ethical questions because the work of plagiarism is mainly done with an intention to overcome a workload and not to commercially exploit the work of the original author. The moment the plagiarised work is communicated to public as work of the person making the representation, then the act may move from the ambit of plagiarism to copyright infringement.

Talking about plagiarism, the most common question that arises is why the universities must take plagiarism seriously. The answer to this question is straight forward, i.e. in order to encourage thought process and motivate students for expressing their thought. Plagiarism is another form of copying where there is no application of mind. Universities, primary purpose is to empower the students with knowledge and make them capable of generating new creative ideas and expressions. However, if plagiarism will govern the content market in universities, then the new generation of new creative ideas will be limited to mere imagination only. In view thereof, in order to keep a check on plagiarism, the universities may take into consideration the following:

Contents copied / used from other works must be duly acknowledged. Do not allow copied content without acknowledgement.
Content may be used from other works; however, the expression of content must be student’s original understanding and acknowledgment to the original source. Do not allow more than 10% copied content from same source.
Make proper reference/ bibliography / footnotes to identify the source of content. Do not fake source and copy word-to-word from the contents of sources.
Emphasize more on student created expressions, with proper acknowledgement of source. Do not merely copy and paste contents from different sources.
Certain Standard Percentage of similar content may be allowed in a work, for example, overall 33% of similarity with other works and maximum of 10% similarity with one work may be allowed by University Do not keep the standard of percentage without analysing the structure of similarities, i.e. what contents are matched to be similar, whether simple grammatical arrangement or content similarities.
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