Essay on Academic Integrity

Many definitions of plagiarism show that plagiarism is a crucial problem faced by authors and writers, researchers and scientists. In general terms, plagiarism can be defined as a deliberate and conscious intent to steal someone else’s ideas and thoughts. In academic practice, plagiarism means the use of published works and someone else’s ideas without giving proper credit to that person. Plagiarism can take different forms from improper paraphrasing of the thoughts to paper or text copied from another paper without knowledge of the author. Also, plagiarism is copying of another’s paper without citation, failure to put quotation marks; omitting citations combining the work of two authors without reference to either carelessness in preparing reference lists representing ideas or work of another as researcher’s own failure to secure permission for use of figures, tables or illustrations, whether published or not (Davis 1999). For instance, if a writer ‘uses’ plot scheme of another writer (his book) without referencing him, it will be plagiarism. If a student (scientist) copy/paste from a source but does not cite material properly.

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Plagiarism is a serious problem because it is closely connected with intellectual property rights. Plagiarism violates rights of the owner and threatens his intellectual property. Plagiarism can be compared with fraud and fraudulent actions or intent of a person to deceive community and appropriate someone else’s ideas. Plagiarism is a serious problem because it is a stealing of ideas and thoughts which also have value (Stickler 2005). Also, plagiarism resulted in waste of time and resources; it can mislead professionals and scientists supposing that new knowledge is created in the field of study (Ashworth et al 2003).

The Internet has a double impact on academic integrity. On the one hand, many resources become available online which increase possibility of plagiarism. The rapid growth of the Internet jeopardizes this sovereignty system that is protected by copyright. It is difficult to impede the flow of information on the Internet because it cannot easily be contained. On the other hand, Universities and field professionals receive an opportunity to check papers and other written material for plagiarism. Without use of the Internet, plagiarism detection is a complex and time consuming process.  In order to avoid plagiarism a student should be well aware of this notion and its main principles. It is important to paraphrase carefully all the material used and cite ideas taken from outside sources. A student or researchers should use quotation marks for specific terms and concepts created by the author he/she consults (Macfarlane 2004).

Plagiarism is a theft of intellectual property because people (students, researchers, etc.) steal ideas of others making benefit of them. The expansion of intellectual property rights has served to protect the right of the owners from unauthorized use. Copyright law is entirely too rigid to sustain the requirements of a technological world with a viable free flow of information. Unauthorized use of some one else’s property (including ideas, thoughts, concepts, terms, etc.) is a theft (Walker, 1998). Still, copyright is interpreted quite strictly to mean only the direct plagiarism of a work, and most creative activity surrounding a given work is considered legitimate.

The main actions against plagiarism can include: disciplinary sanctions against those who cheat in accordance with the severity of error; make rules and penalties; offer students written guidelines on plagiarism; provide proper proof reading guidelines; grade other demonstrations of learning, require oral reports and ask questions, instruct students to copy the first page of Web referenced works. “This is so pervasive a concern that he misunderstood “anti plagiarism software” to be a helpful aid to the correct application of the rules–until he gathered that it was a horrible policing device” (Ashworth et al 2003, 252). Following Macfarlane (2004) developing a sense of common values” (29) could help to eliminate plagiarism and increase academic achievements.

Works Cited Page

  1. Ashworth, P., Freewood, M. Macdonald, R. The Student Lifeworld and the Meanings of Plagiarism. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, Vol. 34, Iss. 2, 2003, 251.
  2. Davis, M. Ethics and the University. Routledge, 1999
  3. Macfarlane, B. Teaching with Integrity: The Ethics of Higher Education Practice. RoutledgeFalmer, 2004.
  4. Stickler, M. The Plagiarism Problem. 2005. http://www.research.psu.edu/orp/outreach/publications/newsletter/issue6/story2.asp
  5. Walker, J. (1998) Student plagiarism in universities: what are we doing about it? Higher Education Research and Development, Vol. 17 Iss, 1, 89-106.

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