Presentation on Plagiarism - QEC
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Presentation by Muhammad Taimur Khan Director, Quality Enhancement Cell University of Peshawar
To avoid plagiarism, let me make it clear at the outset that this presentation is based upon “ The Little Book on Plagiarism” produced by Leeds Metropolitan University, UK
Chambers Dictionary defines a plagiarist as “a kind of thief-”one who steals the thoughts or writings of others and gives them out as his own”. When this is also used in the University to gain credits – then an additional dimension of dishonesty is added. This is intellectual theft
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, Plagiarism is defined as “taking and using thoughts, writings and inventions of another person as one’s own” Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud and offenders are subject to academic censure. For professors and researchers, who are required to act as role models for their students, plagiarism is a very serious offence and is punishable.
Plagiarism takes many forms. These include but are not limited to the following:
Copying from a single source This is where a researcher ,be it a student or a teacher , uses one of the following as basis for copying as a whole or a substantial part of it. • a published /unpublished book • a published /unpublished article • the internet
This list is comprised of both published and unpublished sources. Plagiarism, therefore, is not copying from published sources only. Unacceptable Excuses: • A researcher would justify copying by saying that "The book/article was cited in the bibliography. No – a bibliography is a list of sources consulted not copied from. • A student plagiarist would say that “ The book/article was written by the instructor and he/she would expect to find their work repeated in the assignment. No – the instructor would/should expect several sources to be read and used and would/should not be flattered to find their own work simply copied out.
Copying from several sources This is similar to copying from a single source, except that more than one source is used. A researcher /student ,for instance ,obtains 4 sources of information, and copies a sentence or a group of sentences from A, then one from B, one from C and one from D and so on. This is an example of plagiarism where a researcher might genuinely have thought that he/she was not doing any thing wrong. The sources used might have been cited in the bibliography, the organization of the material may well be the researcher’s own.
However, this is still plagiarism. The reason being that the words are not of the researcher. Rules of academic presentation require that whenever a direct quote from a source is used, this should be cited/referenced within the text.
Unacceptable Excuses •The researcher would say that “ The sources in question
put it better than I could.” No. – you are expected to use the sources constructively and demonstrate that you have understood them and been able to use them effectively in your work. •I did use several sources and cited them.” No – you did not
use several sources, you copied from them, and did not use inverted commas to show that it was their words and not yours.
Paraphrasing This is putting someone else’s views into your own words, and this is one of the grey areas in plagiarism. Unacceptable Excuses: A. “I used my own words”. You may have – but if all you have done is summarized someone else’s ideas then you have still copied because you have made it appear as if the ideas, arrangement of material etc. were your own. B. “ I cited all the sources in the bibliography "Again, you may have, but the issue is how you have used the works cited, and simply to summarize the work of others whether or not the works are in the bibliography is still trying to pass someone else’s work off as your own.
Self Plagiarism According to Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia, “the re-use of significant, identical, or nearly identical portions of one’ own work without acknowledging” is defined as self plagiarism.
Use of Quotations • If you use the exact words of others these should appear in quotation marks (“….”) and be referenced by the book or article and the page on which the quote appears. • Try to use quotations only when the author has expressed something so well and so succinctly
that you feel that the words can not be bettered. If you do this, you will probably reduce the number of quotations
Making Notes During note taking it is possible to use the language of your source. Try to be aware of this. To avoid it, try not to make notes as you read, but read first, consider what the author has said, and then make notes. If you do this, you will copy less of the text.
Paraphrasing Attribute the broad ideas or content to the author in question. You will probably carry over some of their language, but as long as you are making it clear which sources you are using, and not attempting to pass it off as your own work then you will avoid plagiarism.
Cite all Sources used You should cite all the sources you have used. Always cite any web sources used just as much as printed books or articles. Also it is not good practice to pad out a bibliography with lots of titles which you have not read. A short list of wellused sources is much better than a long list of sources which you have never looked at. It is not always necessary to include a reference to everything you say. If that were so, your work would be more references than substance.
Plagiarism can be detected/suspected by reviewers/peers while going through a research work who may be in doubt about the originality of the research work submitted OR action taken on the complaint lodged by a professional rival about the originality of the work.
How to determine the amount of plagiarism committed: This can be done by counting the words copied from original sources either: • Manually OR • Electronically
If the sources from where the researcher has copied are known, it is simply counting the words copied manually and converting the figure into percentage. This is referred to as similarity/matching index. Manual counting of words in a research work similar to already published sources , however, is a cumbersome process particularly in cases of a published book or theses.
There are now various and increasingly sophisticated anti-plagiarism electronic aids/softwares to assist reviewers who may be in doubt about the originality of the research work. Some of them are: Institutional Software/Services •iThenticate/ Turnitin (Web-based content search system) • JISC Plagiarism (Advisory service) • Moss (Measure of Software Similarity)- used in Software Engineering company projects) • MyDropBox (a suite of programmes for plagiarism prevention)
Individual Software/Services • Essay Verification Engine-EVE2 (Software which checks text for matches) • Glatt (A software for detecting plagiarism in text) • Plagiarism
Finder (Internet based MS Windows application)
• Google (Internet Search Engine)
HEC opts for iThenticate/Turnitin because: • It is web based •It requires no installation or maintenance of additional
software •It has no compatibility issue between different computers and operating systems •It is quick and easy to operate •It is a reliable and powerful way to verify the originality of research works and manuscripts submitted for publication instantly
A little bit of History of iThenticate... iParadigms, the company behind iThenticate, got its start in 1996, when a group of researchers at UC Berkeley created a series of computer programs to monitor the recycling of research papers in their large undergraduate classes. Encouraged by a high level of interest from their peers, the researchers teamed with a group of teachers, mathematicians, and computer scientists to form Plagiarism.org, the world's first internet-based plagiarism detection service.
By late 1998, Plagiarism . org had become the center of international media attention. The small organization was featured in several major media venues, including Good Morning America, World News Tonight, and the New York Times. In the six years since, and is now recognized around the world as Turnitin and iThenticate, the internet's most widely used and trusted resources for preventing the spread of internet plagiarism.
• It considers a document in terms of pages. • A page consists of 1000 words excluding the pictures and
graphics • It takes documents in various formats i.e. DOC, PDF,
RTF, TXT • It can also process multiple documents in ZIP format
The Software has a data bank of published works of 75 years. The software checks the submitted research work against this data bank and gives results as similarity/matching index (in %) i.e. how much the submitted document matches the original sources. It is up to the individual Institution to determine the threshold percentage for declaring a research work plagiarized or otherwise. The University of Peshawar has decided to allow 15% similarity with original text, provided the original sources are duly acknowledged within the text.
The HEC in its 13th meeting held in 2007, approved the plagiarism policy under which various punitive measures have been recommended to the faculty members guilty of copying research work of others and publishing it as their own .
The Policy has been circulated by HEC to all the universities in Oct, 2007 for adoption and implementation through their statutory bodies.
a. Penalties for Teachers, Researchers and Staff
Depending upon the seriousness of the proven offence, the authority should take any one or a combination of the following disciplinary action(s) against teachers, researchers found guilty of plagiarism: i. Major Penalty: a. Dismissal from service – in cases where most of the paper has been exactly copied without giving reference to the original work b. Black Listing- ineligible for employment in any academic/research organization c. Publicizing Black Listed- in print media
ii. Moderate Penalty a. Demotion to the next lower grade- in cases where some paragraphs including key results have been copied without citation b. Black Listing and publicizing them- in print media and websites iii. Minor Penalty a. Warning – in case a few paragraphs have been copied without citation b. Freezing of all research grants c. Stopping promotions/annual increments d. Debar the offender from research funding, travel grant etc.