Plagiarism is the unethical act of copying someone else’s initial ideas, processes, results or words without explicitly acknowledging the original author and source. Copying of contents from other articles is strictly prohibited.
Self-plagiarism occurs when an author utilises a large part of their previously published work without using appropriate references. This can range from getting the same manuscript published in multiple journals to modifying a previously published manuscript with some new data.
All manuscripts submitted for publication through Labtech Innovations are cross-checked for plagiarism using Turnitin/ ithenticate software. Manuscripts found to be plagiarised during the initial stages of review are out-rightly rejected and not considered for publication in the journal.
How do I know if I am plagiarising?
As you draft a paper, you should review the sections in which you have quoted directly, summarised, or paraphrased information from another source. If you know you used outside sources or looked some place to get clarification or ideas but did not attribute where the information came from, you are plagiarizing. Likewise, you plagiarise if you cut and paste information from the World Wide Web and do not acknowledge where the data comes from.
Can I get into trouble for plagiarising?
Yes. You may get suspended or dismissed from the university".
Can I still get in trouble for plagiarising – even if I didn't realise I was doing it?
Yes. Students are held responsible if caught plagiarising, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Therefore, you must correctly cite outside sources in your discipline. You can get help with references from your course instructors or the University Writing Center.
If I change the words from a source, am I plagiarising?
Yes, if you do not include a citation for your paraphrase, you would plagiarise because you would still take someone else’s work and pass it off as your own.
Is it okay to copy and use someone's charts, tables, or figures in my paper? They aren't written words. What if I make some changes?
This is still considered plagiarism because the original author put their intellectual efforts into creating the chart, table, or figure. The original author did the research, so they deserve the credit. If you use someone's – anyone's – ideas or words, you must cite them – no matter where the information is from.
Did I plagiarise if I turned in a paper written by someone else?
Yes. Whether you buy a paper online or ask a friend to write one for you, turning in work you did not do and trying to pass it off as your own is considered plagiarism.
Can I plagiarise myself?
If you are the one who wrote the paper, of course, you can't plagiarise yourself. The problem arises when you want to turn in a form you did for Course A for an assignment in Course B, which you may only do when you have permission from the instructors of both courses.
If I provide a bibliography at the end, I can't be accused of plagiarism, right, since I'm acknowledging I have sources?
Keeping a detailed bibliography of your work is only part of avoiding plagiarism. You must also integrate your sources into your paper and cite the sources properly. Besides, if you only provide a bibliography and do not cite your sources in-text, it's impossible to know what information came from where – and that, of course, is plagiarism.
What if I only use a few keywords from someone's text? Is that plagiarism?
Yes, unfortunately, you can still be held accountable even if you are not trying to steal someone's words maliciously. So, even if you use a "few keywords", ensure you provide proper citations. And ditto if you use an example, an author uses in a text. You must give appropriate citations.
If I do plagiarise, how likely is it that my course instructor would find out?
Very likely. Finding plagiarism these days is easier than ever – as easy as it is for someone to cut and paste off the web. Search engines like Google make it increasingly quick and easy for faculty to find sources from which a student has plagiarised. Also, remember that your course instructors become familiar with your voice (style of writing); therefore, when a shift in tone occurs – and no citation is provided – a red flag goes up that something is amiss. Likewise, a paper or completed assignment that does not correctly or entirely address the instructor's guidelines can signal to the instructor that a student has turned in plagiarised work.
What are copyright laws?
Copyright laws exist to protect our intellectual property. They make it illegal to reproduce someone else's expression of Ideas or information without permission. This can include music, images, written words, video, and other media.
At one time, work was only protected by copyright if it included a copyrighted trademark (the © symbol). According to laws established in 1989, however, works are now copyright protected with or without the inclusion of this symbol.
Anyone who reproduces copyrighted material improperly can be prosecuted in a court of law. It does not matter if the form or content of the original has been altered. As long as any material can be shown to be substantially similar to the original, it may be considered a violation of the Copyright Act.
Are all published works copyrighted?
No, The Copyright Act protects works that express original ideas or information. For example, you could borrow liberally from the following without fear of plagiarism:
Can facts be copyrighted?
Yes, in some situations. Any "facts" published as the result of individual research are considered the author’s intellectual property.
Does it matter how much was copied?
Not in determining whether plagiarism is a crime. If even a small part of a work is found to have been plagiarised, it is still considered a copyright violation. However, the amount that was copied probably will have a bearing on the severity of the punishment. A work that is almost entirely plagiarised will almost certainly incur more significant penalties than a work that only includes a small amount of plagiarised material.
Do I still have to cite the source if I change the words?
Changing only the words of a source is NOT sufficient to prevent plagiarism. You must cite a citation whenever you borrow ideas as well as words.
If I cite the source, can I still be accused of plagiarism?
No, you can borrow ideas or phrases from other sources provided you cite them properly, and your usage is consistent with the guidelines set by fair use laws. As a rule, however, you should be careful about borrowing too liberally.
Is that still plagiarism if I write something somebody else already registered, but I didn't know they wrote it?
While you might write on the same topic as someone else, the odds are that you will have different ideas or express them differently. It is doubtful that you would be accused of plagiarising a source you have never read. Be careful, however, of "accidentally" plagiarising from sources you have read and forgotten -- if your ideas have been influenced by a source you read but failed to cite for any reason, you could be guilty of plagiarism.
What are the punishments for plagiarism?
When plagiarism occurs in an academic setting, it is most often considered a violation of the Citadel Honor Code and is reported to the Honor Court Faculty Advisor. If plagiarism involves money, prizes, or job placement, it constitutes a crime punishable in court.
Most colleges and universities have zero tolerance for plagiarists. Academic standards of intellectual honesty are often more demanding than governmental copyright laws. For example, if you have plagiarised a paper whose copyright has run out, you are no less likely to be disciplined than if you had plagiarised copyrighted material.
A plagiarised paper almost always fails the assignment, frequently failure for the course and causing expulsion.
Most cases of plagiarism are considered misdemeanours, punishable by fines of anywhere between id="mce_marker"00 and $50,000 -- and up to one year in jail.
Plagiarism can also be considered a felony under specific state and federal laws. For example, if a plagiarist copies and earns more than $2,500 from copyrighted material, they may face up to $250,000 in fines and up to ten years in jail.
"What is the "public domain?"
Works no longer protected by copyright or never have been considered "public domain." This means you may freely borrow material from these works without fear of plagiarism, provided you make proper attributions.
How do I know if something is public domain or not?
The terms and conditions under which works enter the public domain are complicated. In general, anything published more than 75 years ago is now in the public domain. Results published after 1978 are protected for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years. The laws governing works posted fewer than 75 years ago but before 1978 are more complicated. However, copyright protection is generally extended 28 years after publication plus 47 more years if the copyright is renewed, totalling 75 years from the publication date. If you are uncertain whether a work is in the public domain, it is probably best to contact a lawyer or act under the assumption that copyright laws still protect it.
What’s so wrong with plagiarising?
In short, it is illegal. It is also unfair to other students who have taken the time and effort to prepare and write up their work assiduously. It is also unjust concerning the original author as they deserve to be academically credited for their effort. You can read more in our guide to the consequences of plagiarism.
What if no author’s name is attached to the content I have read?
In this case, you are still responsible for acknowledging that you are not the content’s original author. In a worst-case scenario where no author name is visible, you can insert words such as ‘unknown’ and ‘anonymous’ as a reference.
How do I avoid plagiarising?
The primary avoidance tactic is understanding and following the reference conventions for your chosen subject discipline.
Are you allowed to use online content?
Yes, you can use online content, provided it is referenced correctly. Only with misuse does online content become an issue for colleges and universities
Does it matter how much is copied?
Whether it is a phrase or a whole paragraph, it is still plagiarism if you try to pass someone else’s work off as your own.
What is the difference between paraphrasing and direct quotations?
Firstly, it is essential to state that both require citation. The difference is that direct quotations often need a page number to be identified and the author’s name and year of publication. This aims to make it easier for academic tutors to source the original quote when marking the piece.
If I cite the source, does this serve as a guarantee that I have avoided plagiarism?
No. This depends on how much content you stream from the cited source. For example, if you quote whole paragraphs and substantial sections of a source text, you negate the extent to which you can receive marks for demonstrating your critical thinking. If you haven’t provided any other author to contrast the idea or advanced any individual analysis or comment, this still constitutes an example of plagiarism.
Does it matter if I didn’t know that what I did was considered an act of plagiarism?
Depending on the penalty system within your academic institution, it is highly likely that you will still face some level of disciplinary action because most educational institutions have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to plagiarism; therefore, mitigating factors are rarely considered.
Can I use something like a dictionary without needing to cite it academically?
If you are using it simply as an aid to spelling, it is acceptable; however, if you use it for definitions or actively quote material from it, it could scan as plagiarism. This is because it is an element of intellectual property that is not your original work.
What is the purpose of acknowledging the source author?
Mainly, we cite references to pay due credit to the author of the academic content. Equally, acknowledging the source author enables the reader to identify better your work’s output fits in with the existing literature surrounding a specific subject matter.
I have too many assignments to complete within the timeframe given by the university, and I have also been ill recently. Therefore, under these circumstances, would it be justified for me to use someone else’s work to complete my assignment by the deadline?
There are no mitigating circumstances for plagiarism. In no case is it justified to copy another author’s work and pass it off as your own.
I have found an essay online which answers my research question exactly, indeed, if I pay for it, the product is then mine, and I can do with it as I wish.
Wrong. This is one of the leading causes of increased plagiarism in universities in recent years. The work you have purchased has still been completed by someone else, and it is, therefore, not your work. To pass it off as your own is an act of academic plagiarism.
Will colleges or universities keep a file on me if I am caught plagiarising?
They will likely do yes. In most cases, this is a standard academic practice to prevent the spread of plagiarism, i.e., if you choose to enrol at an alternative educational institution. Equally, the file could also harm your references in attempting to secure gainful employment post-study. This further magnifies the point that you should avoid plagiarising academic work at all costs. If you do, it will harm you not only in an educational context but also in a career context moving forward into the future.
What does the department head do if my report scans as being plagiarized?
Often the department heads within most UK colleges and universities will be given explicit authority to impose penalties on you as a student if your work scans as having a high plagiarism score. As noted earlier in this section, there are no mitigating circumstances for being caught plagiarising academic material; therefore, the disciplinary action you face will most likely be severe.
A classmate of mine asked for assistance in the assignment write-up process. I have since found that they have stolen a large part of my work. Am I liable if they are found to have plagiarised?
You will not have a problem if you are complicit and do not know that they have streamed large sections of your work to pass it off as their own; you will not have a problem. If finding someone to have used large parts of your work, you should immediately contact the department head or your course leader to ensure they are aware of it. This will demonstrate that you are not complicit and prevent your classmate from unethically benefiting from your hard work and effort.
What support is there for me as a student to avoid submitting plagiarised work?
A range of support tools is available to you as a student to ensure that you avoid submitting plagiarised content. Firstly, you should engage in regular dialogue with your academic tutor and course leader to ensure that they are kept abreast of any problems you may have. Beyond that, you also have services such as Viper Plagiarism Checker, which enables you to take more individual responsibility concerning managing the risk of plagiarism and ensuring that you do not fall into the common traps that befall most students.
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