Plagiarism is the practice of dishonestly claiming or implying original authorship of material which one has not actually created, such as when a person incorporates material from someone else’s work into their own work without attributing it. Within academia, plagiarism is seen as academic dishonesty and is a serious and punishable academic offense. Plagiarism may happen unintentionally in the case of unconscious plagiarism or if a plagiarist is unaware of the need for citation. Non-attribution in ipse is not necessarily plagiarism; it is only such when the norms of the community are affronted.
In normal discourse, it is not usual to make attribution. Likewise, use of non-attributed Biblical phraseology or quotations in a sermon is acceptable. To an extent, accusations of plagiarism seem to be attracted by a perceived hubris on the part of their target. Plagiarism is not necessarily the same as copyright infringement, which occurs when one violates copyright law. The copying of a few sentences for a quotation is fair use under US copyright law, but, if not attributed to the true author, it is plagiarism.
Punishments In the academic world: Plagiarism is a serious academic offense which can result in punishment ranging from a failing grade on the particular assignment (typically at the high school level), or the course (typically at the college level), leading cumulatively to an academic suspension or expulsion. Being found guilty of plagiarism can ruin an academic career; it may result in revocation of one’s degree, or the loss of one’s job, and will result in the loss of academic credibility. Charges of plagiarism are resolved through internal disciplinary proceedings (which students usually agree to be bound by when they enter a course).
Generally, although plagiarism is often loosely referred to as theft or stealing, it has not been prosecuted as a criminal matter in the law courts, according to Stuart Green. Likewise, plagiarism has no standing as a criminal offense in the common law. Instead, claims of plagiarism are a civil law matter; acts that constitute plagiarism are in some instances treated as copyright infringement, unfair competition, or a violation of the doctrine of moral rights. Frequency of plagiarism There is little academic research into the frequency of plagiarism. Any research that has taken place has focused on universities (higher education).
There are no published statistics for the school or college (further education) sectors; awarding bodies do not maintain statistics on plagiarism. Of the forms of cheating (including plagiarism, inventing data and cheating during an exam), students admit to plagiarism more than any other. However, this figure decreases considerably when students are asked about the frequency of “serious” plagiarism (such as copying most of an assignment, or purchasing a complete paper from a website – 20% and 10%). Recent use of specialist detection software (see below) has given a more accurate picture of prevalence.
Practical advice Plagiarism is sometimes difficult to avoid in writing, because writers are not always consciously aware of the source of the wording, or the source of the idea. To ensure that a writer will avoid plagiarism, it is necessary to keep track of the sources used, and record them accurately. In past years, when students copied extracts from books onto index cards or notebooks by hand, it was customary both to rephrase the idea, so it could be used in the author’s words and properly credited, and also copy what seemed to be useful quotations, so they could be quoted with a proper source.
In working with photocopy or print out, it is normally easier to mark the pages, usually with different color pens or markers. When working with computer files on the screen, it is advisable to employ the annotation or comment features of the software. In any case, it is necessary to ensure that the notes are clear, that the photocopied or downloaded material includes the name and date of the source; that when working with online material, the date and URL are always recorded. The use of reference management software can be helpful in keeping track of the material.
When working with sources other than book and articles, it is necessary to keep track of the sources, and the details are explained in the style manuals. Unintentional Plagiarism on the Internet Very well known works are often used without citation or attribution but this does not mean that the practice is either permissible or desirable. Some works are very well known in one country but little known in other countries. Authors may quote or adapt works which do not need attribution in their country.
Authors may then put such unoriginal work onto the Internet without realizing the need for attribution. Organizational publications Plagiarism is presumably not an issue when organizations issue collective unsigned works since they do not assign credit for originality to particular people, there is no question about taking credit for someone else’s ideas. These are not original works of research, and necessarily provide a summary of other’s work. As the academic level increases, so will the quotation marks and footnotes.
But even a textbook will not use a direct quote with some sort of appropriation. “As Jefferson said in the Declaration of independence,” However, even such a book does not make use of words, phrases or paragraphs from another text, or follow too closely the other text’s arrangement and organization. Within an organization, in its own working documents, standards are looser but not non-existent. If someone helped with a report, they expect to be credited. If a paragraph comes from a law report, a citation is expected to be written down.
Technical manuals routinely copy facts from other manuals without attribution, because they assume a common spirit of scientific endeavor (as evidenced, for example, in “open source” projects in software) in which scientists freely share their work. The Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications Third Edition (2003) by Microsoft does not even mention plagiarism, nor does Science and Technical Writing: a Manual of Style, Second Edition (2000) by Philip Rubens. The line between permissible literary and impermissible source code plagiarism, though, is apparently quite fine.
As with any technical field, computer programming makes use of what others have contributed to the general knowledge. It is common for university researchers to rephrase and republish their own work, tailoring it for different academic journals, and often also for a newspaper article, in order to disseminate their work to the widest possible interested public. However, it must be borne in mind that these researchers also obey limits: if half an article is the same as a previous one, it will be rejected. One of the functions of the process of peer review in academic writing is to spot such errors.
Public figures commonly use anonymous speech writers. However, if a speech uses copied material, it is the public figure who may well be embarrassed. In 1988, Delaware Senator Joe Biden was forced out of that year’s US Presidential race (but remained in the US Senate) when it was discovered that a part of one of his campaign speeches contained plagiarism. Famous accusations and examples of plagiarism Academia and Scholarship Numerous passages of Robert Mason’s 1983 Vietnam War memoir Chicken hawk were copied, almost word-for-word, by Charles Sasser and Ron Alexander in their 2001 book, Taking Fire.
James A. Mackay, a Scottish historian, was forced to withdraw all copies of his biography of Alexander Graham Bell from circulation in 1998 because he plagiarized the last major work on the subject, a 1973 work. Also accused of plagiarizing material on biographies of Mary Queen of Scots, Andrew Carnegie and Sir William Wallace he was forced to withdraw his next work, on John Paul Jones, in 1999 for an identical reason. Psychology professor Rene Diekstra author of popular books left Lei den University in 1997 after accusations of plagiarism.
Proceedings continued as of 2003, with Diekstra contesting a report about him on this matter. Historian Stephen Ambrose has been criticized for incorporating passages from the works of other authors into many of his books. He was first accused in 2002 by two writers for copying portions about World War II bomber pilots from Thomas Childers The Wings of Morning in his book The Wild Blue. After Ambrose admitted to the errors, the New York Times found further unattributed passages, and “Mr. Ambrose again acknowledged his errors and promised to correct them in later editions. ”
Marks Chabedi, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, plagiarized his doctoral thesis. He used a work written by Kimberly Lanegran at the University of Florida and copied it nearly verbatim before submitting it to The New School. When Lanegran discovered this, she launched an investigation into Chabedi. He was fired from his professorship, and The New School revoked his Ph. D. Author Doris Kearns Goodwin interviewed author Lynne McTaggart in her 1987 book The Fitzgerald’s and the Kennedy’s, and she used passages from McTaggart’s book about Kathleen Kennedy.
In 2002, when the similarities between Goodwin’s and McTaggart’s books became public, Goodwin stated that she had an understanding that citations would not be required for all references, and that extensive footnotes already existed. Many doubted her claims, and she was forced to resign from the Pulitzer Prize board. A University of Colorado investigating committee found Ethnic Studies professor and activist Ward Churchill guilty of multiple counts of plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification.
The Chancellor has recommended Churchill’s dismissal to the Board of Regents. The action is currently pending Churchill’s appeal. Journalism In 1999, writer and television commentator Monica Crowley allegedly plagiarized part of an article she wrote for the Wall Street Journal (August 9, 1999), called “The Day Nixon Said Goodbye. ” The Journal ran an apology the same week. Timothy Noah of Slate Magazine later wrote of the striking similarities in her article to phrases Paul Johnson used in his 1988 article for Commentary called “In Praise of Richard Nixon”.
New York Times reporter Jay son Blair plagiarized articles and manufactured quotations in stories, including stories regarding Jessica Lynch and the Beltway sniper attacks. He and several editors from the Times resigned in June 2003. [ Moorestown Township, New Jersey high-school student Blair Horns tine had her admission to Harvard University revoked in July 2003 after she was found to have passed off speeches and writings by famous figures, including Bill Clinton, as hers in articles she wrote as a student journalist for a local newspaper.
Long-time Baltimore Sun columnist Michael Olesker resigned on January 4, 2006, after being accused of plagiarizing other journalists’ articles in his columns. Conservative blogger Ben Domenech, soon after he was hired to write a blog for the Washington Post in 2006 was found to have plagiarized a number of columns and articles he’d written for his college newspaper and National Review Online, lifting passages from a variety of sources ranging from well-known pundits to amateur film critics. After initially blaming any wrongdoing on past editors, Domenech eventually resigned and apologized.