Plagiarism! Not a Crime…

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Plagiarism is a major ethical issue in scientific research and publication which involves lifting any form of published , copyrighted material exactly as it is without due authorization of the original owner. Plagiarized material could be a research work, scholarly articles, blog posts or text book.

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Plagiarism is an opposite of originality which brings forth creativity. It is a thin line existing between copying and inspiration.







We publish or embark on research for some healthy reasons: to share our thoughts and ideas with other scholars or researchers which is likely to improve your knowledge on a particular area of study; for recognition among our peers; makes us to feel fulfilled and achieve a lot; brings about growth and success in our carrier.

Plagiarism is an opposite of originality which brings forth creativity. It is a thin line existing between copying and inspiration.

There have been commonly held but false beliefs about plagiarism which includes:

  • The belief that plagiarism is not a crime.

Others are:

  • Students believe in some cases that plagiarism is acceptable. This usually gets them into trouble or better-still brings about rejection of an assignment.
  • To many, referencing the corresponding author gives one full right to use the sentence/ phrase verbatim.
  • Some students make the mistake of taking a sentence/ text verbatim from source ‘A’ and cites source ‘B’.

Vanguard News  had earlier reported that Ghana’s new president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo was caught in an alleged inauguration speech plagiarism scandal. According to this source, Akufo-Addo had portions of his inaugural speech at the Independence square, Ghana, lifted from the inaugural speeches delivered by former US presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.

Do you still belief that plagiarism is not a crime?

How do you feel when you fall a victim of plagiarism? Angry? Flattered? Discouraged? Inspired?

Be honest!

As a Science Educator, I will surely have mixed feelings. Yes, aside being angry. I will feel inspired that someone out there gets inspired by my efforts.

To my students, colleagues and researchers;

Look around you, one thing is evident; inspiration! If you must look at the work of another, just study and grab as much knowledge as possible. Be equipped with the power of knowledge. Clear your mind, think about how you can apply the ideas in your own unique way using your kind of expression. That makes you a scholar.

Without sharing your thoughts, experiences and ideas by commenting below; this exercise will be incomplete.


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 Onwukeme Ijeoma  is a passionate Science Educator, Researcher, Academic Counselor and Consultant.

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