Plagiarism Educational Settings

What is plagiarism and what are the ethical issues that cause it to be taken so seriously in University

Plagiarism is referred to as a wrong appropriation and academic dishonesty with breach in journalistic ethics. As mentioned by Angélil-Carter (2014), plagiarism mainly occurs when another author’s work is stolen for publication and the language, expression and ideas are represented as their own from the original work. It is not regarded as a crime but it is constituted as a part of copyright infringement which is regarded as a serious ethical offence in the field of academic and educational industry. Plagiarism is not punishable by law but it is rather regarded as a punishable offence by the institutions.


Plagiarism is similar or a part of copyright infringement but it is not the same. This is because copyright infringement is referred to the violation of tights allocated to the copyright holder and making false claims of their authorship. However, Plagiarism is related to unearned increment to the reputation of the plagiarist or obtaining credit through false authorship claim. Thus, plagiarism is mostly considered as a moral offence rather than a crime but there are legal actions may be taken against the person or institution who supports plagiarised work (Ehrich et al. 2016).

There are various types of plagiarism such as direct plagiarism, self-plagiarism, mosaic plagiarism and accidental plagiarism. The direct plagiarism is word-to-word copy of the transcript of the author without reference or citation or quotations. The self-plagiarism occurs in condition where the author submits their previous work. The mosaic plagiarism occurs when the student borrow phrases from some writing without properly quoting or referencing them (Debnath, 2016). All of these are to be taken seriously by the University because the ethical which arises with the aspect as it leads to hinder the name of the institution along with the student.

The plagiarism allegations can be an effective reason for expelling or suspending a student from the university. This act can also lead the student to be reflected as an ethically offensive person causing the individual to be barred from entering the college or any other institution. In case, the university fails to identify the student involved in executing plagiarised work and expelling the person it would mean the institution support unethical activities (Adam et al. 2017). This is going to result in questioning the university's professional and academic integrity in teaching students. Therefore, the University requires taking the act of plagiarism so seriously so that they can ensure all their students perform ethical work and they do not support any unethical practice as it is regarded as unethical practice within the society.

The damage done from plagiarism is seen to affect the student as well as university for lifetime. This is because the whole career of the students receiving education from the university would be ruined along with the professional reputation of the university. Thus, this ethical issue of losing the professional reputation of the University is a key concern due to which the University is required to take the act of plagiarism so seriously (Naeem et al. 2018). It is so as professionally non-reputed University is seen as a place where no meaningful career of the students can be built. This results meticulous students and teachers who could have contributed to higher rise of reputation of the University in the education field to leave them. Therefore, it leads the University to lose their social status and become ruined as no potential students or teachers wish to remain associated with them due to their failed professional repute.

The institution or University is seen to be ruined in the academic field if a work of plagiarism is reported in the publication. This is because publication is regarded as a prestigious aspect in the academic career where if plagiarism is reported it leads to end of academic position in the industry. Thus, the University requires taking the issues of plagiarism so seriously so that their name in the academic field is not destroyed (Cronan et al. 2018). This is because destroyed academic reputation of the University may lead potential and reputed publisher in the academic field to avoid publishing the work submitted from the University as they feel fear of getting unethically involved in publishing plagiarised work. This is going to lower the exposure of the University in the academic field among the students, professors and others. Moreover, they are also going to experience backlash in promoting the name of the university due to ethical issues of destroyed academic reputation.

In some cases, there are serious legal repercussions of plagiarised act as the copyright laws are absolute according to which no one is allowed to use any other’s work as their own without reference or citation. Moreover, an author possesses the right to issue a plagiarist to any person or the concerned University from which the unethical practice has been reported. This is because it is their legal right to avoid others from using their work. Moreover, plagiarism would also mean the University to show disrespect towards the main author of the academic work which is regarded as academic misconduct in the academic field (Agustina and Raharjo, 2017). The issues are grave for the University as they are going to face increased legal constraints for which they have to produce before court which would result to hinder their reputation.

There are many reports of where the author sues the plagiarist to pay monetary restitution for copying their work. In such case, the University in which the student is studying is also sued by the author regarding their negligence of not properly examining the students work before submission. The monetary penalties to be paid may be heavy for the students to bear (Wiwanitkit, 2015). Thus, the issue of plagiarism is required to be taken seriously by the University so that they can avoid their students from being financially penalised. As per Mohammed et al. (2015), plagiarised work in the medical field may lead to potential harm to the individuals. This is because they may carry wrong information which is not experimentally checked for their approval. In such case, from which University the plagiarised work has been published is sued and the University require huge amount of money to fight acts it. Therefore, to avoid such situation and irresponsible expenditure of money and avoiding providing approval to unethical work the Universities required being serious about the issues of plagiarism under any field of education.

Thus, it can be concluded that plagiarism brings monetary charge and legal acts against the University along with it hinders their name in the education field creating a negative image in the education industry.

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  • Adam, L., Anderson, V. and Spronken-Smith, R., 2017. ‘It’s not fair’: policy discourses and students’ understandings of plagiarism in a New Zealand university. Higher Education, 74(1), pp.17-32.
  • Agustina, R. and Raharjo, P., 2017. Exploring Plagiarism into Perspectives of Indonesian Academics and Students. Journal of Education and Learning, 11(3), pp.262-272.
  • Angélil-Carter, S., 2014. Stolen language?: Plagiarism in writing. Routledge.
  • Debnath, J., 2016. Plagiarism: a silent epidemic in scientific writing–reasons, recognition and remedies. medical journal armed forces india, 72(2), pp.164-167.
  • Ehrich, J., Howard, S.J., Mu, C. and Bokosmaty, S., 2016. A comparison of Chinese and Australian university students' attitudes towards plagiarism. Studies in Higher Education, 41(2), pp.231-246.
  • Mohammed, R.A., Shaaban, O.M., Mahran, D.G., Attellawy, H.N., Makhlof, A. and Albasri, A., 2015. Plagiarism in medical scientific research. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, 10(1), pp.6-11.
  • Naeem, S.B., Bhatti, R. and Hassan, M.O., 2018. Is Plagiarism a Crime? University Students' Commitment to Fairness in Academic Writing. Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal, 49(1).pp.90-99.
  • Wiwanitkit, V., 2015. Letter to the editor: Plagiarism screening by the journal: is there still any pitfall?. Accountability in research, 22(3), pp.198-199.

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