Plagiarism is one of the most severe crimes in educational and non-educational sectors. Ph.D. holders and research students can get suspended if they have not properly acknowledged the sources.
But why is the attitude of the world so serious toward plagiarism? Why does every course instructor teach the importance of being unique and original in research?
If the aforementioned queries represent your confusion, this blog post will be an ideal fit for you. That’s because here, we will explain why it is a global offense. So, without any further ado, let’s dig in.
What is Plagiarism?
It is a form of academic dishonesty because it refers to including someone else’s information in your work without crediting or getting proper approval. In other words, plagiarism is duplicating information and not mentioning the sources properly.
Plagiarism in International Laws
Although several international laws best describe the severity of plagiarism, let’s refer to the ‘Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines’ here.
- Although chapter 10 of the Philippines’ international law on plagiarism describes the moral rights of an author, Section 193 of this law refers to the scope of moral rights of plagiarism as:
“To require that the authorship of the works be attributed to him, in particular; the right that his name, as far as practicable, be indicated in a prominent way on the copies, and in connection with the public use of his work.”
The law clearly states that you should mention the author’s name while publicly including information from his work.
So, even if you make a blanket statement that you’ve taken some parts of your work from the work of others, it does not satisfy the law’s requirement.
That’s because you will have to mention the name of the author from which you took the words or ideas.
- Section 198 of the Philippines’ international law on plagiarism further describes that:
“The rights of an author under this chapter (Chapter 10) shall last during the lifetime of the author and for fifty (50) years after his death and shall not be assignable or subject to license.”
The above section indicates that if the author is still alive, you have no choice but to mention their name while taking wordings or ideas from his work.
Why is Plagiarism Illegal?
So far, you have seen the international laws regarding plagiarism. Therefore, now, let’s discuss why it is illegal.
The truth is thinking about the sort of trouble you can get into with plagiarism is a stressful thought. But we are here to help you. So, brace yourself because some of the consequences are intense.
Categories of Plagiarism’s Consequences
Generally, there are three main categories of plagiarism’s consequences. So, let’s see the details of each type to learn about plagiarism’s effects in different sectors of life.
If you plagiarize material in your student life, your institute will severely deal with it irrespective of whether you are a high school, college, or university student.
A failed grade is a prime example of plagiarism’s consequences in a student’s life. But besides a failed grade, some institutes may also hold a hearing in front of an academic committee.
However, whichever consequence your institute chooses, the results will be the same—failing the class, repeating the semester, getting expelled, or getting banned from re-enrolling.
So, since it can make all the effort and time you put in equal to nothing, it’s sad from a student’s perspective.
People often think they are in the ‘safe zone’ of plagiarism as an employee. But it has its way of even getting consequences mailed to your desk. So, since we’ve warned you about the intensity of plagiarism’s effects, let’s start with the worst.
- Employers don’t prefer keeping workers in an organization who don’t follow global business ethics because it can harm a business’ image in professional life. So, you can lose your job for committing plagiarism in your work as an employee. This consequence is primarily common for researchers and academic professionals.
- If you are a writer who falls prey to plagiarism, it can damage your future publication chances.
- Freelancers and self-employed people also suffer from plagiarism because it affects their quality of work. As a result, freelancers and self-employed people can ruin their reputations and chances of future contracts.
The track record of plagiarized work is hard to eliminate and shows up everywhere. For instance, people can file a lawsuit against you or your company for copyright infringement.
Some Examples of Plagiarism Consequences from Real-Life
As mentioned earlier, the consequences of committing plagiarism can severely affect those who make this error. So, let’s see a few real-world examples regarding plagiarism’s effects.
- In 2011, a German Defense Minister and a Ph.D. holder ‘Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’ resigned after improperly acknowledging the sources in his Ph.D. work.
- Later, in 2011, the faculty at the University of Bonn analyzed the Ph.D. thesis work of ‘Jorgo Chatzimarkakis’ and found enough evidence to strip him of his Ph.D. doctorate title.
- Besides the famous German people, several people in North America also lost their careers because of it. Some of the prominent names are:
- Stephen E. Ambrose (an American historian).
- Maureen Brigid Dowd (a New York Times columnist).
How Can You Avoid Plagiarism?
You will never face any of the aforementioned plagiarism consequences if you know how to avoid it. But before getting to the ‘how’ part of avoiding plagiarism, you will have to identify the traces of plagiarism in your work. So, you can try a plagiarism checker.
Once a plagiarism checker has found traces of plagiarism in your work, you can work on those traces instead of reworking the entire thing. Doing this will save you time. So, now, let’s discuss how you can avoid plagiarism.
Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism
There are heaps of tips and tricks for avoiding plagiarism. But among those tricks, the following are the most common ones:
- The easiest way to prevent your work from plagiarism is to enclose the information you want to include in your work from other sources in double quotes. However, you must cite the reference from where you initially took the (included) information.
- Another effective approach for avoiding plagiarism is to paraphrase the material. However, rephrasing the information doesn’t make you the original author. So, you will have to cite the reference here as well.
- If you can’t paraphrase or rewrite the material on your own, you can take assistance from a plagiarism remover. Such a tool will automatically rewrite the plagiarized portions. However, you will have to include the references here.A plagiarism remover works pretty much like a paraphrasing tool. It makes changes to the text in order to make it look different while having the same meaning.
Plagiarism is considered on the same scale as theft, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it has been declared illegal. With this in mind, what can we learn from plagiarism laws and punishments?
For one thing, it proves that everyone has a stake in this if it concerns their work. And secondly, plagiarism may not be a crime in your region, but it is definitely a sin everywhere.
When someone plagiarizes another’s work, they’re doing a disservice to an industry and community.
No matter your industry or business organization role, you deserve to experience full credit for your ideas and innovation. Thus, avoiding plagiarism should be your priority, and read the above guide to learn more about that.