Academic journal article Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues

Free-Riderism among Academicians: An Ethical of Islamic Perspective

Academic journal article Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues

Free-Riderism among Academicians: An Ethical of Islamic Perspective

Article excerpt


In line with the rising ranks of universities in Malaysia both at the local and international levels is a remarkable achievement (Abdullah, 2018). This increase is because the policy of the university is today which is fully autonomous, wants to meet the ranking criteria to compete with universities at the international level. One of the criteria that need to be met is to multiply indexed publishing quantities. The university has included these criteria as a compulsory assignment of lecturers and compulsory requirements for graduates at post-graduate levels (KPM, 2015). Although there is a positive impact on the policy, it is undeniable that there is a negative impact. According to Yusof (2016), in an urgent situation to pursue ranks, names and positions because of the "urgent" system pursuing university ranking and achieving Key Performance Index (KPI) respectively, through the volume and quantity of publications to be published in the ISI, Scopus and ERA for an academic scholar within a year, has expressed concern over the deteriorating moral and ethical values among university academic staff.

Among the moral values that concern is "free-riderism" practices among academics who are so serious and uncontrolled has attracted some academics such as Salleh (2011), Yusof (2016), Aminah (2017), Khairunneezam (2017) and Kairuldin (2017). According to LaFollette (1992), the term "free-riderism" comes from terminology honorary authorship or ghost authorship. Honorary authorship is a practice of awarding to individuals in the form of writing names in writing without significant contributions. According to Hashim (2010), a "freeriderism" term is termed as guest writers, honorary authors, and ghostwriters. Usually the author is an individual guest, who holds a position or influence who does not contribute in writing but is listed as a writer. The perch writer goes without the knowledge of the individual while he does not contribute in writing. While ghostwriters or ghost authorships are writers, who hide or hide their names over certain factors.

According to Salleh (2011), there are seven conditions to qualify someone to put his name in academic writing. First, actively involved in generating the authenticity of academic writing ideas. Second, it is necessary to develop academic writing designs actively. Third, responsible for observing and collecting data. Fourth, academics play a leadership role according to their respective capacities in carrying out the study. Fifth is involved in the process of writing academic materials, not only against the draft manuscript but revision of the manuscript. Sixth, responsible for the final manuscript of academic writing. Seventh, able to defend the academic publications according to their professional discipline.

In Malaysia, this "free-riderism" or honorary authorship is widely used among academics in various fields of study (Yusoff, 2016). Salleh (2011) lists five forms of "freeriderism" practices that occur among academics in Malaysia. First, put the supervisor's name upon the supervisor's request in writing that done entirely by the student. Second, put the supervisor's name by appreciation to the supervisor in reviewing academic writing work. Third, there is a pact between academicians to put their names on the written academic writing. Fourth, put a friend's name or contact to help them despite not contributing anything in the academic writing. Fifth, put the name of a friend or other academic contact because of the sharing cost of the presentation or publication.

The issues as above mentioned are contrary to the Islamic Ethical in regarding the dissemination of knowledge in Islamic Perspective. The knowledge should be acquired and disseminated with pure and godly intention. For that, Islam has comprehensive in terms of its approach to knowledge. Academician must realize their responsibilities to do something always in good manners and in ethical ways, either in obtaining or disseminating of knowledge. …

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