Towards Curbing Plagiarism in Higher Institutions of Learning: The Strategic Role of the Library

By Idiegbeyan-ose, Jerome; Ifijeh, Goodluck et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, December 2018 | Go to article overview

Towards Curbing Plagiarism in Higher Institutions of Learning: The Strategic Role of the Library


Idiegbeyan-ose, Jerome, Ifijeh, Goodluck, Segun-Adeniran, Chidi, Ugwunwa, Esse, Owolabi, Sola, Ayooluwa, Aregbesola, Library Philosophy and Practice


INTRODUCTION

Higher Institutions all over the world are battling with the 'plaque' of plagiarism. Management and designated authorities of institutions are concerned with the need to device means to curb these ugly trends. For instance in Nigeria, the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities in 2012 contacted the United Kingdom (UK) based academic integrity software company called Turnitin for discussions and technical collaborations on dealing with plagiarism. Today, many universities in Nigeria have access to the Turnitin system and they can now conduct originality checks of diverse publications to ensure genuine intellectual contributions to scholarship (Idiegbeyan-ose, Nkiko and Osinulu 2016). The Nigerian experience appears to be the trend around the world. However, the conduct of originality checks has not considerably reduced the occurrence of plagiarism in institutions; though it has created some levels of awareness (Idiegbeyan-ose, Nkiko and Osinulu 2016).

Plagiarism is a threat to the founding philosophy of research - which is to arrive at new facts or get additional information to the existing one; plagiarism if not curbed will hinder the main aim and objective of Universities - that is to solve the problem of mankind through research. Alluding to the research function of tertiary institutions especially Universities, Agu, Olibie and Anyikwa (2009) explained that higher institutions are supposed to produce research findings and innovation that will contribute to the advancement of nations. Plagiarism has become a great risk to the attainment of this objective. This paper therefore examines the concept and intricacies of plagiarism and the vital roles libraries could play in curbing the ugly trend.

THE CONCEPT OF PLAGIARISM

According to Berlinck (2011), 'plagiarism has come to occupy a greater space in society, probably due to access to electronic documents.' Plagiarism is interlinked with other fraudulent practices like 'copy and paste', 'inadequate referencing', etc. According to the Ethics Committee of Editors of the British Journal of Surgery, "plagiarism ranges from the unreferenced use of others' published and unpublished ideas, including research grant applications to submission under "new" authorship of a complete paper, sometimes in a different language. This can occur at any stage of writing, such as planning, research, writing, or publication; this applies to both print and electronic versions of articles" (Skandalakis and Mirilas, 2004).

According to Masic (2012), the word plagiarism emanated from the Latin word "Plagium" meaning "Kidnapping a man", which implies stealing another person's work and presenting it as yours, whether intentionally or unintentionally. According to Maxel (2013), in spite of the differences in definitions of plagiarism, the general understanding about plagiarism or copyright infringement is that it happens when the materials that have been written need creativity, or lack originality, poor reference or citation of materials utilized, non-acquisition of authorization from the original authors, extension of materials of others without affirmation, use of writings, figures and whatever other exceptional materials that are not original. Plagiarism is scholarly deceptive in nature, unscrupulous, lacks uprightness, encroaches on copyright laws and legislation, and encourages a procedure of moral decay in academics, and all types of scholarly work.

The act of using other individuals' work as an original work of lecturers, students and other persons in academia like its new is plagiarism and copyright infringement. The act of plagiarism is generally not acceptable worldwide; conventionally, untruthfulness of any shape is disregarded by everyone. Office of Research Integrity (2011) opined that "a source used in writing a accordingly; this will boost and promote honesty and integrity in the academic world.paper must be acknowledged even if the content is paraphrased or summarized rather than directly quoted". …

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