Plagiarism in Research

Plagiarism in Research writings | How to avoid it?

Introduction: One of the most lightly taken topics or merely pondered upon the topic is Plagiarism in Research until the graduation level in Academic career, but suddenly it turns to be of high significance when one pursues his/ her post-graduation. Also, we seldom consider it as an offense, but we must be aware that it is actually a legal offense and is governed by Indian Law. But before discussing whether it is an offense or not that, let us understand what exactly plagiarism means.

What is plagiarism?

The word “Plagiarism” has been derived from the Latin word “Plagiare” which means “to kidnap or abduct”. Plagiarism is falsely claiming someone else’s content as the originally produced content by someone else or copying and borrowing ideas from other’s work. It is literary theft and can be taken as a fraud because it contains both elements i.e., stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.

 It involves many other factors/ broader aspects such as.

  • Stealing someone else ideas without giving credit to them and stating the content as one’s own original content.
  • Not crediting the original content creator and enjoying his legacy and community.
  •  Failure to mention proper citations either intentionally or by mistake.
  • Mentioning Quotes without putting quotation marks voluntarily or keeping the same zest, but using synonyms for someone else’s ideas will not free you of the guilty of plagiarism. 
  • Plagiarism may also be considered as theft or offense.
  •  The Indian Law, Section 57 of the Indian copyright Act, 1957, grants the authors, the “Special Right” for giving the original creators the credit for their work, they can sue the guilty to the court, if terms and conditions are not fulfilled.
  • Offense: Plagiarism is the unethical conduct of a person/not a criminal offense. According to the Indian Copyright Act, In a case of a civil suit, the infringer is liable to 
  1. Imprisonment between 6 months to 3 years.
  2. Fine 50000 
  3. Punishment according to the intensity of offense. 
  • Please note: whether your plagiarism intentionally or unintentionally, you are considered to be guilty of an offense, until you prove your innocence.

Types of plagiarism:

  • Universal plagiarism: It is publishing another person’s entire content under your name. 
  • Verbatim plagiarism: Copy of the text exactly the same without giving reference/citation.
  • Mosaic plagiarism: combining ideas from different sources without citation/reference.

How plagiarism in Research can be detected? 

Plagiarism can be detected in two ways:

  1. Manually :
  1. For Academic Purposes, a Professor can check this by pointing a particular sentence, which is beyond the capability of the young Researcher or the writer. 
  2. The other way to detect plagiarism is by looking for quotations that are without credit.
  3. Check if References are mentioned or not.
  • Software: It is an easier way than manually checking for plagiarism as it works on particular algorithms and finds plagiarism. It simply finds a report by uploading the document.
  • Check policies of the software for plagiarism detection. (usually, 16% is considered as less plagiarism) note: academic purpose university consider 30%.

          Various software’s available for plagiarism checking (Plagiarism Detectors) available are: 

  1. Professional business software
  1. Turnitin
  2. Plagiarism checks 
  1. Free software
  1. Viper
  2. SEO tools

How can Researchers avoid Plagiarism in Research?

  1. Please note that you can always borrow data/ideas from the ‘public domain’ articles. The articles which are now published for more than 75 years.
  2. Consult your mentor/guide/professor for any plagiarism-related confusion.
  3. Always mention the quotes/facts/dates/ with the original source.
  4. Paraphrasing/rephrasing should be done in an effective way; you can always consult your mentor.
  5. Clearly mention the referred pages/put links to the reference websites/books.
  6. Pre-planning of the research paper, properly plan how you would executive your paper and what all sources you would be using. 
  7. Read the source/ take points from them/short points/then clearly mention the reference, according to your understanding. But understand the need for referencing arises only when you use specific information like theory, statistics, and examples, can studies, direct quotation,s or you are influenced by someone else’s thoughts. 
  8. Please Note: There is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism
Copyright  infringement Plagiarism
Copyright infringement occurs only if the work is predicted by Copyright law. Work is considered to be plagiarised which is morally wrong.


Although plagiarism is considered a civil offense, it is not less than a crime. In this modern world, where we are concerned about our tangible belongings, we mustn’t ignore our intangible belongings like values and morals. Please investigate thoroughly next time before you share any word with the other person/or the rest of the world. Also, if you produce your own content that will provide you more reach and credibility. 

Please feel free to comment down in the section for any queries. 

All about research 

A Researcher’s Dilemma | DOs and DON’Ts | Research Paper Submissions | Prof. Justin Paul | University of Porto Rico, USA

Some Do’s and Dont’s of Research submissions

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