The Research Ethics Program serves as a resource for the campus community to identify and address ethical challenges intrinsic to the conduct of science, engineering, and other academic scholarship.

Case of the Month

Considerable attention has been given to the problem of plagiarism, even though journal editors tend to believe this is not a major problem. However, plagiarism can take many different forms ranging from submitting someone else’s published work as your own new publication to redundant publication (someone publishing their own work a second time).

  • Are there degrees of plagiarism? For example, does it matter whether the person committing plagiarism is doing so in their own language or to write something in a second language?
  • Should we worry more about the number of words copied rather than the extent to which someone is copying the idea(s) of someone else?
  • If ideas are more important than the words, how can we detect plagiarism?

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