Why use a plagiarism checker?

Plagiarism has become a significant concern within the academic community. Among the diverse factors explaining the phenomenon, one of the most relevant is educational writing processes.

Plagiarism can occur even when we are sure that we have written the assignment from scratch. We have explained this in the types of plagiarism given below.

Ignoring disciplinary offenses sanctioned by the University against Plagiarism can lead to anything from a warning to cancellation of enrolment.

Plagiarism is a serious offense in academics

Types of Plagiarism

There are two types of plagiarism:

Conscious Plagiarism: It occurs in cases in which someone copies or pilfers the content of someone and presents it as their own.

Unconscious Plagiarism: When you have forgotten to give credit to the original author or the sentence is so common on the internet that you could not find the original author.

The plagiarism of conscious or unconscious content is a controversial and common topic since the consideration of plagiarism includes cases such as these:

  • Omit the source of specific information or data provided.
  • Not properly curating foreign content, including fragments or complete texts, using a technique of literally doing "copy-paste".
  • Not properly curating foreign content, when the text structure is maintained, only words are rearranged or modified by their synonyms.
  • Recycling an old post that could not correctly curate your content could be called self-plagiarism (without legal connotations).
  • Buy content illegally to give it for your own.
  • Using highly original and/or commercially profitable outside ideas without mentioning their creator.
  • Use famous quotes without mentioning their author.
  • Include images and graphic resources (NOT free of rights) without citing the source or having previously acquired the rights and/or consent.

Plagiarism can occur even when sources are cited when:

  • Content is generated only with external references without providing any content and/or idea with its essence.
  • The proper format is not used to mention the external source or author (in quotation marks or italics).

Other ways to define plagiarism

Complete Plagiarism

Complete plagiarism is the most severe form of plagiarism in which a researcher takes a manuscript or study that someone else created and presents it under their name. It is equivalent to robbery and intellectual theft.

Source-based Plagiarism

Plagiarism can occur from different types of sources. For example, when a researcher refers to a source that is incorrect or does not exist, it is misleading. Plagiarism also occurs when a researcher uses secondary information or data source but only cites the primary information source. Both types lead to an increase in the number of referral sources. This, in turn, increases the number of citations of the references.

Finally, fabrication and falsification of data are also forms of plagiarism. Data fabrication creates data and research results, while data falsification involves changing or omitting data to give a false impression. The consequences of this type of plagiarism can be severe, especially when it comes to medical research, as it can negatively affect clinical decisions.

Direct Plagiarism

Direct or textual plagiarism occurs when an author copies the text of another author, word for word, without the use of quotation marks or attribution, so it passes as his own. In that way, it's like complete plagiarism, but it refers to sections (rather than all) of another article. This type of plagiarism is considered dishonest and requires academic disciplinary action. It is rare and can be given unintentionally, but it is a severe violation of academic rules and ethics.

Self-plagiarism/Duplication of Content

Self-plagiarism, also known as duplication, occurs when an author reuses significant parts of their previously published work without attribution. Therefore, this type of plagiarism is more likely to involve researchers rather than university students. The severity of this type of violation is up for debate, depending on the content copied. However, many academic journals have strict criteria on the percentage of the author's reusable work. Many journals run manuscript plagiarism detection software before considering them for review.

Paraphrase Plagiarism

This is the most common type of plagiarism. It involves using someone else's handwriting with some minor sentence changes and using it as your own. Even if the words differ, the original idea remains the same, and thus, plagiarism occurs. Because students often do not clearly understand what constitutes plagiarism, there are recommendations available for research and writing to reduce the risk of paraphrasing plagiarism.

Inaccurate Authorship

Inaccurate authorship or misleading attribution can occur in two ways:

One of them occurs when an individual contributes to a manuscript but does not get credit for it. The second way is the opposite: when an individual obtains credit without contributing to work. In whatever form it occurs, this type of plagiarism is a violation of the code of conduct in research.

It is also possible to commit this form of plagiarism when someone else edits a manuscript, leading to substantial changes. In this case, the recommendation is to acknowledge contributors at the time of publication, even if they are not listed as authors.

Mosaic Plagiarism

Mosaic Plagiarism can be more difficult to detect because it combines someone else's phrases or text into your research. It is also known as patchwork plagiarism.

Accidental Plagiarism

There is no excuse for plagiarism, and the consequences are often the same, whether intentional or not. However, plagiarism can be accidental if it occurs through negligence, mistake, or inadvertent paraphrase. Students are likely to plagiarise, so universities should highlight the importance of education regarding this type of plagiarism.

How to avoid Unconscious Plagiarism?

I know that the line between curating and copying (albeit unconsciously) can sometimes be excellent, but I follow some tricks that can help you when curating content:

  • Make a good paraphrase : Do not just change the order of words and use synonyms, but rewrite the content with a distinctive communication tone (make structural changes, use unique expressions, etc.).
  • Contribute your own experiences and opinions : Adding your two cents will give value to your content and differentiate yourself. A good content curator always contrasts the information and contributes his impressions.
  • Eliminate expressions or original data : Each person or brand has their style when writing, and if you use excessively those "taglines" or words that characterize the third party in question, you will end up being a shameless copy.
  • Include comparisons and other formats : The content is generally highly mouldable, whether it is someone else's or your own. We have the possibility of contrasting different data and contributing something new or dumping the information into an infographic or template.
    And of course, whatever the format used, mention the source used (especially in the case of statistical data) and/or launch a link to the original site.

Why is Plagiarism committed?

The main reason for plagiarism is the lack of citation, which happens that students do not know how to do it, and it falls under unconscious plagiarism. After all, ideas or texts already published can be taken as long as the source of that content is recorded.

Other reasons are the laziness of students who google, copy and paste without verifying the information. They believe that teachers do not read the papers and assignments. Some do not know or use the citation standards and, others are ignorant of the legal, professional, and moral consequences that plagiarism brings.

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