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Plagiarism

The Trust is aware that not all academic institutions in the developing world offer information on plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic integrity, and can have serious consequences for your future career as a scientist. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that students understand the meaning of plagiarism and how to avoid it. A full explanation of what plagiarism is, can be found by clicking here.

There are a number of different websites that offer quite extensive information about plagiarism and how to avoid it. This article found on the University of Oxford website is a good example.

All students and scientists should be aware that the Trust will reject a report if it is found to plagiarise another academic's work. Persons found to be guilty of plagiarism will be required to re-write the report. Academic institutions will normally treat plagiarism very seriously, and so it is recommended that the Trust's grantees understand what plagiarism is, and how to avoid it before submitting a report.

A note from Nature News (1) of February 2012 highlighted how the problem often stems from a lack of training in schools and universities. All young researchers need better training to avoid plagiarism problems. In relation to India, Nature News reported:

Rohini Muthuswami, a biochemist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, who runs ethics classes has noted. "Lack of awareness about research ethics and lack of language skills lead students to plagiarize," she says. "Writing assignments must be a mandatory part of as many courses as possible to enhance students' confidence in their ability to express themselves in writing." No institution in India currently offers formal ethics courses, she says.

T. A. Abinandanan, an engineer at the Indian Institute of Science, says that the practice of duplicating information is deeply ingrained in Indian education. "Right from school our students are encouraged to take material from books and websites and use it in their charts and lab notebooks. In written answers, verbatim reproduction from textbooks is even rewarded with higher marks," he told Nature. "Thus, when students start doing research, they have so much of this attitude to unlearn."

Reference 1: Jayaraman, K. S. (24 February 2012) Indian science adviser caught up in plagiarism row, Nature News (online) Available at : http://www.nature.com/news/indian-science-adviser-caught-up-in-plagiarism-row-1.10102?WT.ec_id=NEWS-20120228, (Accessed 29/02/2012).