present paper shall have as the starting point a plagiarism online tutorial built
by SDSU library, which is the San Diego State University library, and an
article that is going to introduce us in the context represented by the need of
this tutorial. Therefore, the theoretical matters shall be a result of my
completion of this online tutorial.
I shall mention my thoughts on the comparison between plagiarism before the
internet era and during it and I am going to support the theory with an example
of plagiarism that is happening, in my opinion, in the consultancy industry
and, broadly, in business consultancy overall.
fall 2003, San Diego State University has come up with “Plagiarism Tutorial:
The Crime of Intellectual Kidnapping”, an interactive course. This was a result
of some studies they carried out, which shall be mentioned as it follows. A
team of 6 persons belonging to the San José State University Academic Services
Department can be assigned the merit of the tutorial.
1994 study on plagiarism concluded that, while some students plagiarize on
purpose, for others plagiarism occurs by accident, due, mainly, to misquoting a
source. What is, in my opinion, a worrying fact is that only 54% of the
participants in the study said that rewording sentences without citing their
sources means plagiarism (Jackson, P., 2006). This means that
almost half of the interviewed students are not aware that using somebody
else’s ideas and failing to mention the source is considered plagiarism.
3 years later, another study led to the
conclusion that the more difficult the passage is for them, the most likely it
is for students to only rearrange the words, resulting in even the same style
of writing, the author’s, to be used. Therefore, paraphrasing is one of the
obstacles faced when writing a paper. During the completion of the online
tutorial, there was conducted an analysis based on the responses of 2,829
students that have registered for the online tutorial during 2004-2005. The
study on paraphrasing proved to be applicable in this instance, as 29% of them
could point out what was not all right with a plagiarized paraphrase. Though,
the score they reached after the test, in comparison with before the test had
its mean improved by 6, from 85.6% to 91.6%. It has also been noted that these
students failed in realizing what was of importance, as they got words out of
the context, diminishing their original intent. On the other hand, they quoted
phrases without any importance to the given paper (Jackson,
it came to integrity and morality, students see cheating as less moral, in
comparison with plagiarism (Jackson, P., 2006). In other words, they consider
quoting without mentioning the source to be “worse” than paraphrasing without
writing down who the ideas belonged to, which leads to the need of
incorporating such an online tutorial in pupils and students curricula.
Chapters & Subchapters
Q1: What is plagiarism
to the website mentioned above, plagiarism refers to, on the short, using
someone else’s work (paper, video, photo, and even ideas), without giving
credit to the person in question, which means without mentioning the author of
the above-listed elements. In addition, “Build on someone else’s idea or phrase”
(SDSU Library, 2004) and failing to
mention the person in question is also listed as a means of plagiarizing.
Therefore, in my opinion, this would include using anybody’s thoughts and
ideas, even one’s closest persons, which is very difficult to keep track of, as
people may be influenced by someone’s idea and then “place” it in the
subconscious mind, forgetting afterwards whose it was in the first time.
seemed interesting to me was that this website mentions “submit your own paper
in more than one course” as plagiarism. This is, to me, translated as
plagiarizing yourself, therefore I do not fully agree with this being included
in the list of methods of plagiarizing. As your initial piece of work was fully
based on your thoughts, you ought to be able to reuse it whenever you want, to
my point of view.
what concerns cyber plagiarism, it is the same as plagiarism, but on the
electronic equipment, as it is also called “e-plagiarism,” “web
plagiarism,” or “cut-and-paste plagiarism” (Bow Valley
Q2: When does
my opinion, it can occur everywhere and anywhere- from the words of one’s that
you have repeated to another, to using their thoughts and ideas in written
documents. It is much easier to be inclined to plagiarize today, than in was
before the internet era. Before the global spread of the internet, plagiarism
implied more time being spent on copying from written publications (books,
magazine and newspaper articles, and someone else’s paper) to one’s sheet of
paper. It had to be conducted by, firstly, researching- in the library or by
word-of-mouth in order to get to someone who has previously written on the
required subject. Then, once the source has been discovered, the next step
would have been selecting only the paragraphs that are of interest to the
writer. Lastly, the physical copying took place.
it required a larger time investment, it was, in my opinion, more difficult to figure
out the source(s) of the writing, in comparison with the essays written in the
internet era. The one who checked the paper had to be acquainted with the
prospective sources on the topic the paper was about.
plagiarism can occur and it definitely does occur every day, even if we are not
aware of it. Plagiarism is unavoidable, as people sometimes think similar. The
more we are, the most likely it is to find a person with similar thought
patterns as it is best represented in the series called “Bull”. There,
so-called “mock trials” are conducted by assembling juries that resemble more
than 60% (mentally and behaviorally speaking) to the real jury. They conduct simulations
of the facts being displayed for the fake jury, in order to see what the
possible responses of the real jury would be. This does not mean than they are
plagiarizing one another intentionally (as they have never met before), but
they thinking patterns get in the way.
are the anti-plagiarism policies?
searching online this term, I came across the fact that it refers to paragraphs
posted mainly on educational institutions or websites that are composed of
writings belonging to the public. These include, firstly, the definition of
plagiarising, then examples of plagiarising with methods of how to avoid it
and, lastly, some sentences the author should comply to, from which I mention:
Authors must certify that
Authors are fully aware that
plagiarism is illegal & wrong and authors know that plagiarism is the use
of another person’s idea or published work and to pretend that it is one’s own.
Authors declare that each
contribution to their article or project has been acknowledged and source of
information from other peoples’ published or unpublished works have been cited
Author(s) certify that they/you are
solely responsible for text of the article and work included in the article
along with any incomplete reference. (Annals of International Medical and Dental Research, n.d.)
paragraphs have been found by myself on at least 3 different websites, all in
the field of medicine, taken word by word, but without failing to mention, as a
footnote, the initial source, which is the UK Journal of
Pharmaceutical and Biosciences (UKJPB) 2013-2014. Therefore, the journal came
with a frame applicable to the industry, in what concerns plagiarism.
these policies include some penalties and actions undertaken in case of
plagiarism, which shall be detailed later. In addition, some websites provide a
link to some anti-plagiarising tools, in order to help the writers check their
works and adjust them, if needed, before the final submission.
are anti-plagiarism policies used?
policies are used to make people aware of the numerous types of plagiarism they
could resort to, in order to facilitate their correct behaviour in what
concerns writing a piece of paper. Furthermore, by knowing what they could face
in case of plagiarizing, I believe that people may be discouraged to use other
people’s ideas without citing the authors.
Q4: Possible penalties when plagiarising
the actions undertaken in case of plagiarism, there are “a grade of zero,
non-validation of the class in question and suspension” (SciencePo, 2015).
Moreover, the website mentions, as a last resort, permanently expelling. These
are some of the most common penalties in the academic field, where the word
“plagiarism” is mostly used, I believe, even though it is met in any aspects of
the everyday life.
the business world, for instance, plagiarising is diminished by imposing penalties
in the labour contracts. For example, even if the non-solicitation agreement is
included in contracts, mainly in order to not disclose secrets of the company
to another firm in the same industry, therefore a competitor, I also see this
type of agreement as a means of avoiding plagiarism that may be called in the
business world “benchmarking”. The topic shall be broadly further discussed by
providing a situation I came across in my professional life. To this agreement
I would add the non-compete one, with its aim of being unable to be hired by an
employer in a similar industry setting or conducting similar activities as its
main turnover generator. Though, I see this agreement as a method of being
unable to use one’s knowledge, enhanced by the work conducted for company A,
for the purpose of company B, both acting in the same industry. Without this
agreement, the person in question could plagiarize work previously conducted.
If a paper cannot be submitted to 2 different courses without it being
considered plagiarizing, as it has been mentioned in the first part of this
paper, then applying the same method once for employer A and then for employer
B means, in my opinion, plagiarizing. And, to be straight-forward, I don’t
think that business consultants mention the firms that have previously applied
the solution they allegedly came with.
back to the subject of plagiarizing penalties, in the working contracts is
often stipulated, in the case of breaching the 2 agreements mentioned, a
financial penalty, usually of a large sum.
Recommendations & Conclusions
order to draw some recommendations and conclusions, I shall get back to the
practical example of plagiarism in the business consultancy field.
a person who has been a full-time intern in an outstanding, financially
speaking, management consultancy firm, I am acquainted with the methods that
are used in such companies in order to gather data. Mainly, the business
analysts are the ones who have regular visits to the client’s headquarters,
with the purpose of assessing the “as is” situation (by observing, conducting
interviews with the employees, asking the right questions etc.) and identifying
the current problems. The next step would be getting back to the consultants
and/or project manager to whom the gathered data is communicated, so that, with
one or several solutions in mid, the team draws the implementation plan.
what happens when the employees cannot provide the answer that would lead to
the solution, either because they don’t want to (as it might incriminate them
or somebody close to them) or because they simply don’t know these answers? In
such situation, Google comes in: the business analysts and interns search
relevant statistics and financial data on the corporation and its industry,
articles on the company and its shareholders’. Or perhaps they have intuitively
identified the prospective problem and they are in search of the validation by
looking at companies that have gone through the same “moving sands” by using
benchmarking techniques. Benchmarking is based on a “light” form of plagiarism,
in my opinion. Therefore, we cannot speak of benchmarking without speaking of
“getting inspiration from others”, a sentence broadly used by pupils and
students. Benchmarking is, indeed, a true form of inspiration, as one gets a
validation of a similar problem and a method of solving it that has previously
led to overcoming the problem. Of course that the context will be, most likely,
different, as no business is identical to another, but the similitudes may lead
to the same solution for similar problems. The line between originality and
plagiarism, in form of benchmarking, is very thin, in my opinion. Also, it gets
thinner, as the complexity of our everyday lives increases day by day.
practical example would be one of the biometric data being used in the business
context, for a more simple, secure and fast authentication. 4 large companies
already used it: Google, Mastercard, Aliexpress and Amazon and its initiator is
not known. For instance, Google has debuted with the “Hands Free Google”
technology in McDonald’s restaurants and Papa John’s in South Bay, U.S.A,
adding to the list other local businesses. An app, free to download, which links
the user with a bank account attached to a physical card is needed. It detects
the location of the user, by using Bluetooth, Wi-fi and other locating
services. The client only needs to mention that (s)he’ll pay with Google and
the cashier will identify the person in question by its initials and his/her
profile picture within the app. The transfer is conducted within seconds. (Get.google.com,
2014). In 2016, when I wrote about it in my bachelor paper entitled “The role
of benchmarking in increasing the performance of a firm”, the software was
testing authenticating the client through the video cameras within the
restaurants and shops mentioned before.
similar idea being implemented happened in case of Amazon. At the beginning of
2016, Amazon built an app for acquiring items on their website by simply taking
a photo of yourself or a video. (Del Rey, J., 2016).
only these 2 examples in mind, can we state that one company plagiarised the
other by simply determining when each launched its app? „Copy sentences,
phrases, paragraphs, or ideas from someone else’s work, published or
unpublished, without giving the original author credit” (SDSU Library, 2004) is
considered plagiarizing. In our case, the companies used the same idea because
they foresaw the possible positive impact it would have on their revenues. Is
this a case of plagiarizing? I think not. I feel that it was a simple coincidence
that happened because each company had embraced the technological improvements
in order to survive and thrive.
conclude, given the fact that plagiarism may happen by accident, we all should
be given the benefit of the doubt until proven guilt. As it is truly
subjective, in my opinion, if plagiarism equals benchmarking in the business
domain and as benchmarking is happening very often through best practices being
implemented in order to generate good
financial results, there is a very thin line between plagiarism and correctness.
try to keep fair and mention your sources, no matter the context you are
mentioning somebody else’s ideas!
International Medical and Dental Research. (n.d.). Anti-Plagiarism
Policy. online Available at:
http://aimdrjournal.com/antiplagiarismPolicy.aspx Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.
College. (2017). Plagiarism & Academic Honesty at Bow Valley
College. online Available at: https://bowvalleycollege.libguides.com/c.php?g=10237&p=2276021
Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.
Rey, J. (2016). Amazon Wants the Patent for Pay-By-Selfie. Recode.
Available at: http://www.recode.net/2016/3/14/11586942/amazon-wants-the-patent-for-pay-by-selfie Accessed
23 May 2016
· Florea, A. (n.d.). Rolul benchmarking-ului în cre?terea
performan?ei unei firme. Undergraduate. University of Bucharest.
· Get.google.com. (2014). Hands Free – Google.
Available at: https://get.google.com/handsfree/#?modal_active=none Accessed
23 May 2016
Jackson, P. (2006). Plagiarism Instruction
Online: Assessing Undergraduate Students’ Ability to Avoid Plagiarism. College
& Research Libraries, (September 2006), pp.418-426.
(2015). ANTI-PLAGIARISM. online Available at:
http://www.sciencespo.fr/students/en/study/handbook/plagiarism Accessed 10
SDSU Library. (2004). Plagiarism
Tutorial: The Crime of Intellectual Kidnapping. online Available at:
https://library.sdsu.edu/guides/tutorial.php?id=28&pid=139 Accessed 10