Invention - recognise and avoid plagiarism

Malc Prentice

Definition and warning

Plagiarism = Stealing someone's words or ideas = FAIL

If you copy, I will see it, Google it, find it, and (if I see it on your final draft) fail you!

Plagiarism Discussion

Background

The lead author on the STAP cell paper that was in the news a few years ago - Haruko Obokata - is also accused of plagiarising her PhD thesis. She claims that the online version is an early draft, but her university has said it is "unaware of any other drafts of the dissertation" (McCoy, 2014, December 19). Here are the first paragraphs. What do you think?

From the NIH website

"Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive" (National Institutes of Health, n.d.).

From the dissertation

"Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive." (Obokata, 2011)

Questions

References

McCoy, T. (2014, December 19). The shameful final chapter for one of Japan's most promising stem cell scientists. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/12/19/the-shameful-final-chapter-for-japans-most-promising-stem-cell-scientist/

National Institutes of Health. (n.d.). Stem cell basics. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx

Obokata, H. (2011). Isolation of pluripotent adult stem cells discovered from tissues derived from all three germ layers. PhD thesis. Waseda University: Japan. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://stapcells.up.seesaa.net/image/Background.pdf

What does this have to do with me?

You are going to be reading a lot of articles and using them in essays. It is easy to accidentally plagiarize (steal someone's words or ideas) by accident. There are many kinds of plagiarism. Imagine, for example, that you read a sentence in an article about Einstein and want to use it in your essay.

Original sentence:

"He renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton" (Nobel Foundation, 1922).

Type 1 Plagiarism: Copy-paste with no citation and no quotes

The next year, Einstein renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America, where he worked at Princeton.

Type 2 Plagiarism: Copy-paste with quotes but no citation

The next year Einstein "renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America" where he worked at Princeton.

Type 3 Plagiarism: Copy-paste with citation but no quotes

The next year he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America (Nobel Foundation, 1922) where he worked at Princeton.

Type 4 Plagiarism: Copy-paste and just change a few words

He gave up his citizenship for some reasons and emigrated to the US to take the position of teacher of Theoretical Physics at Princeton" (Nobel Foundation, 1922).

Type 5 Plagiarism: Perfectly cited, but too many quotes ("Patchwriting")

Deforestation is also a major source of greenhouse gases. "Approximately a third of all human related greenhouse gas emissions are absorbed by the oceans" (SEE Turtles, n.d.). Last, "WWF works around the world to establish marine protected areas (MPA) to ensure sea turtles have a safe place to nest, feed and migrate freely" (WWF, n.d.), and there is a treaty about the international business of the endangered wild animals and plants. However, "despite their current protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and many national laws, there is still a disturbingly large amount of illegal trade in hawksbill shells and products" (WWF, n.d.).

What is the solution?

See quote and paraphrase for detail. In short:

1) take notes in Japanese, or using only keywords in English

2) write in English sentences in your own words.

3) Don't just copy-paste English sentences then change a few words!

5) Only quote for a reason. Quote ONLY a FEW SHORT and IMPORTANT phrases.

Cite once every idea/sentence, not once per paragraph

6) Check your essay before you submit, in case some of your raw notes sneaked into your essay: