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Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Apr 2018 11:25:13

(The author is Head, Deptt of Computer Science, Sardar Patel Mahavidyalaya, Chandrapur and can be reached at [email protected])

Apart from many spectacular and excellent events, the year 2016 would also be remembered for plagiarism. In 2016, Nigerian President Plagiarised President Obama, Kenny Florian, a former mixed martial arts (MMA) commentator, Lisa Rein (Washington Post) etc. have been accused of Plagiarism. The latest one, Anushka Sharma is in plagiarism row over new clothing brand, Akshay Kumar starrer ‘PadMan’ is facing plagiarism allegation. The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo have already been mired in one plagiarism scandal over the logo chosen for the games and list goes on. But it is not new in academic research work, there were thousands of cases that have been reported earlier especially in education sector.

In the age of ICT and Cyber World and with the growth of the Globalisation of Information and Scholars, it has become ubiquitous these days to find plagiarised work especially in academic work that includes assignments, PG Projects/dissertation, M.Phil and PhD. Thesis. Every year more than 35000 research scholars are enrolling for academic research (Ph.D.) throughout India and lakh’s of students submitting dissertation/Project work in their PG.
Plagiarism has become a serious issue in research work especially in writing thesis and research paper writing. As information is available at the tip of button, scholars can get pray for plagiarism work by copying and pasting the material from various sites, known as Cyber-Plagiarism.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) on September 1, 2017 drafted the rules, titled "the Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutions Regulations 2017", on its website and provided for graded penalty, including denial of increment to faculty, for plagiarism. Though State and Central Universities in India, have just started following it now but many private universities like JJT University, have adopted it since 2011. Through in its circular, UGC, has made it mandatory for the universities to use Anti-Plagiarism software before awarding Ph.D. But it does not mention which Anti-Plagiarism software one needs to follow and hence every University is purchasing its own Anti-Plagiarism software. UGC also asked the universities to form an Academic Misconduct Panel (AMP) to investigate any allegation of plagiarism and submit report to the Plagiarism Disciplinary Authority (PDA) constituted by HEI (Higher Educational Institution).

But the basic question is how to avoid plagiarism, answer is very simple; simply cite the work i.e. citing the name of creator who has performed this work in your thesis/papers. Next question arises how to cite it or what format I should follow for citing. Now, answering this question is little bit tricky. As every subject has its own format/style to follow for citing work for example format like, APA (American Psychological Association) style is followed by Social Science scholars, MLA (Modern Language Association) style is mostly used by the scholars of liberal arts and humanities including those in literature, history, and the arts. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) followed by Engineering scholars, ISO (International Standard Organisation), America, Gost, Turabian, Chicago formats and many more. If UGC is really concerned about the quality of the research then without much ado it should start developing subject wise software and make sure that the research work has been scrutinised to verify its authenticity.

In many Research Journals and Conferences, format is mentioned in which scholar needs to submit a paper but I am sure that 95% of Indian universities have not listed the style to be followed by scholars for submitting the thesis in the respective subjects and even those university people who have been given a charge to detect the plagiarism through software are not aware of the kind of style to be followed for each subject. In this regard, I appeal all the scholars to get the detail from university regarding this since university has purchased this software from some vendors, it must have some kind of agreement with vendor which suggests kind of format needs to be followed in different disciplines that has been agreed upon. This is especially necessary in a subject like Statistics and Economics which may be studied by a scholar in different faculty for example in Commerce & Management, Arts and Science etc unlike in foreign universities where it is studied under the purely CBCS pattern. Here, you cannot follow a same way of citation. As per my knowledge there are many software programs which rather than asking for a subject, ask for only a faculty. So, before starting the writing work especially thesis work which is a daunting task of getting the detail of format needs to be followed meticulously as software will always follow certain format for detecting the work. It will help you while writing work in accordance with software detecting methodology for plagiarism.

Usually, original Plagiarism software shows a report in pictorial format with the percentage of Original Contents, Quoted Contents i.e. references one and plagiarized contents. It also shows the list of web-sites from where you have copied the data as it is. A supervisor can face a lot of troubles due to just a sheer ignorance of Cyber-Plagiarism carried out by a scholar by adopting a malpractices and therefore apart from many other roles played, a supervisor must ask to each and every research aspirant for a report on plagiarism before evaluating the work and getting it submitted in the form of a synopsis/summary/thesis/research paper in journal by scholar.