Editorial : Plague of plagiarism - Sunday, March 20, 2011

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/20/plague-of-plagiarism.html

RECENT years have seen a number of allegations that the research papers submitted or published by some faculty members of universities and other institutions of higher learning contain content plagiarised from the work of other scholars. In a case that came to light the other day, the accusatory finger has now been pointed at none other than the vice-chancellor of the University of Peshawar. It is claimed by a teacher at the same university that passages in a book authored by the VC bear a striking resemblance to the works of two other writers. For his part, the vice-chancellor denies any wrongdoing and the Higher Education Commission is said to be looking into the matter. The HEC’s probe must be conducted with due diligence, for two key reasons. A half-hearted effort will not only leave a cloud of suspicion hanging over the accused irrespective of his guilt or innocence, it may also embolden potential plagiarists and send a signal that they can cheat on their research and get away with it. In-house investigations into purported plagiarism carried out by university syndicates have not always been satisfactory and the same lack of zeal must not be the hallmark of this most recent case.
A key part of the problem here is that many writers, be they scholars, journalists or development sector experts, are not fully aware of what constitutes plagiarism. There is even less of a grasp on the gravity of the crime. Wittingly or otherwise, the perpetrators are not merely cheating — they are robbing others of their intellectual property and perhaps even some part of their soul. Ideas lie at the core of what makes us human and it is originality of thought that moves societies forward. Little real intellectual advancement can be expected if stealing the thoughts of others is all we can do.

No comments:

Post a Comment