Plagiarism is the act of copying another individual’s ideas and strategies without acknowledging him as the source. The idea of plagiarism has affected many education departments and has become a major problem. There are some plagiarism detection tools, but people have found ways to plagiarize and walk away being undetected. Plagiarism has become prevalent in scientific studies probably due to the complexity of science study. Scientific teachers, therefore, have a role to play since this has emerged to be a major issue.
Plagiarism occurs due to the lack of adherence to the set standards of scholars. However, scientific laws and principles may compel someone to copy directly since the alteration of these rules leads to contradictions. Therefore, students conducting scientific research may become confused to the extent of not knowing whether they are plagiarizing or not. The fact remains that plagiarism can still be committed in the field of science, and students should be well versed with the rules governing the scientific research writing. Notably, the rules of plagiarism in the scientific discipline might differ from the other disciplines hence students should study the specific rules for the scientific research writing to avoid being stranded.
There is a number of factors causing plagiarism in the field of science: student’s ignorance, inadequate knowledge on plagiarism, poor skills of education, poor teaching styles, laziness, and language barriers. Student’s ignorance is a factor hindering many scientific faculties from achieving their objective of attaining plagiarism-free environment (Gokmenoglua & Ereta, 2010). Some students know what plagiarism is and the repercussions but chose to ignore. Proper citation is crucial in acknowledging of the source of the scientific idea, but there are students who chose to ignore the citation of material from the information it was sourced from. There are those who copy the words directly without including the quotation marks. To be on the safe side, the students should include these important marks due to their significance.
There are those students who participate in scientific research writing while having a very shaky background in plagiarism prevention. There is a greater probability the students will make this mistake unknowingly. The starting point of any learning activity in institutions should be making the students aware of plagiarism and skills employed to avoid becoming victims of the same. Students should also learn that the citation of some documents is unnecessary. The knowledge source materials like the Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution should not be cited. This also includes other materials in physics and chemistry that are the foundational knowledge.
Different individuals and institutions employ different styles of teaching. There are those that employ low quality styles that leave the students stranded when it comes to writing plagiarism-free research papers. The policies are set, but lectures choose to ignore. Students commit the offence and might never understand the implication of this since they are not cautioned or punished (Loui, 2002). Sometimes, the lectures are innocent since the institution takes no keen interest in acquiring detection software. The detection software might be expensive, but the institution should sacrifice some of its funds to avoid compromising student’s education. The university is supposed to mould professionals, a thing that some institutions tend to ignore.
Laziness in scientific research is discouraged since it encourages the introduction of faulty ideas. Lazy students choose to copy and paste mischievously. There are those who tend to ignore citations or cite different materials since they lose the ones they sourced information from. Institutions should discourage this by introducing heavy penalties more importantly to those who copy and paste other people’s work. Laziness can block the attempts of any institution to fight plagiarism in science
Scientific discoveries studies have been documented in many languages across the globe. Most countries tend to use languages they are most conversant with. They tend to view plagiarism differently, but there are cases where rules require them to present their ideas in English. There are skilled and well-informed scientific researchers who are not conversant with the English language. Others may not have taken any interests to study the language. The meaning of plagiarism in English appears complex and difficult to understand. This means that the individuals in this context might never know when they are plagiarizing.
Plagiarism in the scientific studies can still be prevented. The institutions concerned should make research writing policies known by science students. Science involves a lot of borrowing hence limits should be set on the amount of words to be borrowed. The institutions should not condone the behavior of students tabling results of scientific research without proper reference. Research practices where promises of awards are made encourage plagiarism, a culture that is common with Brazilians (Embo reports, 2009). The results of research from this kind of work should be thoroughly checked using strong plagiarism detection tools to avoid deceptions and unfairness.
Scientists should take keen interests in the language that they intend to use to document their research work. Those intending to use English should be conversant with it and should also learn aspects of plagiarism when using the language. Governments through various institutions should sensitize on the issue of plagiarism through public forums.
Plagiarism is a complex issue that many scientific students tend to ignore. To them, plagiarism exists in one form and is common in all disciplines. The truth is that plagiarism policies differ in different disciplines. The major contributors of plagiarism are the students, lecturers, and institutions. Students are blamed for their ignorance or the lack of knowledge. Lectures ignore the policies of the institution while the institution fails to invest in the plagiarism detection software. Fortunately, the science department can eliminate plagiarism by accessing the detection tools controlling the borrowing of words and encouraging students to learn the research language and adhere to the rules of plagiarism as per the language plagiarism policy.