Narodowe Centrum Nauki

środa, 23 maja 2012

Problemy plagiaryzmu

...In a research paper published recently in a minor journal, I realized that the authors had directly copied several sentences from the Introduction to an earlier paper that I'd been reading recently. Even the references from the original were cloned. Given the context, it's extremely unlikely that they had permission.

This is an open and shut case of plagiarism. There's no dispute that plagiarism is bad. So I was about to write to the editor of the journal and the original authors when I looked up who the culprits were Polish.

This has happened before. A while back I detected plagiarism on a similar scale, again a very clear cut case, from some Brazilian authors.

I haven't reported either case. That's what this post is about...

...500 years ago Latin was the international language of science; a hundred years ago it was German, in many fields. Today, most scientific journals and all of the high-impact ones require papers to be written in English...

...Worse, many journals don't just demand English, they expect perfect English. Many editors and peer reviewers will throw out papers with clumsy phrasing or grammatical errors, regardless of where the authors are from, because "It's not my job to teach you English". In my own reviews I don't do this - if a paper is scientifically sound but the English is poor then I'll rewrite it. But I think I'm in a minority.

So you can see why non-Anglophones are tempted to copy and paste. Who knows exactly how common it is, but given that I've found two examples without specifically looking for it, it must be widespread


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