The University of Pune has decided to subscribe to popular software to detect plagiarised portions of thesis and dissertations submitted by students engaged in doctoral (PhD) research. In a first, the UoP management council has approved independent policies for promotion of research and approach to curbing plagiarism, which refers to presenting another person's work as one's own work. "A couple of research advisory councils, comprising highly eminent experts, for science and non-science areas, will be set up as part of the new research policy," said UoP vice-chancellor Wasudev N Gade on Saturday, 20th July 2012.
While the university has a fair record of generating quality academic research, there have been instances in the past when researchers from the teaching staff in the on-campus postgraduate departments of microbiology and chemistry had to face stringent action for plagiarism, Gade said. "The move to have a separate plagiarism policy is aimed at ensuring there is an effective curb on the tendency to plagiarise research in the university. Among other things, the policy spells out in detail the definition of plagiarism, what constitutes an intentional and an unintentional plagiarism, ways to detect the same and the punitive action against those found guilty," he added.
"The University Grants Commission has recommended an anti-plagiarism software, used internationally, to check intentional and unintentional acts. The software can go through huge databases, even those which may not be in public domain, and identify possible plagiarized portions," he said. Gade said, "Starting academic year 2012-13, we will ensure that all theses and dissertations are made available by the doctoral research students as a soft copy so that we can run through the anti-plagiarism check using the software. The submission of thesis/dissertations will be cleared only after such check." "A licensed copy of this US-based software product costs around 2,000 each and we plan to have at least four to five copies for each of the on-campus postgraduate departments as well as the affiliated colleges," said Gade.
The move is also in line with the UGC's ambitious programme of establishing an electronic repository of research papers generated by the UGC-funded universities. The Ahmedabad-based Infilibnet has been entrusted with the task of documentation and digitization of various papers generated by the UGC-funded universities across the country. Meanwhile, Gade said, "The proposed research advisory council will work as a guiding body for teachers and students engaged in research projects at the university and affiliated colleges. These projects will be up for periodical reviews by the council."
What is plagiarism: The UoP's newly approved policy defines it as an act of presenting another person's work as one's own. This includes copying or reproducing such work without the acknowledgement of the source. Plagiarism involves copying of phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs or longer extracts from published or unpublished work, including from the internet that exceeds the boundaries of the legitimate cooperation without acknowledgement of the source. Non-intentional or negligent plagiarism means innocently or careless presenting another person's work as one's own. It arises from one's inadequate knowledge and competency in writing or non-compliance of standard verification procedures.
Usually, the degree of copying is not substantial in such plagiarism. Intentional or dishonest plagiarism means knowingly and deliberately presenting another person's work as one's own work without acknowledging the source. It involves copying of substantial proportions of the other's work without written or unwritten permission and without acknowledging the source. The policy also states the depending on the severity of crime, the punishment could be a fine or warning, rustication for limited period or permanent and withdrawal of degree. Usually, an expert committee or the board of studies investigates and assesses the extent of plagiarism, whenever such instance is reported, and takes a call on the quantum of punishment.
Courtesy: Times of India