What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism means taking and using ideas and words from other people and presenting them as if they are your own. This means you are deceiving people. You are trying to make readers think that someone else’s research is part of your own original work. 

There are many forms of plagiarism:

  • using someone else’s ideas without giving credit to the author
  • copying part of another author’s work (e.g., text or figures) and presenting it as your own work
  • copying part of your own published work and presenting it as new (called self-plagiarism, discussed in a later section of this module)
  • using parts of another author’s work and changing it a little, but not enough that it is your own work (with or without a citation)
  • taking a quote from another author’s work but not properly citing it as a quote

It is extremely important to avoid plagiarism. It is unethical and totally unacceptable in scientific writing. Publishers take plagiarism extremely seriously. They will reject any work seen to contain plagiarized text. Sometimes it is obvious that a manuscript contains plagiarism. But there are also software programs that can analyze written work. This software can detect copied text. 

Always use your own words. Always acknowledge the work of others by citing the original source.

Scroll to Top