Plagiarism- A Dual Robbery

 

Plagiarism- A Dual Robbery

Plagiarism– “the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person”- Merriam-Webster.

I’ve always wondered what motivates people to take the low road of plagiarism.  Do they not have the ability to form their own ideas?  Do they not understand the topic and therefore prefer to use the understanding of someone else?  Are they just lazy?  Do they not understand the consequences to themselves and the people they are robbing?

I spoke to a colleague a few weeks past about plagiarism, and she brought up the subject of self-plagiarism.  This is a concept I’ve heard in passing but never actually thought about or researched.  Self-plagiarism occurs when authors “reuse their own previously disseminated content and pass it off as a “new” product without letting the reader know” (ORI).  According to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) doesn’t consider self-plagiarism as misconduct.  After all, how can you steal from yourself (ORI)?

The credibility and quality of scientists and researchers is often judged by the number of publications he/she has (Dorigo).  If you plagiarize another scientists work, you steal that credibility.  But, if you self-plagiarize, and build up your number of publications who does it hurt?  It hurts the reader, the person seeking to gain new insights (ORI).  It hurts you by stunting your growth.  It undermines colleagues in the field, they do put in the time and effort.  It is questionable if you have earned your credibility and achieved quality as a scientist if you copy your own work rather than cite and build upon it.

I believe plagiarism of others or self is harmful not only to the original author, but the person plagiarizing.  You cannot grow, learn, and become more by copying others.  You rob yourself of opportunity when you self-plagiarize by not challenging yourself to research and gain knowledge.  When you plagiarize others, you are taking away the the value of expanding knowledge with new information and insights.  Plagiarizing another’s work is a dual robbery of them and self.  Plagiarizing yourself is a dual robbery of self and your audience.

Cites:

Dorigo, T. (2015, March 31). Fighting Plagiarism In Scientific Papers. Retrieved from http://www.science20.com/a_quantum_diaries_survivor/fighting_plagiarism_in_scientific_papers-154460

ECFR — Code of Federal Regulations. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=0f3847d91381a6998a52d451d3a21311&mc=true&node=pt42.1.93&rgn=div5

Plagiarism. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarism

Self Plagiarism. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ori.hhs.gov/plagiarism-13

 

Information Renaissance- Opportunities and Challenges

Information Renaissance- Opportunities and Challenges

Renaissance– “a period of new growth or activity”. Merriam-Webster
We are experiencing a point in our evolution where we have access to an unprecedented amount of information to which individuals are contributing daily.  An article by Dr. J. Gillette purports a renaissance era as times when society experiences negative and positive challenges during transition into a new area or age.  As technology plays a larger role in an individuals’ daily habits, it is important to note these challenges during our time of growth.

The ability to plug into the internet for information, communication, curiosity, and amusement is driving the Information Renaissance.  We are collaborating on a global scale to improve healthcare, education, infrastructure, and maintain personal relationships.  We have information at our fingertips (positive) but are reactive, a consequence due to our infancy in understanding the need to be responsible and be aware of negatives associated with communicating in a technology age.

For instance, Social Media allows people to connect and collaborate regardless of geospatial, demographic, and cultural barriers.  You can share books you like, music interests, scholarly works, news, and new information.  Alternatively, if you choose your social network based on similar likes and dislikes the opportunity to experience something new, outside your comfort zone, narrows.  We are lucky to explore and experience the unknown.  On the flip side, we can also seclude ourselves and seek out only information and sources to support our positions and understanding.

A look at the reliability of “news” in the Information Renaissance sums up the positive/negative relationship we are struggling to balance.  As explorers delving through information, we as individuals are responsible for filtering the information we receive.  We have a responsibility to become information literate.  There is information and misinformation, the test for validity falls to us.  We must look past the surface to see if the information we are receiving is factual, reliable, and credible.  Not everyone is a scholar so we will struggle with this new responsibility while continuing to evolve and grow with the information we gain.

The CICS Melting Pot

The decision to join a masters program, leaving behind a 20 year career in business management, was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I chose CICS because of the diversity in the curriculum, faculty, and students.  The CICS masters program is a unique program that facilitates students personal and professional growth, capitalizing on individual strengths and encouraging collaboration to make success a group activity.

Graduate students joining the program have a variety of under graduate degrees- Psychology, Criminal Justice, Business, Theater, Accounting, and Journalism. By joining CICS they are able to take foundation courses to prepare them for a career in the tech world while using electives to tailor their degree towards the specific path they want to take.  Graduates come out of this program ready to pursue careers as consultants, network engineers, project management, data analyst, etc.

The Center for Information and Communication Sciences also offers an opportunity for students to gain experience working with Institutes associated with the program.  These institutes allow students to work on real-world problems, research opportunities, and certifications while pursuing their degree.  With this “immersive learning” approach, students graduate with hands-on experience.

The social learning  portion of the program is truly unique.  The faculty and alumni are committed to make sure students are not only armed with the academic education needed for success but also social skills.  From learning what not to do with your resume, preparation for an interview, business dinner etiquette, and appropriate dress the faculty and alumni mentor students throughout the entire process.  The success of this program by the unique approach of classroom, social, lab and institute opportunities, and alumni involvement is evident by the 90% success rate of students graduating having already secured employment.  The social learning opportunities, hands on experience, and challenging curriculum are only part of the mix of CICS.  The faculty support, alumni mentoring, and student collaboration combine to create a melting pot of success.