Copying someone else’s work and claiming it as your own is a very fast way to discredit yourself as a professional. Plagiarism is commonly defined as stealing an idea and making it your own, or not giving credit where credit is due. The sad things is that at least 36% of undergraduates in the United States have admitted to plagiarizing, according to plagiarism.org, and 59% of high school students admitted to cheating on a test at least once.
In order to prevent plagiarism in the future of science and other professions, it must be taught at a young age that stealing another persons work is not okay under any circumstance. Teaching students how give credit to the person the information came from or transform it into your own words is essential in stopping plagiarism. If a scientist were to plagiarize reports or studies, it could jeopardize their whole career. Once someone is caught plagiarizing their work will be scrutinized more than ever, and they will completely lose the trust of their colleagues and bosses; that is if they didn’t get fired from their job to begin with. Stealing someone else’s work as a short-cut or even just because you do not think you will get caught is not worth it in the slightest.
Today there are a wide range of technologies available for academic and professional use to catch plagiarism. Universities like Ball State use the SafeAssign when uploading documents to scan them for sentences and phrases that are plagiarized from another source. Students can even look on Google for websites and tools that will scan your paper for you and tell you if something comes back as possibly plagiarized. There is no excuse for plagiarizing in any area of academic or professional work, especially in the work of a scientist who should be coming up with their own unique work, not somebody else’s.