"We know it when we see it" is not good enough: toward a standard definition of plagiarism that transcends theft, fraud, and copyright

Author(s) : Fishman, Teddi

Imprint : 2009

Collation : 5 p.

Many of the assumptions that inform the ways we respond to issues of plagiarism are based in laws and traditions that pertain to stealing or to copyright. Laws about stealing, however, assume key concepts that are at odds with the conceptual realities of plagiarism. The notion of taking something, for instance, carries with it the concomitant idea that the rightful owner is deprived of the use of that thing. Laws about copyright are similarly derived from the notion of a physical text being duplicated to make additional (physical) copies to be sold, implying that if copyright is violated, the rightful owner suffers (financial) harm. Neither set of laws appropriately addresses plagiarism, however, which can occur without depriving the author/owner of the work or the right to profit from it. This paper will differentiate the elements of plagiarism from those of theft and copyright violations, and attempt to define plagiarism in terms that accurately describe its essential elements.

  • Academic fraud, Plagiarism, Anti-corruption strategies, Legal framework, Corruption, Fraud, Intellectual property, Students, Higher education
  • International