When we write an article in the university, what we should never do is plagiarizing. Plagiarism is a taboo when a person presents someone's article without any effort by stealing another's article. Wait, what is plagiarism? Then, let's figure out first what plagiarism is. Plagiarism means using and pirating another person's creation in part or in full as if it belongs to them. In other words, this usually means using someone else’s writing or ideas without revealing the source in areas of study or art. Thus, plagiarism is a banned behavior in writing. However, it has been discovered that some people plagiarize graduation theses in the university. In addition, it is said that some university students also steal others’ writings when they submit their assignments or other articles like graduation theses.
1. University Graduation Thesis Plagiarism
Fraudulent Act on Research
The Ministry of Education's “Guideline for Secure of Research Morality” classified fraudulent acts of research into forgery, falsification, plagiarism, and so on. It defines plagiarism as the behavior of using another person's thoughts or research contents and output without any source reference. According to the point that this definition is obscure, Professors Lee In-jae and Lee Jeong-min made “Plagiarism Guidelines of Humanities and Social Sciences Area” in 2007. It was because plagiarism should be punished and the severity about plagiarism announced by deciding the standard of plagiarism in the situations where the standard of plagiarism is vague. The minimum criterion of plagiarism in the guidelines is the coincidence of words more than six in successive order. This six words stands for main key words except for conjunctions. If one thesis is confirmed as plagiarism according to the guidelines, the plagiarism rate of theses will increase, and credibility will decrease too. Of course, it is really okay to refer to another person's investigations or records. However, it doesn't allow the stealing of articles by some people pretending to own another's creation in order to make their own creations without revealing the sources.
Plagiarism in College
As contemporary people know well, university is a place to study. To graduate university, by the way, the students of university have to each write a thesis for graduation, which establishes one certain fact into a report through his or her own result that he or she researches and studies. Though, if someone plagiarizes a dissertation in college, that is, brings forward other studies and research as if it were his or her own, it is just theft – not their own research articles. The major reason why we write dissertations is to receive academic degrees or to establish achievements via our studies. It doesn't make sense that some people use the research of others thoughtlessly and steal the dissertationsthat many people have already made in an effort to graduate. It is a wrong behavior against university ethics and even has a problem in personal conscience.
2. Plagiarism is Briskly Prevailing in Korean University
The problem of plagiarism happens not only in university graduation theses, but also in university students’ assignment submissions. Recently, many websites that sell and buy reports are prevailing in the internet. This problem has become a hot issue. If we search what we want to buy in one certain website, numerous previous reports come out and some people buy them and submit them to professors. Now, we are buying assignments. How could it be possible to buy the reports without any effort? Is it acceptable in the university? A more problematic thing is that some students have no seriousness about plagiarism. They have become used to plagiarizing after easily buying reports as if they have no conscience. It means that students don’t care about the misconduct named plagiarism and they need education about writing ethics. To prevent these situations, Chung-Ang University opened a lecture named “Writing for University Students” as part of the freshmen basic liberal arts education requirements, which educates students about writing ethics and definitions and provides examples of plagiarism. Therefore, the first thing to do is to teach writing ethics at school and make students keep their ethics about writing.
Plagiarism: Is It Okay?
On May 27th, 2013, the Ministry of Education conducted an investigation named “Operation Condition of Watching System on Research Ethics” aimed at 253 4-year college and junior college courses. As a result, only four out of ten universities canceled the degrees granted to students who had cheated on their graduation dissertations. It means that the rest of universities and colleges have no regulations that can deprive students these previously granted degrees, even though the graduation theses had been plagiarized. It is possible to call off the degree to limit the issue of doctorates through deliberation of the college board when students received degrees through dishonesty. However, society itself is already in sensitive to plagiarism and follows the nuance that plagiarism will be fine. Consequently, students give themselves to that flow and continue to plagiarize in an offhand manner. Both society and students have a problem.
3. Authority's Plagiarism
Gentlemen: You Don't Have to Plagiarize Here
In the process of preparing for election to the National Assembly, the flaws of the candidates for the National Assembly emerged on the surface. Thus, many doubts about their authoritative positions came out because dissertation plagiarism suspicion among their corruptions was included. Some members of the National Assembly who have doubts about dissertation plagiarism and the members of the National Assembly who plagiarized surely pretend to play innocent continually, but, some of them revealed their plagiarism, which was a blow influenced to this election. In addition, in 2012, the Academic Societies Conference investigated seven lawmakers who were under suspicion of plagiarism. They concluded that all of the theses were seriously plagiarized. It seems ridiculous that Korean leaders are suffering from plagiarism suspicion like this. How can those who plagiarized even just one thesis serve the nation? We hope they show integrity and upright life first.
The Case of Famous People
Actor Kim Hye-su was in the middle of the issue because of thesis plagiarism. She acquired a master's degree by the thesis named “Research on Performer's Communication Behavior” in 2001 while majoring in Journalism at SungKyunKwan University, but, it turned out to be plagiarism. Soon after, she admitted and apologized meekly for the plagiarism act. There are a lot of celebrities who have plagiarized dissertations. From those who are in the political world to those who are in the broadcasting industries, there should be no exceptions for plagiarism. For no other reason than that they are popular or famous, they cannot escape from dissertation plagiarism. If they plagiarize or steal other people's papers, they should not do it again and show the attitude of admitting and apologizing their wrongness.
4. Pick out All of Plagiarism!
a. Plagiarism Inspection Program
To prevent these plagiarism cases, plagiarism inspection programs are produced. These programs can judge how much of an article has a similarity with other articles through the database that the programs have. However, they have a limitation that the programs cannot filter all forms of plagiarism. Most programs including “Turn It In,” which is considered to be the representative plagiarism inspection program in America, searches dissertations by similarity among them. It works well in the natural sciences and in engineering where the main contents are experimental data. That is, it is difficult to apply this program to the social science and humanity dissertations where there exist tiny differences in spacing or the ways of expression. Additionally, it is not easy to forge a dissertation database for the programs because it costs a large amount money and time to make a database of both domestic and foreign dissertation data. Moreover, domestic file forms are different according to universities such as pdf, hwp, and pdf images.
Research Ethics Should be Established First
Although plagiarism inspection programs are equipped well, if university students and graduate school students still plagiarize other people's articles, it is useless and meaningless. Then, how do we make student (including university students and graduate students) not to plagiarize? The best way is to inculcate research ethics to students. We should educate them about what plagiarism is and why they should not plagiarize. If they understand that plagiarism is an immoral behavior and it disgraces the honor of Korean academia, they will realize it is completely wrong behavior. This education must be conducted both at the university and in the lower grades because most dissertations and reports are required at the university level where the university has to establish a proper research ethics system.
The biggest reason why people plagiarize is that they do not know well about the severity of plagiarism. Nevertheless, these malicious behaviors ought not to occur anymore in our society. We also do not have to covet other's articles and should be proud of our own creations and cherish copyright all the time. The person who plagiarizes another's paper is merely a thief. We should keep in mind it. Therefore, we must follow writing ethics.
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