Richa Tripathi (2016), Hindustan University

1.1 Root of the Word ‘Plagiarism’

There are multiple interpretations available on the origin of the word ‘plagiarism’. The word ‘plagiarism’ derived from the Latin word plagiarius, which means abducting, kidnapping, seducing or plundering, It also means, a kidnapper who ensnares children or slaves in a plaga (net). In the words of Fleming, “The Roman poet Martial (40-102 AD), fiercely protective of his literary creations, was the first to apply the word plagiarius to someone who stole his words with false claims of authorship.’, This enhanced the literature with the term plagiary and then, subsequently, the word plagiarism, became popular. The theft of words in literature became a widespread problem amidst the culture of books. The modern concept of plagiarism exposed and contributed to the development of copyright law and the status attached to authorship and originality. In the words of More and Shelar, “The English word ‘plagiary’ first surfaced in 1601 in Ben Jonson’s ‘The Poetaster’, means a literary thief who wrongfully takes another’s words or ideas.” In the words of Vinod, “Although Sir William Shakespeare first used the word plagiarism verbatim, Oxford Dictionary gives the credit to Ben Jonson who used the word in print.”

1.2 Meaning & Definitions of Plagiarism:

Different views and definitions of plagiarism given by different people from time to time are mentioned below:
In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, ‘to plagiarize’ means

• “to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas”

• “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (another’s production) without crediting the source”

• “to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source”

In, plagiarism means, “literary theft. Plagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer’s language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own.”

In the words of Rampola, “plagiarism is the act of taking the words, ideas, or research of another person and putting them forward without citation as if they were your own. It is intellectual theft and a clear violation of the code of ethics and behavior that most academic institutions have established to regulate the scholastic conduct of their members.”

According to “American Association of University Professors”, plagiarism means, “taking over the ideas, methods, or written words of another, without acknowledgment and with the intention that they be taken as the work of the deceiver.”

According to Joy & Luck, plagiarism means “unacknowledged copying of documents or programs.”

Colwin & Lancaster define plagiarism as “the presentation of another person’s ideas or materials as if it were one’s own.”

In the words of Park, “plagiarism is a type of cheating where students present the work of others as their own for the purpose of academic credit.”

`Random House Webster’s College Dictionary’ defines it as “the unauthorized use of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own.”

Irving defines plagiarism as ” the submission of the part or all of another person’s work as if it were one’s own, without the knowledge of the author, and with intention to deceive.”

According to ‘Office of Research Integrity’ (ORI) plagiarism includes “both the theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another’s worlein.”

According to ‘The University of Queensland, Australia’, “the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work the ideas, interpretations, words or creative works of another. These include published and unpublished documents, designs, music, sounds, images, photographs, computer codes and ideas gained through working in a group. These ideas, interpretations, words or works may be found in print and/or electronic media”

According to English Literary Society, plagiarism can be described as:

• “turning in someone else’s work as your own”;

• “copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit”;

• “failing to put a quotation in quotation marks”;

• “giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation”;

• “changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit”;

• “copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not.”

1.3 Types of Plagiarism:

It is not easy to define the types of plagiarism. Different organizations and persons have given different types, which are mentioned below:

1. Types of Plagiarism Identified by Lucas:

Lucas identified three different forms of plagiarism in his textbook, “The Art of Public Speaking”, which have been mentioned in Table 1.

1.Global plagiarismGlobal plagiarism occurs when an author steals an entire paper word-for-word from another source and passes it off as his or her own.
2.Patchwork plagiarismPatchwork plagiarism occurs when an author copies sections of a paper word-for-word from several sources and then fits them together so that they make sense, more or less.
3. Incremental plagiarismIncremental plagiarism occurs when the author fails to give credit for specific parts or `increments’ of the paper that were borrowed from other sources.

Table 1: Types of plagiarism identified by Lucas

2. Types of Plagiarism Identified by provides ten types of unoriginal work in the white paper “The Plagiarism Spectrum: Tagging 10 Types of Unoriginal Work”. The types of plagiarism have been mentioned in Table 2.

Table 2
Types of plagiarism identified by

1.CloneSubmitting another’s work, word-for-word as one’s own.
2.CRTL-CContains significant portions of text from a single source without alterations.
3.Find-ReplaceChanging key words and phrases, but retaining the essential content of the source.
4.RemixParaphrases from multiple sources, made to fit together.
5.RecycleBorrows generously from the writer’s previous work without citation.
6.HybridCombines perfectly cited sources and copied passages without citation.
7.Mash-UpMixes copied material from multiple sources.
8.404 ErrorIncludes citations to non-existent or inaccurate information about sources.
9.AggregatorIncludes proper citation to sources, but the paper contains almost no original work.
10.Re-tweetIncludes proper citation, but relies too closely on the text’s original wording and/or source.
11.Find-ReplaceChanging key words and phrases, but retaining the essential content of the source.

Source: The above information has been taken from http://pages.turnitin. com/plagiarism_spectrum.html

3. Types of Plagiarism, Identified by University of New South Wales (UNSW)

“University of New South Wales” mentions different types of plagiarism that have been presented in Table 3.

Table 3
Types of plagiarism identified by University of New South Wales

1.CopyingUsing the same words as the original text without acknowledging the source or without using quotation marks is plagiarism.

Putting someone else’s ideas into own words and not acknowledging the source of the ideas.

Copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resources, or another person’s assignment, without appropriate acknowledgment.

2.Inappropriate paraphrasing

Using the exact words of someone else, with proper acknowledgment, but without quotation marks.

Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgment.

This also applies in oral presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit.

3.CollusionCollusion is acting with another person (or other persons) with the intention to deceive.
4.Relying too much on other people’s material

Repeated use of long quotations (even with quotation  marks and with proper acknowledgment).

Using your own ideas, but with heavy reliance on phrases and sentences from someone else without acknowledgment.

Piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

5.Inappropriate citationCiting sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the ‘secondary’ source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

‘Padding’ reference lists with sources that have not been read or cited within assignments.

6.Self- plagiarism‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes, his/her own previously written work and presents it as new without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially.

Self-plagiarism is also referred to as ‘recycling’, ‘duplication’, or ‘multiple submissions of research findings’ without disclosure.

Source: Above information has been taken from

1.4 Circumstances of Plagiarism:

Plagiarism occurs under two circumstances one is intentional another is unintentional. In the words of Palmquist, “plagiarism, a form of intellectual dishonesty, involves unintentionally using someone else’s work without properly acknowledging where the idea(s) came from (the most common form of plagiarism) or intentionally copying someone else’s work and passing it off as your own (the most serious form of plagiarism).”

1.4.1 Intentional Plagiarism: Intentional plagiarism occurs if a person intentionally copying other material and not citing the source deliberately. It includes copying other’s work, copying and pasting from an online source, purchasing papers from paper mills, etc.

1.4.2 Unintentional Plagiarism: Unintentional plagiarism occurs when even if a person does not have any intention to plagiarized, but he/she has not given the references in a proper manner, then they indulged in plagiarism. “Unintentional plagiarism includes careless paraphrasing, paraphrasing a source without citing, forget footnote, etc.’,

1.5 Intellectual Property:

According to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. It is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.,.

1.6 Copyright:

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “Copyright (or author’s right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.,,

Copyright is protected by Copyright Law. Copyright laws protect the financial interests of the creators, producers, and distributors of original works. When most people create something – a book, music – whatever. They hope to make money and support themselves. But, if people use those materials and not pay for them, they are robbing the artists, authors, and others of their livelihood! Not only that, they are breaking copyright laws. Breaking copyright laws is called Copyright Infringement.

1.7 Copyright Infringement:

“Copyright infringement is using someone else’s work without getting that person’s permission. The author of any original work, including books, essays, web pages, songs, pictures, and videos, automatically gets the copyright to that work, even if he/she doesn’t label it with a copyright symbol and his/her name.” The work must be fixed in a tangible form, which means it must be stored on something physical, such as paper, canvas, a CD or a hard disk. The owner of a copyright gets to decide who can legally make copies of that work. It is illegal to copy large sections of someone else’s copyrighted work without permission, even if you give the original author credit.

3.8 Fair Use:

A fair use exemption allows to legally copying small amounts of someone else’s work. The author must be given due credit. In the words of Pressman, “the fair use doctrine allows the use of copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright owner. Fair use is a legal concept, and the test for determining if a use is fair is contained in the Copyright Act of 1976. But fair use is also an ethical concept because it involves a determination of when it is fair to use someone’s property.”

1.9 Difference between Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement:

Plagiarism is using someone else’s work without giving proper credit. Plagiarism doesn’t have to include copyright infringement. Dames discussed the difference between plagiarisms from copyright infringement. In the words of Dames, “copyright is a set of laws that governs the creation, reproduction, and distribution of original works that can be perceived. Plagiarism, in comparison, is the act of stealing and passing off someone else’s ideas or words as one’s own without crediting the source. While a recorded idea can be subject to plagiarism and copyright infringement, a person could use a recorded idea if that use falls under one or more copyright exceptions.”

“The main difference between plagiarism and copyright is one of permission and attribution. Plagiarism focuses on attributing credit to (providing a citation for) ideas borrowed, while copyright centers on gaining permission to copy the author’s work.” This has been presented in Table 4.

Table: 4
“Plagiarism and Copyright Explanatory Table

Plagiarism Example

Collected From:

  • Richa, T. (2016). Awareness about plagiarism among research scholars in selected universities in Chennai an investigative study. Retrieved from:

Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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