A Talk on Cut – Copy – Paste – Repeat: Understanding Ethics in Research
Seminar for PG Humanities Students on Ethics in Research was conducted on 26th March 2022 by Ms. Pooja Mini, a guest faculty in the Department of Public Policy. The main theme of the seminar was plagiarism in research under which the topics discussed were the types of plagiarism, reasons for which plagiarism is an inappropriate practice, ways to avoid plagiarism and the importance of citations and referencing in research work. Simply put, plagiarism is the practice of using another individual’s work presented as one’s own work without giving due credit to that individual or source from which one takes ideas or data from. Plagiarism could consist of different levels such as,
- Simply copy-pasting every word of the source of information used into one’s own research work.
- Adding partly copy-pasted content and explaining some parts of the research report in one’s own language.
- Using a combination of own explanations and copy-pasted content alternatively with each subsequent sentence.
While an accepted level of plagiarism is 10%, a plagiarism level beyond this is considered unethical. The speaker also provided the students with various tips to avoid having plagiarism in their work such as:
- Keeping a note of materials that are being referred to for putting down content in one’s own research article such as the name of the author, source and title of the document.
- Make a matrix of the various themes or research objectives that one would like to carry out a study on and put down the sources or articles that addresses each of these themes.
- Putting literature under quotations wherever we tend to extract 5 continuous words excluding prepositions from a particular source or article and citing the quotations with the page numbers in the particular journal.
- Using softwares to cite or put down references of articles.
- Mentioning the source of original datasets represented in tables and mentioning the name of the researcher if primary data from a particular source has been used.
The speaker also spoke about the importance of referencing as a tool to avoid plagiarism including citing previous work done by researcher himself when such work has been referred to. The speaker provided students with useful softwares that can help them cite articles and for referencing. Overall, the session was extremely informative and presented by the speaker in simple language for students to easily understand and apply in their own dissertation and future research assignments.