Plagiarism- The justifiable limit

Are you certain your manuscript is completely original?

You finally submitted that wonderful writing you worked on for the entire semester to your Professor expecting high praises to compensate for all the lonely nights in your dorm when your friends were partying.

But. Wait. You failed! And for the most unexpected and horrible reason possible!

Plagiarism! or copy-paste

But you swear you never copied from anyone or anywhere. Then where did that 60% plagiarism even come from?

Well, you might get tensed for the first time, caught by a professor of copy-pasting. But, an overwhelming amount of literature available today makes plagiarism quite (pun intended) inevitable. After all, there are only so many different ways that you can write the same information.

When you copy the content or present somebody else works without giving credit, that is plagiarism. But, being human, we are all liable to commit plagiarism without ever realizing it. Say you have been going through several research articles for your term paper, and you think –Let me paraphrase this section and add it to my work. You didn’t realize that the words might be yours, but the idea belongs to someone else.

Scientists have been analyzing this phenomenon, named cryptomnesia, wherein people believe their ideas originated from their creative instincts but have copied from some bygone memory of another work.

But, despite all the efforts, there still needs to be a clear distinction between what can be considered plagiarism and what can be exempted. So, the question that must be answered is

“How much plagiarism is allowed?”

Various entities have mandated different tolerance levels for the level of plagiarism found in a manuscript.

How much plagiarism does the University Grants Commission allow?- The UGC follows a Zero Tolerance Policy for plagiarism in the core research work comprising the abstract, summary, hypothesis, observations, results, conclusions, and recommendations. The student, faculty, or researcher should present only original ideas in these cases. Plagiarism in non-core cases has been quantified into different levels based on the severity of the cases.

How much plagiarism is allowed in research papers and theses in India?

Any script containing below 10% plagiarism is considered acceptable.

But, students will not receive any marks or credits for more than 10% plagiarism in their thesis. Depending on the level of plagiarism detected, they will be instructed to submit their revised scripts within 6 months to a year. Students are liable to lose their course registration or suspension of already obtained degrees for plagiarized scripts containing more than 60% similarities.

Research manuscripts containing more than 10% plagiarism are instructed for withdrawal from publication, and depending on the similarity extent, publishing the manuscript is barred for 1 year to 3 years.

The complete set of regulations notified by the UGC to curb plagiarism can be accessed here-,-2017.pdf

For tricks and tips on avoiding plagiarism, keep browsing through Keep writing, and always stay alert!

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