Plagiarism

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Contents

What is plagiarism?

The university defines plagiarism as:

"the unacknowledged use of another person's ideas, words or work either verbatim or in substance without specific acknowledgement."

Plagiarism is where you pass off the work of another person (and this includes pictures, figures, data, text, and ideas) as your own. Typically this is done to gain some advantage, e.g. a higher mark!

Plagiarism is wrong and any student caught plagiarising will face disciplinary action

Penalties include expulsion from the University

How does the school detect plagiarism?

The School of Biomedical Sciences uses two main methods to detect plagiarism:

  1. The staff - The staff are experts in their fields of study and know the key papers and text books, therefore, if something sounds familiar they know where to look! In addition, the staff know what "signs" indicate that a piece of work may be plagiarised.
  2. Computerised detection - The school uses a computerised system to detect plagiarism (this is why you are also asked to submit work in an electronic format). The software is capable of comparing your work against sources on the web (including scientific papers and reviews), within the class and against material submitted by other universities.

How can I avoid plagiarising?

Avoiding plagiarism is easy and here are a few simple suggestions that may help:

  1. Avoid using "copy and paste" - If you find yourself using ‘copy and paste’ to move text/pictures/figures/data from a website or scientific papers/reviews (or some of your other work or work of a fellow student) to your own work then you are in danger of plagiarism (also see below). This is shown in example 1 below, where some text was directly copied.
  2. Paraphrasing - Copying text from another source and just changing a few words is plagiarism. This can be seen in examples 2 and 3, below.
  3. Use quotation marks - If there is a piece of text you have to use in your work then place quotation marks at the start and end of the text (also, putting the text in quote marks and italics will indicate that you are using a quote and not plagiarising).
  4. Correctly cite your sources - If you quote text, use a figure from a paper/review/book/website, or express the ideas of another author in your work then you must cite the source of the material. Failure to cite from where you obtained the material is plagiarism. Citing the article and then copying the text without quote marks is still plagiarism.

Some examples of what to do and what not to do.....

The original text (taken with permission from Morris NJ, Ducret A, Aebersold R, Ross SA, Keller SR, and Lienhard GE. Membrane amine oxidase cloning and identification as a major protein in the adipocyte plasma membrane. J Biol Chem. 1997 272(14): 9388-92.):

Original text

The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not known. It may function to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone (1-3). These compounds have been shown to be substrates in vitro (1-3). The identification and cloning of the membrane amine oxidase should open the way to investigate its role in vivo. For example, targeted disruption of its gene in mice is now feasible.

1. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
2. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
3. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

If you take the original text (as shown above) and include it in your essay/lab report as:

Original text

The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not known. It may function to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone (1-3). These compounds have been shown to be substrates in vitro (1-3). The identification and cloning of the membrane amine oxidase should open the way to investigate its role in vivo. For example, targeted disruption of its gene in mice is now feasible.

1. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
2. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
3. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

Essay

The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not known. It may function to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone (1-3). These compounds have been shown to be substratesin vitro (1-3). The identification and cloning of the membrane amine oxidase should open the way to investigate its role in vivo. For example, targeted disruption of its gene in mice is now feasible.

1. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
2. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
3. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

THIS IS PLAGIARISM AS IT IS A DIRECT COPY!...

How about?

Original text

The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not known. It may function to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone (1-3). These compounds have been shown to be substratesin vitro (1-3). The identification and cloning of the membrane amine oxidase should open the way to investigate its role in vivo. For example, targeted disruption of its gene in mice is now feasible.

1. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
2. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
3. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

Essay

The role of the membrane amine oxidase is not unknown. It may The function of the protein may be to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as aminoacetone and methylamine, whichhave been shown to be substrates in vitro. Cloning and identificationof the membrane bound amine oxidase willopen the way to investigate its role in animalsby thetargeted disruption of its genes.

AGAIN, THIS IS PLAGIARISM AS THE TEXT HAS JUST BEEN PARAPHRASED...

Below shows how the text has been changed (scored out shows words that were deleted and bold where words have been added)

Original text

The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not known. It may function to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone (1-3). These compounds have been shown to be substratesin vitro (1-3). The identification and cloning of the membrane amine oxidase should open the way to investigate its role in vivo. For example, targeted disruption of its gene in mice is now feasible.

1. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
2. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
3. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

Essay

The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not unknown. It may The function of the protein may be to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone aminoacetone and methylamine, (1-3). These compounds which have been shown to be substrates in vitro (1-3). The identification and Cloning and identification of the membrane bound amine oxidase should will open the way to investigate its role in animals in vivo. For example, by the targeted disruption of its genesin mice is now feasible.

1. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
2. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
3. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

A correct way to do this is (note the use of italics and quotation marks, plus the inclusion of the Morris reference):

Original text

The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not known. It may function to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone (1-3). These compounds have been shown to be substrates in vitro (1-3). The identification and cloning of the membrane amine oxidase should open the way to investigate its role in vivo. For example, targeted disruption of its gene in mice is now feasible.

1. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
2. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
3. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

Essay

As stated by Morris et al. (1) "The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not known. It may function to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone (2-4). These compounds have been shown to be substrates in vitro (2-4). The identification and cloning of the membrane amine oxidase should open the way to investigate its role in vivo. For example, targeted disruption of its gene in mice is now feasible".

1. Morris N. J, Ducret A., Aebersold R., Ross S. A., Keller S.R., and Lienhard G. E. (1997) J Biol Chem. 272, 9388-92
2. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
3. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
4. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

Or: (and this is better as it will receive more marks)

Original text

The physiological role of the membrane amine oxidase is not known. It may function to degrade bioactive amines, such as histamine, or amine products of intermediary metabolism, such as methylamine and aminoacetone (1-3). These compounds have been shown to be substrates in vitro (1-3). The identification and cloning of the membrane amine oxidase should open the way to investigate its role in vivo. For example, targeted disruption of its gene in mice is now feasible.

1. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
2. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
3. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

Essay

With the cloning of a membrane bound amine oxidase by Morris et al. (1) in 1997 it has become possible to explore the function of the enzyme through in vivo targeted disruption. Such experiments would allow further examination of the physiological role of the protein and may provide further insight in to which, if any, bioactive amides (e.g. methylamine and aminoacetone (2 - 4)) are substartes.

1. Morris N. J, Ducret A., Aebersold R., Ross S. A., Keller S.R., and Lienhard G. E. (1997) J Biol Chem. 272, 9388-92
2. Lyles, G. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 293-303
3. Callingham, B. A., Crosbie, A. E., and Rous, B. A. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 305-321
4. Buffoni, F. (1995) Prog. Brain Res. 106, 323-33

Note: If you cite material you must read it! Don't just copy citations from one source to another!


Scanning

As stated above, electronic copies of your essays and projects are scanned. In the examples below I have taken a paragraph:

"Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder, specifically affecting carbohydrate metabolism. It is a disease characterized by persistent hyperglycemia (high glucose blood sugar). It is a metabolic disease that requires medical diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle changes. The World Health Organization recognizes three main forms of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes (or type 3, occurring during pregnancy)[1], although these three "types" of diabetes are more accurately considered patterns of pancreatic failure rather than single diseases. Type 1 is generally due to autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing cells, while type 2 and gestational diabetes are due to insulin resistance by tissues. Type 2 may progress to destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, but is still considered Type 2, even though insulin administration may be required." - wikipedia.org, diabetes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes)

from wikipedia and put it through the plagiarism scanner.

In this example the text is reported as 100% plagiarised - download report 1. This is correct as the material is plagiarised.

Next, I took the paragraph and changed a few words to give:

"Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease, which affects carbohydrate metabolism. It is a disease characterized by persistent high glucose blood sugar (hyperglycemia). It is a metabolic disease that requires medical diagnosis, followed by treatment and changes in lifestyle. The WHO (World Health Organization) recognizes three main types of diabetes: type I, type II and type III (gestational diabetes) which occurs during pregnancy. Type I is generally due to autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, while type II and gestational diabetes are due to insulin resistance in target tissues, i.e. fat and muscle cells, and the liver. Type II may also progress to the destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, but is still considered Type 2, and insulin administration may be required."

When scanned, this scores 91% - download report 2 - again, this is plagiarised.

Plag1.jpg

as can be seen in the small sample of text above, the scan has picked up the changes and still flags the material as plagiarised (block 1 shows material that matches wikipedia and block 2 material that matches the 100% scan).

Next, I changed the text so I was not using any whole sentences, I inserted text of my own, and a number of words were changed. Again, the scanner caught the plagarised material (see report 3). In this case I would most probably have a quiet word with the student and not report them unless this was repeated throughout the essay or in multiple pieces of work.

Plag2.jpg

It should be noted that the scanner will examine material on the internet, in the class, between classes at Newcastle and in papers submitted at other universities.

BOTTOM LINE: IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE PLAGIARISING THEN THE CHANCES ARE YOU ARE!

AND THE EASIEST WAY TO AVOID PLAGIARISM IS TO NOT COPY AND PASTE

Useful links

Plagiarism detection - http://www.submit.ac.uk/

University Plagiarism pages - Right Cite

On-line tutorial - Plagiarism Tutorial

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