Types of Plagiarism: Important Information for Everyone
The term ‘plagiarism’ began to be used in Europe in the XVII century. It was considered as theft of literary property – plagium litterarium. But attitudes toward plagiarism have changed over time. What was previously considered acceptable is now recognized as copyright infringement. In fact, since the emergence of intellectual and creative activity results, there is a possibility of their misappropriation.
The reasons for copyright infringement (including plagiarism) in relation to the results of intellectual, creative activity may be different (recognition, receipt of remuneration, or other privileges). But the goal will always be the same – to use someone else’s creative activity, without making any of your own efforts. This is facilitated by the fact that today the definition of plagiarism, although provided by law. But does not contain a clear, unambiguous content, and in some cases, it is not always possible in practice to distinguish from similar concepts – imitation, borrowing ideas, co-authorship, and other cases of similarity of results of intellectual, creative activity. In turn, these circumstances make it difficult to detect the fact of plagiarism.
The problem of plagiarism has become a global problem in recent years and is extremely important for our society. Therefore, in this article, it seems appropriate to consider the concept of plagiarism and its types in more detail.
First of all, it should be noted that plagiarism is the publication in whole or in part of another’s work under the name of a person who is not the author of this work. The authors of the works are the copyright owners. The purpose of copyright is to protect and defend the rights and interests of authors of works of science, literature, and art, etc., from various encroachments.
The meaning of the word plagiarism comes from the Latin word ‘plagium’. It began to be used in literary activities. It was used to denote the theft of the work or part of it by another author. The history of appropriation of intellectual or creative work begins more than two thousand years ago, and the first cases were identified in ancient times, but at that time, such a phenomenon as plagiarism did not exist, and borrowing parts of other people’s literary works were considered absolutely normal. Plagiarism in its modern sense and the concept itself appeared in Europe only in the XVII century. However, it should be mentioned that each country has its own history of plagiarism in accordance with the development of its writing, the emergence of higher education institutions, the beginning of book publishing, and so on.
Today, there are many definitions of plagiarism. Some of them are represented below:
- A type of violation of the rights of the author or inventor, which consists in the illegal use of another’s work (scientific, literary, musical) or invention, an innovation proposal (in whole or in part) without specifying the source of borrowing;
- The assignment of authorship to someone else’s work of science, literature, art or someone else’s discovery, invention or innovation proposal, as well as the use of someone else’s work without reference to the author;
- Intentional actions on the illegal appropriation of authorship of another’s work of literature, art, or science, which entails the onset of legal liability;
- Appropriation of authorship to the results of intellectual work by publishing them under one’s own name.
Thus, the concept of plagiarism is quite defined, including at the legislative level, but its content remains vague. It is not always possible to distinguish plagiarism from other related concepts. For example, actions for misuse, copying, publication of other people’s copyrighted materials cannot be considered plagiarism. Such infringements belong to another type of copyright infringement and are called ‘piracy’. Piracy becomes plagiarism through the misuse of intellectual property and the attribution of authorship.
It should be noted that the use of a plot, theme of work, or scientific idea, with their embodiment in another form of expression than the one from which they are borrowed, is not recognized as plagiarism. The coincidence of some ideas as such also cannot be considered plagiarism, as the authors often come to similar creative results independently of each other.
Basic Types of Plagiarism
There are many types of plagiarism. Below we will consider the classifications of plagiarism depending on the type of activity and scope, form, etc.
Classification of Plagiarism Depending on Its Form
Depending on the form, plagiarism is divided into the following types:
- The first form of plagiarism is the exact copying of an existing published object of copyright, patent law without proper registration of its parts. As practice shows, it is very easy to prove such a form because there is a complete structural or symbolic duplication;
- The second form includes the repetition of the ideological basis of the work. The idea, the plot, the ideological content, the principle cannot be fixed in their pure form, and they need material means of representation. Such a means is a sign, symbolic system – letters, numbers, notes, graphic elements recorded on the media. This form of plagiarism is the most difficult and controversial because, in this case, it is extremely difficult to prove the fact of copying;
- The third form involves the publication of the object of the author’s work, the content of which contains the material of another author in lexical, linguistic, technological interpretation. This form of plagiarism changes the author’s scheme of the sign system (a certain specific arrangement of letters, numbers, etc.), which allows it to be used as an original, sign-based work. Such an interpretation can often be detected by hardware, software if it has not been radically changed;
- The fourth form includes plagiarism, which involves errors in links, errors in certain quotations, references to non-existent sources, stating the exact facts without specifying the source, and errors in the presented information sources.
Classification of Plagiarism Depending on the Type of Activity and Scope
Depending on the type of activity and scope, plagiarism can be divided into four types, where each has its purpose:
- Professional – involves the assignment of intellectual, creative, professional achievements of others for professional purposes;
- Educational and scientific – the appropriation of someone else’s intellectual property only in the process of obtaining a scientific degree, educational qualification, or recognition in these areas;
- Social plagiarism – occurs in domestic relations. It is the same as ‘professional’ but does not apply to professional activities;
- Normative – appropriation of legislative, legal, methodical, scientific, practical developments. Its difference is that it is common without belonging to something or anyone.
Other Varieties of Plagiarism
There are many other types of intentional plagiarism, but along with intentional plagiarism, there is unintentional plagiarism and veiled plagiarism, which are not formally plagiarized and do not cause legal liability. It is sometimes impossible to separate intentional plagiarism from veiled and unintentional plagiarism.
Veiled plagiarism is most often used in popular science and scientific literature. It is expressed in the fact that what is already known or even well-known is stated intentionally or unintentionally without proper references and is presented as the original authorship, which is often emphasized by the prohibition to use any part of this book without the written permission of the author.
Unintentional plagiarism (imitation, borrowing, accidental similarity, coincidence of ideas or discoveries expressed or made by different authors independently of each other, etc.) is to some extent inherent in any, even completely new, work, regardless of its type and topic. In general, everything new, created by one or another author, one way or another, is based on the knowledge and experience of many predecessors, who, although not formally co-authors, but in fact they are.
Unintentional plagiarism can be subconscious, accidental (involuntary), and replicated:
- Subconscious plagiarism is manifested in the fact that a person, having received a lot of information and came, thanks to this, to certain decisions and conclusions, can use the works of other authors, which most closely coincides with his/her personal vision of the problem. At the same time, he/she may not remember or understand that he/she is actually claiming authorship of something and may sincerely believe that he/she came to these decisions and conclusions independently;
- Accidental plagiarism (involuntary), which is quite common in the scientific literature, consists in the fact that different people can come to the same conclusions, decisions, and even inventions on their own, and completely independently of each other, and they can even present them in almost the same way;
- Reproduced plagiarism has become widespread, especially in the scientific literature. It arose because it is accepted and more convenient to refer to the most popular source and published in the largest circulation.
If you carefully read the article’s material, you realized that there are a lot of types of plagiarism today. The main types are intentional, unintentional, and veiled. Try to avoid it in your papers and create quality, unique works without breaking the rules of academic integrity!