Scientists can avoid plagiarism with proper preparation, a good understanding of the subject, contributions to useful and unique research, adding the right citations, and finally checking the article for plagiarism.
Before submitting your next manuscript for publication, ask yourself the following questions and find out if you are the original author of your article.
1. Do I understand the topic well?
When you understand a subject well, you are less likely to use the other person’s words and ideas. Before you start writing, dive deeply into your chosen research topic. Get as much information as possible from books, magazines, videos, articles, and other sources. Using different sources not only increases knowledge, but also reduces the chances of inadvertent copying or plagiarism. By relying on one source of information, you increase the likelihood that you will use the words or ideas of that person.
2. Can I contribute in any way to this topic ?
If you have nothing new or original to say in terms of the rationale or content of the study, you summarize or paraphrase the work of other authors. Nobel laureate poet TS Eliot summarizes this, saying: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets depersonalize the borrowed, and good poets turn it into something better, or at least into something else. A good poet plunges the stolen into his unique world of feelings, completely different from the one from which it was plucked; a bad poet tries to unite the incompatible. ” Enough has been said.
3. How detailed are my notes?
Take detailed notes and follow the original sources carefully. Make it a habit to write down bibliographic information about sources of publications, including author names, article titles, page numbers, and web addresses. Always write down your own source of information; never rely on other authors’ footnotes. Plagiarism.org recommends the use of colored markers to distinguish original ideas from materials taken from sources. Making it a rule will be easy to cite original sources in the text and submit your articles on time.
4. Are these ideas or arguments entirely my own?
This question may sound obvious, but sometimes it’s difficult for readers to distinguish between your ideas and the work that someone else has done. When building your ideas from other sources, make sure there is a clear demarcation. Sometimes, even if you cite the original sources, the use of an undefined language can lead to inadvertent plagiarism. Readers should have no doubt about which ideas belong to you. Check the article for plagiarism and find ways to avoid it.
5. Is it written in my own words?
This even applies to words and imprecise paraphrases. Answer being a no, directly quoting from the passage or rewriting it in your own words and give credit to the original author. According to the new Collegiate Dictionary of the English Language (Webster), plagiarism is “the unauthorized use of another author’s language and thoughts and presenting them as one’s own” (508). A safe way to do this is to make sure that you don’t copy more than two words verbatim.
6. Do I need to quote this?
When using direct quotation, paraphrasing or generalizing another person’s ideas, borrowing an idea or using facts that are not generally known, you must provide a link to the original source. This includes tables, maps, graphs, and various data. Learn to use footnotes, footnotes, and parenthetical links to sources. This will add credibility to your reasoning and strengthen your article by proving that you did your research yourself and are able to process ideas and complement them with your own. Don’t forget to put quotes in quotes
7. Have I done my best to avoid plagiarism?
Using plagiarism checker services is a great way to assess your paraphrases and other plagiarism-fighting skills. Powerful plagiarism checker software helps you avoid career suicide, understand what plagiarism is and keep your distance from it.
Thus, whether your research papers are read by hundreds of readers around the world or just by your peers or family, proper citation of primary sources should be commonplace. There is a thin but very clear line between educational innovation and intellectual theft. It is easy to get ahead of plagiarism. Make it a habit to start your research early, include information using quotations or paraphrases, give credit where necessary, and learn how to use different citation styles such as MLA to refer to information.