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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 188

Plagiarism: Intention and diagnostic criteria

Translator - Editorial Consultant, Granada, Spain

Correspondence Address:
Karen Shashok
Compositor Ruiz Aznar 12, 2-A, 18008 Granada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.97040

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Date of Web Publication8-Jun-2012

How to cite this article:
Shashok K. Plagiarism: Intention and diagnostic criteria. Saudi J Anaesth 2012;6:188

How to cite this URL:
Shashok K. Plagiarism: Intention and diagnostic criteria. Saudi J Anaesth [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Oct 24];6:188. Available from:


Viroj Wiwanitkit raises important points about the definition and diagnosis of plagiarism - points that should interest both authors and editors. Most guidelines for editors take into account whether the authors intended to deceive the readers as to the source of the words, ideas, figures, or any other element of a research publication. So it can be problematic when readers (including editors and reviewers as well as the original but uncited authors) perceive "plagiarism" before they have evidence that the copied material was re-used intentionally to mislead readers about the origin of the material. But it takes time and work to determine what the intention was - To steal credit? To avoid problems with the language? Or to "follow the crowd" and do what seems to be appropriate and acceptable in a scientific environment that pressures researchers to publish as much and as fast as possible? A simple, quantitative criterion (e.g., number of words or lines, or percentage of the total word count) usually cannot be relied on as a diagnostic criterion when it comes to scientific meaning and importance. Unfortunately, many editors and journals lack the resources to investigate further and prefer to manage their workload by rejecting anything that seems suspicious. In practice, this means that authors who have re-used anything without appropriate citation are presumed guilty of plagiarism. Researchers everywhere should have access to training in good citation practices and publication ethics so that they can avoid the trap of being labelled unfairly as plagiarists. Meanwhile, editors can use the COPE flowcharts [1],[2] as an aid to reaching an accurate diagnosis.

  References Top

1.Committee on Publication Ethics. Suspected plagiarism in a submitted manuscript. Available from: [Last Accessed on 2011 Nov 8].   Back to cited text no. 1
2.Committee on Publication Ethics. Suspected plagiarism in a published article. Available from: [Last Accessed on 2011 Nov 8].  Back to cited text no. 2


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