Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Plagiarism rife

From: NPE
Almost 40 percent of Polish students simply copy other students’ texts when writing their Master’s thesis, according to Gazeta Prawna.

While this kind of behaviour is often brushed under the carpet, the newspaper warns that plagiarism is in fact more serious than many believe and that if found guilty, offenders could face a fine, or in some cases, imprisonment.

“During my time at university, it was almost expected of you by other students. Everyone I knew was at it and what’s more you got the impression that lecturers would turn a blind eye to it, which just made it easier to do,” says one ex-student, who wishes to remain nameless.

However not all lecturers share this view. A spokesman for Opole University states that the best ways to clamp down on plagiarism is to focus on building up strong supervisor-student relationships, or to check through the internal computer systems and establish how much has been lifted from other sources.

But perhaps one of the most obvious ways to help curb the epidemic is to remind students just how serious the consequences of cheating actually are.

“Students wishing to facilitate their work by copying a part of someone else’s, should remember that, in accordance with Article 115. Paragraph 1. of the copyright law, which deals with taking credit for the authorship of the whole or part of someone else’s work, the maximum penalty can be imprisonment for up to three years,” says Paul Sowislo, a lawyer at Sowislo & Topolewski.