Project Report: ECO422
Plagiarism: Study of IIT
The aim of the project is to send a message to the student community that plagiarism in any form is not only unethical but also leads to decline in the reputation of the concerned university and the person involved, no matter if the act was intentional or even unintentional.
Our campus, like any other campus is not free of this plaque. Almost every year, there is a case of plagiarism that catches attention from authorities at different levels and sometimes media as well. Other than that, plagiarism involving copying someone else’s work in the form of assignments, lab reports, term papers, etc. which might not seem a big issue in first place, but then this is also a form of plagiarism, because in the end its like claiming someone else’s work as your own.
One important point here is that almost every student be it a UG student or a PG student is well aware that copying or cheating is unethical and bad, though they may not be aware of this word: “plagiarism”. That said, they know what they are doing is wrong but they don’t know the gravity of their faults and consequences that they may face if a strict action as per rules is taken upon them. All they do is a simple cost-benefit analysis, where in almost every case; the benefit seems to overweigh the cost.
One other trouble to which a short term solution is tough is that the size of student population in the campus is continuously increasing and unfortunately the population of faculty members is not increasing at the same pace. Consequently, the student is to professor ratio is increasing at a very high rate. This poses a lot of problems and among them, one big problem is: since a professor cannot check all the assignments or term papers with high scrutiny and at the same time return the corrected answer scripts as soon as possible it becomes very tough for him to catch someone involved in cheating or plagiarism for that matter. Students are well aware of this fact and what they conclude out of this is that since the expected cost of being caught is very less, while the benefit is huge, why not go ahead, copy and cheat, and enjoy with the spare time left. Now, of course this is a callous attitude from the students’ side, but that’s how things stand even in one of the most premier institutes of this country.
Well, this might not seem a big trouble at first sight and too many see it as a trivial issue with simple solutions like termination of the concerned parties involved in plagiarism or use of software to keep a check on such practices. But, as of now, such measures have not been taken since it is believed that such actions will catch undue media attention and bring a shame to the institute. That said, instructors resort to simple punishments like giving less marks or altogether ignoring the fact that the work might have been copied. Now, this might not have immediate consequences but they certainly affect in the long run, as in, students
who think of opting for higher studies might unintentionally and unknowingly indulge in plagiarism activities thinking that as they came out of their UG studies they can similarly come out here as well. But matters get worse when they submit their paper for publication and later the original authors or publications come to know of the unethical practices that the student followed.
As the famous quote rightly says: “being forewarned is being forearmed”, the authorities should get strict in their attitude towards such practices. Rules are of course in place but they lack implementation. If we really want to see our institute in race with the universities of western world, then practices like plagiarism must be kept to a strict check and rules should be the same for students and professors alike.
With the above points in mind and the sensitivity and utmost importance of the issue, we decided to take this project to bring to light various aspects of plagiarism...
Lecture material, MBA 640: “Intellectual Property Rights, value creation and value
capture”, Dr. Uday Shankar Racherla, IME dept., IIT Kanpur.
Dr. Charles Lipson, “Doing Honest Work in College”, 2004, first edition; The
University of Chicago Press.
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