Digital Plagiarism: What it Means and How to Avoid it

Copying and pasting a project or idea from an online resource without citing the resource which originated the idea is digital plagiarism. An example of digital plagiarism is copying a project from Google into a CRM tool.

Digital duplication occurs when the core idea of any material thing is created similarly to a digital product. Examples of physical things that now have digital counterparts include e-books, graphics, video, digital calculators, music, etc.

Many researchers are not mindful of the original creator of the information they study and use. Some publishers produce and sell plagiarized work to make money online. Internet or digital plagiarism has become a significant problem and gradually affects everyone.

Hopefully, this post will educate and motivate you to think about what you post online and who you share it with.

The impact of digital plagiarism on higher education cannot be ignored and varies greatly.
Digital plagiarism

The Rise of Digital Plagiarism

The Internet has created a massive demand for information. As a result, a tremendous amount of data flows across the network.

Thousands of websites are built now and then, and businesses continue to construct websites to rank high on search engines. All of these websites necessitate writing content.

To meet the increasing demand for website content, authors look for ways to produce articles quickly. Many businesses now peculiarly have made plagiarism a part of their content writing. Plagiarists nowadays employ a variety of techniques to make their writing appear unique.

They are willing to copy even other content creators’ work to lure more visitors. This has prompted a rise in digital plagiarism.

Is Digital Plagiarism a Crime?

Plagiarism, in general, does not carry any legal ramifications. The case must entail the infringement of copyright to become a legal concern.

According to copyright laws, only the copyright owner has the sole right to reproduce the material. Thus, any copy of work results in copyright infringement, making the infringer accountable to pay for damages.

It is not considered a legal offense if the content does not contain any copyrights. However, any act of plagiarism is regarded as a major ethical offense, and the plagiarist may face serious consequences.

Learning to notice plagiarism in your work and other people’s is an essential step to preventing the spread of digital plagiarism.

Combating Digital Plagiarism in Institutions

The impact of digital plagiarism on higher education cannot be ignored and varies greatly. For many years, plagiarism has been a significant concern for institutions.

Some argue that plagiarism has always been a problem, and digital technologies have made it more accessible.

Many universities across the globe have decided to use electronic plagiarism detection software to ensure that their students do not plagiarize. Other institutions go further to punish students who fail to index electronic materials. This is fair to those students who make an effort to write plagiarism-free content.

Without digital technologies, writing styles can also assist teachers in detecting plagiarism. Teachers may be able to see whether a student’s work has undergone a significant change in tone. Where a writing style has significantly changed in style, it could signal the need for additional inquiry.

Where digital plagiarism exists, original research work depreciates, and the quality of the students’ work drop substantially.

How Can You Avoid Online Plagiarism?

Digital plagiarism uses the same approaches as traditional plagiarism, so the same strategies can be utilized to avoid it.

There is software that can detect even the most elaborate cheats used by plagiarists. These tools, which use AI technology, may see tricks such as patch writing, white characters, and symbols. Furthermore, most software developers have integrated text comparison and deep scanning functions.

Having such powerful tools might help you effectively deal with digital plagiarism. These functionalities can be added to your website via API-based web integration. The integration allows you to receive accurate plagiarism reports, making it far more effective than any other tool available on the Internet.

Guidelines for Plagiarism

The internet generates and maintains a large amount of data, making it practically hard to create completely original material. This article specifies plagiarism guidelines and exceptions.

1. Acceptable Plagiarism ratios

Making something entirely original is challenging because there will always be slight parallels. As a result, there is an allowed percentage of up to 15% of the copied text.

In other words, 15% or less plagiarism is permitted in your paper. Anything exceeding that number is deemed inappropriate. In the case of journal papers, the figure is raised to 25%.

2. References for documentation

While writing, it is usual to refer to other publications or papers. You may use ideas from other articles, as long as you cite your sources. If you fail to provide correct attribution, your work will be reported for content appropriation.

3. Common Knowledge and Referencing

Common knowledge refers to well-known information. This type of content does not need to be cited. Nonetheless, you must ensure it is well known amongst the targeted audience.

If you are unsure whether it is general knowledge within your target audience, it is best to include citations to the original work.

4. Secondary Source Citations

There is a reasonable probability of coming across a secondary reference while looking for articles to refer to. In other words, specific articles or papers may be written to reference another article.

In such circumstances, you must document both the secondary and primary sources, regardless of whether you used them as references or not.

5. Make Use of Quotations

When writing certain lines from a reference source, quote the information. Writing them without quote marks constitutes straight plagiarism. Also, avoid repeating whole paragraphs. Try to keep them to one or two lines at most.

Final Thoughts

Digital plagiarism is a serious issue that has been plaguing education and other industries. Thankfully, digital technologies can aid in the elimination of digital plagiarism. We must employ such technologies to our benefit.

Because of digital technologies, institutions are now more vigilant in detecting plagiarism. There is a need to curb digital plagiarism so that original content can thrive.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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