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N Am J Med Sci. 2015 Feb;7(2):77-80. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.152084.

Plagiarism: an egregious form of misconduct.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Government Medical Sciences and Research Institute, Srinagar Garhwal, India.
Department of Pharmacology, Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Government Medical Sciences and Research Institute, Srinagar Garhwal, India.
Former Lecturer Microbiology, Department of Microbiology and Pathology, Seema Dental College and Hospital, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India.



Publishing research papers for academic fraternity has become important for career advancement and promotion. Number of publications in peer reviewed journals and subsequent citations are recognized as measures of scientific success. Non-publishing academicians and researchers are invisible to the scientific community.


With pressure to publish, misconduct has crept into scientific writing with the result that research misconduct, plagiarism, misappropriation of intellectual property, and substantial unattributed textual copying of another's publication have become common. The Office of Research Integrity, USA, defines research misconduct as "fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research, or in reporting research results." Although plagiarism is difficult to define in few words, it can be viewed as the stealing of another person's ideas, methods, results, or words without giving proper attribution. The Office of Research Integrity defines plagiarism as being "theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another's work." Plagiarism is one of the most vehemently derided breaches of research integrity as it undermines the original and honest contribution to an existing body of knowledge.


Plagiarism has many forms viz. blatant plagiarism, technical plagiarism, patchwork plagiarism, and self-plagiarism. In any form, the plagiarism is a threat to the research integrity and is unacceptable. We do need to detect such acts and effectively prosecute the offenders.


Fabrication; Falsification; Publication ethics; Research misconduct

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