Plagiarism not only kills our originality but our personality also. It makes us fearful and coward.
Before elaborating the concept of plagiarism I will like to define what plagiarism means? In simple terms plagiarism is copying of others writing material without the consent of owner of that material or hiding the source of information of the original source. In broader sense we are all plagiarists as nothing owns to us. Whatever we get in life it is taken from society. Our body is not ours it is gift of nature to us. One is not born with language or knowledge. Itis acquired by the baby in a process. All our learning skills are acquired or learned or copied in a phased manner. We make the innocent child learn copying, copying walking; copying laughing, copying smiling etc the mother tongue we learn from mother is not ours. The article we write has many components that we borrow from society like paper, pen ink etc.
The whole nature is true copy of the Almighty. When one says that someone has copied or plagiarized his written work, he seems to emphasize as if his work is his original work. Nothing is original in this universe. Whole life is game of permutations and combinations. We have only thirty five alphabets in English language. The whole edifice of life and culture is constructed on these thirty five alphabets. Life is really wonderful game. Only God is original. We are all shadows of Almighty. The great genius, Plato nicely said this world is copy of another ideal world. The writings are copy of the copy. How can the man or shadow be original? Original is only one who is master of his own self and is fearless. We all fear of death. None is master of his self in this world. All are slaves of something or the other. The difference is only of degree.
I am philosophizing the matter more than its terms of reference in society. Leaving aside the philosophical aspect of plagiarism we will have to draw a sharp line between original and plagiarized matter. Original is that matter that is assimilated by our brain and is again reproduced. Originality is reconstruction process of mind while plagiarism is copy process of mind. Copy and paste can never be original. It is the greatest disadvantage of modern information technology and curse to humanity. Even highly researched PH.D. thesis are copied and presented for degree award posing as original. It is really shameful and condemnable act.
When we assimilate knowledge from great classic works by reading them by digesting the ideas contained in them than that knowledge if it is expressed in our writings, in our words, in our thoughts, is not plagiarism. We have not copied that we have assimilated that in our blood .we have mastered that. By the way who has monopoly on truth? It belongs to everybody. Similarly who has monopoly on love? It also belongs to everybody. Similarly who has monopoly on knowledge? It also belongs to everybody. Everything belongs to society. Knowledge pervades in our blood. What but is society? Our interaction with fellows forms the network of society. The very idea of society is based on, taking the ideas from someone or from some writings and to express it in our own words or communicate with fellows. .Thoughts are never personal and can never be. Who is born with monopoly on thoughts? But the style is most personal. We differ from each other not by virtue of ideas but because of style. Style must be unique and personal. When one says in his article or writings “human heart has four chambers” or “love is God” or says “Man is social animal” It is not plagiarism at all. It is universal truth. Everybody hasimbibed this truth in his blood. But when one copies ideas or paragraphs without mentioning the original writer or hiding the source of information than it is plagiarism
The website owners and administrators of these writing sites have their own concept of plagiarism. I will like here to quote one instance of mine. I published an article Super sensitivity to noise #Migraine pain and #Theridion on hub page after few days I got it published on experts column. The hub pages deleted my article from hub pages alleging me of plagiarism. When I contested that I have published it myself on experts column. They argued that we consider it as plagiarism. When any article of yours even under your name; appears on other we consider it as act of plagiarism. You will agree with me that it is not plagiarism in the strictest sense of the term plagiarism. Now I have learnt that instead of arguing or contesting our position we should simply admit to the rules framed by these sites. Every writing site has its own rules and regulation about plagiarism. The same original article on one site becomes plagiarism on another website. I remember one of my articles on experts column was deleted on the plea of being pornographic. The same article I got published on Triond and was highly applauded and rewarded by viewers. I never complained to experts column why they have deleted my article? Complaining on minor issues is not good at all for your mental health. Complaining makes one guilty and many more.
The policy of experts column on plagiarism says,” We have very strict plagiarism policy. Whenever we find that a column is containing more than an allowed amount of copied text we simply delete it without giving any prior warning to the author. Warning is given only after the column has been deleted. So if your columns have been deleted then it is certainly because they contained more than an allowed level of copied content in them”
It seems and implies from the phrases “more than an allowed amount of copied text” and “more than an allowed level of copied content in them” that they allow limited plagiarism. Plagiarism even of one line is equal to cheating the original author of that line. It is dishonesty on the part of person to hide the original source.But here one caution quoting one or two paragraphs with giving due credit to the owner of paragraph I mean stating the original source and its writer is not plagiarism. When one hides the original source of research and writer, and tries to deceive by giving the impression that it is his own original work it is real plagiarism. To make my point of view on plagiarism more clear and lucid I give an instance.
Suppose a writer while writing on the subject of “love” gives twenty quotations on love without furnishing the names of great persons who established that truth about love in their writings. It is blatant case of plagiarism. But on the other hand if the same person writes nothing about love of his own but gives the source of every quotation and its author it is not at all plagiarism. Rather I will say it original in the sense that author has arranged the quotations in original way.
In concluding, I will say coping other’s material; stealing other’s material or plagiarism is just like eating the stool or phlegm of other person. Will anyone like to eat it?