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Plagiarism: Is It A Crime In The World Of Scientific Research, And How To Avoid It?

Have you imagined one day being a thief? It’s impossible, right? However, stealing somebody’s words is a crime in the world of scientific research, and this called plagiarism.

What is plagiarism?

It is stealing somebody’s ideas, words, or unique structure without taking permission or adding citations. And it is one of the primary reasons for paper retraction.


Types of plagiarism in scientific research

Complete Plagiarism in scientific research

When the researcher adds his/her name on the manuscript of another author, it’s complete plagiarism.

Direct Plagiarism (Copy and Paste)

Adding quotations when you copy and paste a sentence(s) from another manuscript is crucial to avoid direct plagiarism.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism

Making minor changes in the sentences related to other researchers or translating paragraphs (from a foreign language) doesn’t give you the right to add them without citation – as if they’re yours. And this is called paraphrasing plagiarism.

Self-Plagiarism (Auto Plagiarism)

In the world of scientific research, you can’t use sentences, paragraphs, or ideas from your previous researches without citations to avoid self-plagiarism.

Source-based Plagiarism

It happens by adding a wrong reference in the manuscript, or even by adding a reference that doesn’t exist.

Mosaic Plagiarism

Collecting pieces of writing from a research paper or different research papers and changing the sentence structures without adding citations is a patchwork or mosaic plagiarism.

Accidental Plagiarism

Sometimes, plagiarism occurs by chance or by mistake; the author doesn’t intend to do plagiarism, so it is called accidental plagiarism.

Data Fabrication and Falsification

Some researchers change the research data and findings to change the final result, and it is also added under the umbrella of plagiarism.


How to avoid plagiarism in your research paper?

Proper citation

Cite every sentence that not your own and be sure you added the correct reference. And according to the requirements of your target journal, choose the reference format: APA, MLA, or Chicago style. Also, citation software is available to help you add your references accurately, like Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote.

Add quotations or paraphrase

If you copy and paste the words of an author, add them in quotations. Or otherwise, paraphrase these words in your style after understanding the general idea. And because paraphrasing remains a challenge for many authors–especially for non-native English speakers, learning the principles of good scientific writing is crucial for successful paraphrasing. And don’t forget to add citations to the paraphrased words.

Use Online plagiarism checker

Online plagiarism checkers highlight the plagiarized sentences; so, it gives you another chance to paraphrase your sentences to avoid paper retraction. You will find many online plagiarism checkers; however, there are specific plagiarism checkers for the research papers. So, you can’t use any online plagiarism checker as some of them is inaccurate and will not detect the plagiarized sentences in your paper.


To sum up, as soon as you deeply understand the words you’re typing, you’ll avoid plagiarism. And remember, to be a good researcher, you must be a good writer; so, learning the principles of scientific writing isn’t an option anymore to guarantee your paper approval.


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