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The terrible truth: is plagiarism less costly than its preventative measures?

January 11, 2013

by Sarah Kosofsky

In October of 2012, iThenticate, the leading provider of professional plagiarism detection and prevention technology, conducted a survey of over 400 researchers, editors, and authors in the scholarly publishing industry to gauge the current attitudes and opinions regarding plagiarism.

The survey’s results show, overwhelmingly so, that those in the publishing field are concerned about the problem of plagiarism; what’s interesting is that the survey results also show that oftentimes, not much is done in the way of preventing plagiarism.  Almost half of all researchers surveyed said that they had never before used professional plagiarism prevention or detection software.  The main reasons for not using such software were lack of time, the cost, and a lack of concern about plagiarism in their own work.  Later in the survey report, 53% of respondents expressed concern about the practice of “self-plagiarism,” or using one’s own previous work without citation.

Is the “pressure to publish” so great that researchers are willing to spend less attention to the issue of plagiarism?  Is the cost of retractions and corrections less than the cost of checking for instances of plagiarism?

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