Plagiarism and Scholarly Publications: An Ethical Analysis

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



All professional organizations that have a publication component should have a strongly articulated position against plagiarism. Such a position has a solid foundation in common understandings of ethical principles including the encouragement of honesty and the discouragement of stealing. Having a strong, ethical position against plagiarism is different from the implementation of a strong, enforceable policy against plagiarism. This paper examines some practical challenges to enforcement policies, including legal liability. These challenges may complicate the development of a broad, enforceable policy against plagiarism that includes sanctions against authors found to be plagiarists. Additionally, such sanctions are needed to deter authors from submitting plagiarized works. One important aspect of discouraging plagiarism is a better use of computer applications that detect copying. Authors can use these applications to avoid unintentional plagiarism; reviewers and publishers can use these applications to keep plagiarized articles from being published.