Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Plagiarism

This is a great article about plagiarism. Even though I'm inclined to think that until there's an established intellectual property market (terrifying thought !) it will be increasingly difficult to prove the theft of "ideas, research, theories or words" (there are billions of expressed ideas and theories on the internet alone and some are bound to coincide almost word for word), I do believe that students nowadays rely too much on the "copy-paste" technique from the internet. What troubles me even more is that teachers seem to encourage such practice by setting unfeasible deadlines for research work and by not teaching research methods at all. When I was in high school I was taught a formal methodology for doing a research paper, I learned how to quote and extract information from various sources, how to draft theories and argumentation from what I was reading and how to put together a proper formal bibliography. I wouldn't dream of using a source without citing it (at school and at work, that is ...).
It is true that, as is widely known, great minds have fed on the ideas of others to produce great masterpieces ... But they had already earned the privilege of getting away with it, for our own benefit.

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