Plagiarism and self-plagiarism -Consequences of Plagiarism

 Both plagiarism and self-plagiarism are serious concerns in research methodology, as they undermine the integrity and credibility of your work. Here's a breakdown of each concept and its relevance to research methods:


  •  Definition: Plagiarism involves using someone else's ideas, methods, or data without proper attribution. This includes copying text verbatim, paraphrasing without citing the source, or presenting someone else's findings as your own.
  • Impact on Research Methodology: Plagiarism in research methodology can take several forms:
  • Copying someone else's research design, methodology section, or data collection methods without attribution.
  • Failing to cite sources for existing research findings or theoretical frameworks used in your methodology.
  • Misrepresenting someone else's research data or manipulating data to fit your own hypothesis.


  •  Definition: Self-plagiarism refers to reusing significant portions of your own previously published work without proper citation in a new research project.
  • Impact on Research Methodology: While not as severe as plagiarism, self-plagiarism in research methodology can also be problematic:
  • Reusing identical or heavily paraphrased methods sections from your past research without acknowledging the prior publication.
  • Presenting previously collected data as new data in a new research project, without mentioning the original source.
  • Submitting the same research proposal to multiple funding agencies or conferences.

Why are Both Issues in Research Methodology?

  •  Lack of Originality: Both plagiarism and self-plagiarism hinder the advancement of knowledge by failing to present new methodological approaches or insights.
  • Redundancy: Reusing methods without adaptation can suggest a lack of effort in developing a research design specific to the new project's needs.
  • Ethical Concerns: Both practices violate ethical principles of research integrity and can be considered academic dishonesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism:

  •  Proper Citation: Always cite your sources correctly whenever you reference existing research methods, theoretical frameworks, or data in your methodology section.
  • Paraphrasing Effectively: When referencing your own previous work, paraphrase the text and clearly cite the original source.
  • Developing New Methods: Strive to design research methods that are tailored to your current research question and that build upon, rather than simply replicate, previous methodologies.
  • Transparency: Be transparent about any data or methods reused from your previous work, clearly explaining the context and providing proper citation.


 Consequences of Plagiarism

  • Destroyed Student Reputation. Plagiarism allegations can cause a student to be suspended or expelled. ...
  • Destroyed Professional Reputation.
  • Destroyed Academic Reputation.
  • Legal Repercussions. 
  • Monetary Repercussions. 
  • Plagiarized Research.

Destroyed Student Reputation

Plagiarism allegations can cause a student to be suspended or expelled. Their academic record can reflect the ethics offense, possibly causing the student to be barred from entering college from high school or another college. Schools, colleges, and universities take plagiarism very seriously. Most educational institutions have academic integrity committees who police students. Many schools suspend students for their first violation. Students are usually expelled for further offences.

Destroyed Professional Reputation

A professional business person, politician, or public figure may find that the damage from plagiarism follows them for their entire career. Not only will they likely be fired or asked to step down from their present position, but they will surely find it difficult to obtain another respectable job. Depending on the offense and the plagiarist’s public stature, his or her name may become ruined, making any kind of meaningful career impossible.

Destroyed Academic Reputation

The consequences of plagiarism have been widely reported in the world of academia. Once scarred with plagiarism allegations, an academic’s career can be ruined. Publishing is an integral part of a prestigious academic career. To lose the ability to publish most likely means the end of an academic position and a destroyed reputation.

Legal Repercussions

The legal repercussions of plagiarism can be quite serious. Copyright laws are absolute. One cannot use another person’s material without citation and reference. An author has the right to sue a plagiarist. Some plagiarism may also be deemed a criminal offense, possibly leading to a prison sentence. Those who write for a living, such as journalists or authors, are particularly susceptible to plagiarism issues. Those who write frequently must be ever-vigilant not to err. Writers are well-aware of copyright laws and ways to avoid plagiarism. As a professional writer, to plagiarize is a serious ethical and perhaps legal issue.

Monetary Repercussions

Many recent news reports and articles have exposed plagiarism by journalists, authors, public figures, and researchers. In the case where an author sues a plagiarist, the author may be granted monetary restitution. In the case where a journalist works for a magazine, newspaper or other publisher, or even if a student is found plagiarizing in school, the offending plagiarist could have to pay monetary penalties.

Plagiarized Research

Plagiarized research is an especially egregious form of plagiarism. If the research is medical in nature, the consequences of plagiarism could mean the loss of peoples’ lives. This kind of plagiarism is particularly heinous.

The consequences of plagiarism are far-reaching and no one is immune. Neither ignorance nor stature excuses a person from the ethical and legal ramifications of committing plagiarism. Before attempting any writing project, learn about plagiarism. Find out what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. The rules are easy to understand and follow. If there is any question about missing attribution, try using an online plagiarism checker or plagiarism detection software to check your writing for plagiarism before turning it in. Laziness or dishonesty can lead to a ruined reputation, the loss of a career, and legal problems.

Source: https://guides.library.ucmo.edu/plagiarism


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