With the advancement and rapidly changing education field, the authenticity of the learning is becoming doubtful. When the students are indulging in various technological devices and have different interests other than studies, then at that point students are more likely to find shortcuts to complete their academic tasks. One of the easiest ways is to copying the information from the internet or other sources and turning it as one’s own work. This act is known as plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work intentionally or unintentionally whether published or not without acknowledging or referring to the original source (“Plagiarism,” 2018; Price, 2014). The work can be in any form whether it is digital, audio, print and even the idea of any project.
Several research studies have concluded that plagiarism has increased tremendously among both university students and faculty members. According to a study in 2005 among 50,000 university students, 70% of these students admitted that at some point they were involved in one of the forms of cheating which is included in academic misconduct (Smedley, Crawford, & Cloete, 2015). The incidence and cases of academic dishonesty are increasing, and one of the reasons for the rise in percentage is the usage of online and digital media. Students of this age are more used to the internet, online learning and have access to online test resource which influences their intensity of cheating. However, there are some cases when plagiarism is not intentional, or the cheating is done out of confusion, but still, it is plagiarism and would require an academic penalty. Most of the universities have strict policies regarding plagiarism and if found whether intentional or unintentional can have severe outcomes in academics.
Other than academics there are cases of plagiarism in politics and history by renowned political figures. There are several plagiarism scandals marked in the history, and one of the famous scandals is Obama’s scandal. On 16 February 2008, Barak Obama delivered a speech in response to the allegation from his rival Hilary Clinton. The speech was found to have some similar phrases which were identical to a speech delivered in the year 2006 by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (Bailey, 2008). The internet and especially YouTube was taken by storm when the Obama was accused of plagiarizing another politician speech. However, Obama took the time to acknowledge that he and the Patrick are excellent friends and do have discussions. He also admits that he should have credited the Governor during his speech. However, in politics, one wrong step and everything can crash. Same was in the case of Barak Obama’s issue of using the similar phrases and result was that his campaign backfired.
The plagiarism issues can destroy the image of any public figure as the issue is taken to the extreme and opposite political parties make it seem like a serious offense. Plagiarism remains a serious concern despite the fact that Obama has admitted this honest mistake. According to Bailey, the penalty for the politicians and public figures might not be same as authors and other researchers (Bailey, 2008). It is well-known that speeches of the politicians are mostly written by speechwriters and image consultants to put across the right message positively. But the consequences of these honest mistakes can impact their political careers and their campaigns to a greater extent.
On the other hand, students can have serious consequences of plagiarism which can influence their academic career in the long term. Most of the universities and colleges are putting efforts in raising awareness about the definition of plagiarism and what consequences it can result into if carried out (Paterson, Taylor, & Usick, 2003). The policies are devised and present in the university policies and course syllabus. Cheating is a common phenomenon in colleges and its impact cannot only be academic but can lead to dishonesty in their personal and professional life. It also makes students careless about their work and relies on wrong means to complete the school work.
Academic integrity is essential in all fields but most importantly in the field of nursing. It is often believed the all the learning happen in the nursing colleges are then transferred into their professional lives. For example, if any nurse plagiarizes or indulges in academic dishonesty then how that particular nurse be expected to learn and perform morally in their professional life. If for the sake of getting good grades one nursing student can plagiarize but can be academically dishonest then for other professional benefits they can be dishonest. Therefore, nursing instructors should set high standards of academic integrity for their students and also keep them aware from time to time. There will be cases when students report that plagiarism was incidental but plagiarism is plagiarism whether incidental and planned. Strictly zero tolerance to plagiarism policy should be implemented and encouraged in nursing schools. Students also need proper training to credit the work accurately. Plagiarism awareness and policies are essential for learning in nursing schools to ensure academic integrity and ethical professionals in future.
Bailey, J. (2008, February 20). The Obama Plagiarism Scandal. Retrieved February 10, 2018, from https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2008/02/20/the-obama-plagiarism-scandal/
Paterson, B., Taylor, L., & Usick, B. (2003). The construction of plagiarism in a school of nursing. Learning in Health and Social Care, 2(3), 147–158.
Plagiarism. (2018). Retrieved February 10, 2018, from https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills/plagiarism?wssl=1
Price, B. (2014). Avoiding plagiarism: guidance for nursing students. Nursing Standard (2014+), 28(26), 45.
Smedley, A., Crawford, T., & Cloete, L. (2015). An intervention aimed at reducing plagiarism in undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(3), 168–173.