Original Paper

Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 337-340

Metrics-Based Assessments of Research: Incentives for ‘Institutional Plagiarism’?

  • Colin BerryAffiliated withCardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University Email author 

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Abstract

The issue of plagiarism—claiming credit for work that is not one’s own, rightly, continues to cause concern in the academic community. An analysis is presented that shows the effects that may arise from metrics-based assessments of research, when credit for an author’s outputs (chiefly publications) is given to an institution that did not support the research but which subsequently employs the author. The incentives for what is termed here “institutional plagiarism” are demonstrated with reference to the UK Research Assessment Exercise in which submitting units of assessment are shown in some instances to derive around twice the credit for papers produced elsewhere by new recruits, compared to papers produced ‘in-house’.

Keywords

Research assessment exercise Research excellence framework Plagiarism Metrics-based assessment