Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Henk ten Have


  • Gert HelgessonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_340-1


Plagiarism is an ethical issue of considerable practical impact, affecting educational systems and research worldwide, but also influencing art, music, and literature. The academic discussion on plagiarism in basic education mainly concerns its frequency and explanation and potential countermeasures. Ethical aspects more often come to the fore in the discussions of plagiarism in research, particularly concerning plagiarism of text, where there is considerable disagreement. While plagiarism is frequently brought up as an important aspect of scientific misconduct in research ethical guidelines, and a variety of definitions have been offered in this context, such documents rarely reflect a deeper understanding of the concept, its relation to similar concepts, its embeddedness in specific practices, or its normative implications. More research on these issues is needed, although suggestions have been made as to how plagiarism should be understood, demarcated, explained, detected, normatively analyzed, and counteracted. One theme with an obvious global focus concerns the cultural dependence of attitudes toward plagiarism, for instance, whether differences in perception and practice can be explained by differences in relation to authorities. An important point for the future is whether or not present practices regarding plagiarism need to be changed in order to better promote progress in research.


Fabrication Redundant publication Research ethics Scientific misconduct 
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Further Readings

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  2. CODEX – rules & guidelines for research. Website at www.codex.vr.se
  3. Retraction Watch. Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process. Website at http://retractionwatch.com

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden