Plagiarism Policy

Introduction

The University of Faisalabad aims to uphold intellectual honesty and transparency and respects the inventors of ideas, data and works being conducted. An absence of such demonstrable respect through a lack of referencing represents failure to complete the learning process. It is unethical and can have lasting negative consequences for future careers. A Plagiarism Policy has therefore become necessary to create awareness, define various forms in which plagiarism exhibits itself, present a methodology of investigation, cater for punitive action proportional to the extent of the offence and even address the issue of false or spurious complaints.

Aim

This policy aims to familiarize personnel associated with research work about considerations of plagiarism, avoidance, identification, classification, reporting, record keeping, appeals process and disciplinary actions.

Scope

This policy applies to everyone involved in scholarly work at TUF, whether a student, faculty or a staff member.

Manifestations

Plagiarism occurs when someone uses the work, research, ideas, or words of any other person or source without proper credit. It is considered as a breach of academic integrity.The various forms of manifestation of plagiarism include but not limited to the following:

  • Verbatim copying, near-verbatim copying, or purposely paraphrasing portions of another author's paper or unpublished report without citing the exact reference.
  • Copying elements of another author's paper, such as equations or illustrations that are not common knowledge, or copying or purposely paraphrasing sentences without citing the source.
  • Verbatim copying portions of another author's paper or from reports by citing but not clearly differentiating what text has been copied (e.g. not applying quotation marks correctly) and /or not citing the source correctly.
  • The unacknowledged use of computer programs, mathematical / computer models / algorithms, computer software in all forms, macros, spreadsheets, web pages, Page 2 of 6 databases, mathematical deviations and calculations, designs / models / displays of any sort, diagrams, graphs, tables, drawings, works of art of any sort, fine art pieces or artifacts, digital images, computer-aided design drawings, GIS files, photographs, maps, music / composition of any sort, posters, presentations and tracing.
  • Self-plagiarism, that is, the verbatim or near-verbatim re-use of significant portions of one's own copyrighted work without citing the original source.

Reporting

The complaint regarding plagiarism shall be made in writing and be submitted to the office of Quality Assurance, The University of Faisalabad. Following information is to be provided:

a) Citation of the original paper or document or idea which was plagiarized, (paper title, author(s), publication title, month and year of publication if available and the journal, in which published, with details). If the original paper is unpublished (e.g. an institutional technical report, an on-line paper), the complainant is to provide as much information as possible to ensure authenticity of the claim.

b) The citation of the alleged plagiarizing paper (paper title, author(s), publication title, month and year of publication if available and the journal with details in which published). If the paper is unpublished (e.g. an institutional technical report, an on-line paper), the complainant is to provide as much information as possible to ensure proper investigation.

c) Copies of both papers if possible.

d) Any other information that would help efficiently to resolve the claim.

e) Name, designation, organization, address, e-mail address and telephone number of the complainant.

Investigation

Upon receipt of an allegation of plagiarism, Director Quality Assurance shall request the Rector to constitute a Plagiarism Standing Committeeto carry out investigation.

Plagiarism Standing Committee

1. Senior faculty members 03

The Plagiarism Standing Committee is composed as under:

2. Subject specialist in that particular field 01

3. Senior student (only if a student is being investigated upon) 01

4. Nominee of the HEC 01

The seniority of the members of “Plagiarism Standing Committee” shall of a level keeping in view the seniority of the individual being investigated upon and the nature and gravity of the offence.

Rector shall be obliged to

a) Nominate the members of the committee

b) Provide a guideline (Plagiarism Policy) for the functioning of the "Plagiarism Standing Committee", to all members of the committee

c) Provide clear terms of reference to the “Plagiarism Standing Committee” for their investigation.

d) Provide opportunity to the author / authors under investigation to justify the originality of their concepts and research work. Similar opportunity shall also be provided to the author whose paper is deemed to have been plagiarized and / or the complainant, to justify the complaint

e) Provide every opportunity to the “Plagiarism Standing Committee” to use all foreseeable means to investigate the plagiarism claim.

Terms of References

The Plagiarism Standing Committeeshall then conduct the investigation. Depending on the details of the claim, the investigation may include, but may not be limited to, any or all of the following terms:

a) Manual and / or automated tests for content similarity

b) Determination of the extent and quantum of significant material plagiarized

c) Soliciting comments to the claim, from the Editor-in-Chief (of a journal) or Program Chair (of conference proceedings) and referees of either or both papers

d) Consultation with legal counsel

e) Consult / contact witnesses and record statements there-of if so required

f) Consult / contact present and / or past employers of the authors

g) The members of the “Plagiarism Standing Committee” shall sign a confidentiality statement that during the investigation they will, under no circumstances, disclose any individual author's name, paper titles, referees, or any other personal or specific information concerning the plagiarism complaint under investigation, nor shall they reveal the names of the committee members

The Plagiarism Standing Committeeshall submit its report with clear cut findings and recommendations to the Rector within 15 days, not exceeding sixty days. The Rector will have the discretion to implement the recommendations after approval through the statutory process and take punitive action against the offender as per penalties prescribed under this policy or to forward the report to HEC or his / her parent organization for further action if outside their purview / jurisdiction.

Penalties for Plagiarism

Plagiarism is an intellectual crime. As such the penalties for plagiarism should not only take into account the severity and recurrence of the offence, but also the intellectual standing of the offender. This entails a gradual increase in punitive action with minimum punishment for a first time offence by a student who copies a homework assignment to a maximum punishment for a teacher/researcher/staff who attempts to present / publish, or actually presents / publishes plagiarized material; as his/her own, in a conference / journal. Therefore, the punishments for Plagiarism have been divided into two separate categories, i.e., those for "Teachers, Researchers and Staff" and those for the "Students".

I. Penalties for Teachers, Researchers and Staff: When an act of plagiarism, as described earlier, is found to have occurred, the "Plagiarism Standing Committee" in its recommendations, depending upon the seriousness of the proven offence, shall advise the Rector, to take any one or a combination of the following disciplinary action(s) against the teacher, researcher and / or staff found guilty of the offence:

i. Major Penalty

In cases where most of the paper (or key results) have been exactly copied from any published work of other people without giving the reference to the original work, then

a) A major penalty of dismissal from service needs to be prescribed

b) The offender may be “Black Listed” and may NOT be eligible for employment in any academic / research organization, and

c) The notification of “Black Listing” of the author(s) may be published in the print media or may be publicized on different websites at the discretion of the Vice- Chancellor / Rector / Head of the organization.

ii. Moderate Penalty

In case where some paragraphs including some key results have been copied without citation, then a moderate penalty involving any one or both of the following needs to be imposed

a) Demotion to the next lower grade

b) The notification of “Black Listing” of the author(s) which may be published in the print media or may be publicized on different websites at the discretion of the Rector

iii. Minor Penalty

In case a few paragraphs have been copied from an external source without giving reference of that work, then minor penalties need to be prescribed for a specified period involving any one or more of the following:

a) Warning

b) freezing of all research grants

c) The promotions/annual increments of the offender may be stopped, for a specified period and

d) HEC or the University may debar the offender from sponsorship of research funding, travel grant, supervision of PhD students, scholarship, fellowship or any other funded program for a period as deemed appropriate by the “Plagiarism Standing Committee”.

II. Penalty for Students: When an act of plagiarism, as described earlier, is found to have occurred, the "Plagiarism Standing Committee" in its recommendations, depending upon the seriousness of the proven offence, shall advise the Rector, to take any one or a combination of the following disciplinary action(s) against the student(s) found guilty of the offence:

i. In the case of thesis the responsibility of plagiarism will be of the student and not of the supervisor or members of the Supervisory Committee

ii. The offender may be expelled/ rusticated from the University and from joining any institution of Higher Education in Pakistan for a period as deemed appropriate by the "Plagiarism Standing Committee”. A notice may be circulated among all academic institutions and research organization to this effect

iii. The offender may be relegated to a lower class

iv. The offender may be given a failure grade in the subject

v. The offender may be fined an amount as deemed appropriate

vi. The offender may be given a written warning if the offence is minor and is committed for the first time

vii. The degree of a student may be withdrawn if AT ANY TIME it is proven that he or she has presented plagiarized work in his / her MS, MPhil or PhD dissertation if the extent of plagiarism comes under the category of major penalty

viii. The notification of the plagiarism by the author(s) may be published in the print media or may be publicized on different websites at the discretion Rector

ix. HEC or the University debar the offender from sponsorship of research funding, travel grant, scholarship, fellowship or any other funded program for a period as deemed appropriate by the "Plagiarism Standing Committee"

x. Any other penalty deemed fit by the “Plagiarism Standing Committee”

III. Co-Authors/Declarations

i. Provided that a co-author has listed a paper in his/her resume and applied for a benefit forthwith, any co-author is deemed to be equally responsible for any plagiarism committed in a published paper presented to or published in a journal or presented at a conference.

ii. All authors shall sign a declaration that the material presented in the creative work is not plagiarized before submission of the paper to any journal for publication

Additional Actions

In addition to the above punishments, the following additional common actions must be taken if the offence of Plagiarism is established:

a) If the plagiarized paper is accessible on the web page its access shall be removed. The paper itself shall be kept in the database for future research or legal purposes

b) The author(s) shall be asked to write a formal letter of apology to the authors of the original paper that was plagiarized, including an admission of plagiarism. Should the author(s) refuse to comply then additional punishments as deemed fit may be recommended by the "Plagiarism Standing Committee.

c) If the paper is submitted but not published yet, the paper shall be rejected by the Editor-in-Chief or the Program Chair without further revisions and without any further plagiarism investigation conducted

Appeal

As the penalties are severe, the affected person(s) may appeal to theRector for a review of the findings or may submit a mercy petition within 30 days from the date of notification. Such appeals / petitions shall be disposed off within 60 days of receipt, by following the laid down procedures regarding such appeals.

Penalty for Wrong Reporting / False Allegation

If the case of plagiarism is not proved and it is confirmed that a false allegation was lodged, the Rector shall inform the complainant’s organization and shall recommend disciplinary action against the complainant, to be taken by his / her parent organization.