Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Plagiarism Phenomenon

Cheating. Lying. Plagiarizing. It only gets difficult when one gets caught. So a true con artist knows when to strike, and when to back down. And if for some compelling reason you feel that you must, you better take all necessary precautions to cover your tracks.

That’s why I cannot understand how some writers could be absolutely careless. Take for instance, the recent brouhaha with Justice Del Castillo’s (JDC) ruling on the Comfort Women case.

First, it’s a decision by our SUPREME COURT. Second, it’s about an important issue very close to the Filipinos’ hearts (those old enough to remember the war, at least). People will read it. Critically. Immediately.

Click here for the Newsbreak feature on this. Take time to read the tables comparing the decision with the alleged originals. It’s really depressing how some can think they can just get away with this.

Yes, the decision did cite the original sources (contained in the footnotes) included in the unacknowledged materials. But why not cite the said article/book as well? Even the author’s sentences in the footnotes were lifted verbatim. It would be reasonable to infer that the objective really was to pass off other people’s research as one’s own.

Court staff writers. Boon and bane of judges. I suggest they make use of the various plagiarism checker programs available online to know when their paraphrases are unacceptable. Or they should have simply used their heads and made the proper citations when needed. Period.

Entry No. 06

Rachelle Mayuga

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