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Plagiarism & Ghostwriting

Day 1, Lab 5 "Research Ethics, Plagiarism and Ghostwriting"

The Global Ethics Forum 2016 - Lab 5 Research Ethics, Plagiarism and GhostwritingDid you know that plagiarism and ghostwriting are two critical issues in universities and institutions of higher education which is a worldwide struggle? Why, despite standard policies, guidelines and sanctions aiming at preventing this kind of academic dishonesty and cheating, is plagiarism is still happening? This and many other questions have been discussed on 23 June 2016, at the Global Ethics Forum, hosted by, Geneva, in the workshop (Laboratory) in short presentations given by Buhle Mbambo-Thato, Elizabeth Nduku, and Claudia Mariéle Wulf, under the moderation of Yolanda Lira.

Through raising awareness for academic honesty, integrity and building a culture of ethical research among faculty and students; discussing case studies and best practices in curricular teaching sessions; through offering reasonable incentives aiming at awarding authentic study and research or alternative models of promotion acknowledging "demonstrated moral integrity". Can this kind of unethical behaviour and mindset be countered/tackled successfully, as the example of The Philippines shows?

Other factors, like the academic career pressure pushing researches to "publish or perish", resulting in a kind of "self-plagiarism" through multiple publishings of the same article, have been raised during the discussions.

More generally, discussions turned toward research ethics, e.g. Open Access journals and their funding. Often prohibitive (author) articles processing charges (APCs or "publishing fees") imposed by established publishers prevent scholars in global South from publishing their research in Open Access journals. Research funding (public or private) should not only cover the research work but also the full costs of the publishing process including peer-reviews, ensuring high quality academic publications which would be made available for free. Research funders should invest their money in open repositories and the sustainability of Open Access journals.

(Picture left: F. Ahmeti /