Just as it is important to consider the cultural and regional areas when considering informed consent, it is also important to be informed of the cultural context of a study when determining plagiarism. In some cultural contexts, the concept of intellectual property is not understood and therefore plagiarism is difficult to comprehend (Evering & Moorman, 2012). In other areas, like the Unites States, it is a concept clearly understood in the same way that society understand the need for copyrights and patents.
Professional and ethical conduct in research seems common sense. Yet, there are multiple studies that indicate that unethical practices still exist and some practices, particularly plagiarism, is more prevalent than ever before. Most researchers may understand that the safety and well-being of individuals is very important and would not purposely cause any harm to anyone. However, many people, particularly those who have grown up in the technological era, may not fully understand how plagiarism is hurting someone. With information readily available in the internet, it is very easy to access and to copy and paste into a paper or report. Many younger students have not grasped that the information found on internet, though easily accessible, is not all public domain and authored. The information is still the intellectual property of an individual and the individual must receive credit for it.
In the area of education, it seems that classroom teachers may, at times, in avertedly plagiarize since it is of common practice (even at times suggested by nationally known speakers like Harry Wong) that a teacher may “beg, borrow or steal” another teacher’s idea to implement in their own classroom. In fact, it is not considered “stealing” per se, but teachers are expected to share ideas and, for the most part, feel honored that someone wanted to use their idea in the classroom. For this reason, when doing research, it takes a conscious effort to remember that credit needs to be given to the originator of ideas.
When preparing the dissertation manuscript, there are many things that the learner can do to ensure that the research is being done in an ethical and professional manner. Initially, when the learner is gathering information for the literature review, it may help to start by creating an annotated bibliography for all the literature reviewed. In this manner, the learner will have access to the information and where it originated so that if the information is utilized in the literature review it can be properly cited to avoid plagiarism. In addition, by creating an annotated bibliography, the research will have extended information in order to analyze previous work, avoid duplicating research that does not need to be duplicated, and be organized in the process.
Doctoral students also need to create a detailed research proposal in order to submit it to the IRB for approval. Having the annotated bibliography...