Plagiarism – The Threat to Quality

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News and Resources for Members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Plagiarism – The Threat to Quality

By Lisa D. Schwarzbek
(Source: Feb. 2012 issue of the IEEE SPS Conference Organizer Newsletter)

There were more reports of plagiarism in 2011 than in any year prior. The level of plagiarism found was also more severe, with full papers having been copied word-for-word, submitted, and in one case published by a conference. The increase in the number and severity of plagiarism cases is a serious threat to the quality of SPS’s conferences and IEEE Xplore®.

IEEE has the reputation and vast amount of material that makes it the ideal target for plagiarized work. As a result, the Intellectual Property Rights office at IEEE has established a procedure for handling allegations of plagiarism to make sure that all cases are handled justly and equally.

If you suspect plagiarism in a submitted conference paper, contact the Technical Program Chair (TPC). The Technical Program Chair should notify the VP-Conferences, Wan-Chi Siu and the Manager Conference Services, Lisa Schwarzbek. Lisa will notify the IEEE IPR office with a copy to the VP-Conferences and the Technical Program Chair. Once the notifications are complete, the TPC will form an ad hoc committee of three or four trusted members who are qualified to evaluate the accused work.

The committee will:

  1. Issue a notice to the offending author (if you prefer to have Lisa do this that is acceptable). The IPR office has a standard letter that should be used. The committee will receive the authors’ responses and evaluate the responses.
  2. Review the complaint, read both the original work and the accused work.
  3. Assign misconduct level – see list on page 6.
  4. Recommend corrective action with the advice of the VP-Conferences and the IPR office
  5. Report to the VP-Conferences along the way making sure he is aware of how the case is progressing and the ultimate conclusion. The next steps depend upon the level of misconduct that is assigned. The entire process will be directed by the IPR office with guidance from the VP-Conferences.

More details regarding the five levels of plagiarism can be found at the full article.

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