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FAQ

Q: What if the author of the work I need to use lives in another country?

A: If the author is foreign, the work may still be covered by copyright laws. If they live in a country that belongs to the Berne Convention or the Universal Copyright Convention they automatically obtain copyright protection in the US.15

There are more than 150 countries currently members of the Berne Convention.

The description of the Berne Convention, and a list of member countries can be accessed from the World Intellectual Property Organization:
www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/
berne/trtdocs_wo001.html



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ

Q: What if I use only a portion of a photograph or graphic?

A: Using any part of a photograph or graphic without permission is inappropriate. A statement of permission (used with permission from…) should be included with the photograph.

 

FAQ

Q: English is not my first language and I am having difficulty expressing my ideas thoroughly. Do you have any recommendations for writing a manuscript and having it published in an American medical journal?

A: Yes. If an author finds it difficult to express his/her ideas in English, it might be best for the manuscript or presentation to be written in his or her native language and then translated into English.

  

  

FAQ

Q: Can I use information researched on the Internet?

A: Yes. Although you must be sure that the information has been referenced properly and that you have permission to use the work. Authors often don’t post a copyright symbol on the Internet. You may be borrowing material that was published previously and not know that you are plagiarizing the work.

 

FAQ

Q: Can I copy photographs, graphics, charts, or cartoons from the Internet and use them on my slide presentations?

A: Only if the presentations are not intended for online use. Feel free to use them in a face-to-face teaching environment if they meet the fair use requirements, but remember to remove them before placing the presentation on the Internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ

Q: If it is not required by law, why should I register my works with the US Copyright office?

A: According to the US Copyright Office, copyright registration is helpful in providing a formal record of the work. If the owner chooses to pursue infringement issues in the courts, a formal copyright must have been filed. 26
Visit this link for more information on how to register your work with the US copyright office:
www.copyright.gov/register/
.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ

Q: If I cannot find the original author or owner of the document, can I contact the US Copyright Office for help?

A: Yes. The US Copyright Office provides public information and reference services concerning copyright and recorded documents. Contact the Copyright Public Information Office at (202) 707-3000 or http://www.copyright.gov. Copyright office catalog files from 1978 forward may be examined online through the website. 20

 

 
Ethics: Copyright, Plagiarism, and the Internet

Lesson 2: Plagiarism
All new works are, in reality, a collection of the thoughts and influences we experience in our environment. Working in an intellectually rich environment can produce far greater influences on the individual. Rarely, however, does an individual develop a completely new idea.14

What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is using another author’s work, words, ideas, or findings without acknowledging the source through citations and quotations whether or not the original work was published. Plagiarism constitutes “intellectual theft.” 12

There are four common types of plagiarism.13

1. Direct plagiarism is the lifting of entire passages without placing those passages within quotation marks and without crediting the original author.

a. Original paragraph from the Texas Heart Institute Journal:
“Since 1998, we have operated on 9 patients who had ventricular septal rupture after acute anteroseptal myocardial infarction. There were 3 women and 6 men, and their average age was 74 years.”14

b. Direct plagiarism:
Since 1998, we have operated on 9 patients who had ventricular septal rupture after acute anteroseptal myocardial infarction.

c. Why is this wrong?
Without quotation marks and proper referencing the reader does not know who actually performed the surgery, or where the information came from.

d. Preferred way:
Referring to the article by H. Fujiwara et al (2004, p. 69) “Since 1998, we have operated on 9 patients who had ventricular septal rupture after acute anteroseptal myocardial infarction.”14

e. Why is this right?
It can be incorporated into the paragraph with quotation marks and proper reference to credit the source.

2. Mosaic plagiarism is the lifting of words and ideas from the original text and incorporating them within your own work, creating a confusing mix that leaves the reader wondering which work belongs to which author.

a. Original paragraph borrowed from the Texas Heart Institute Journal:
“It is imperative that all operations be planned carefully and performed meticulously, so that we 'first do no harm.' In the words of Floyd Loop, we should always be mindful that '…the cause of virtually all deaths and serious morbidity relates to performance in the operating room.'”16

b. Mosaic plagiarism:
It is imperative that all operations be planned carefully and performed meticulously, so that we first do no harm. In the words of Floyd Loop, we should always be mindful that the cause of virtually all deaths and serious morbidity relates to performance in the operating room.

c. Why is this wrong?
There is no citing except for the reference to Floyd Loop, which is inadequate since it is unclear how much of the paragraph actually belongs to him and how much belongs to the author.

d. Preferred way:
M. Swanson, in an article in the Texas Heart Institute Journal reminds us that, “It is imperative that all operations be planned carefully and performed meticulously, so that we ‘first do no harm.’16 In the words of Floyd Loop, from his article Saphenous vein bypass graft, Modern Techniques in Surgery, we should always be mindful that ‘…the cause of virtually all deaths and serious morbidity relates to performance in the operating room.’”16

e. Why is this right?
The author has been identified and the reference has also been cited. With proper referencing and quotation marks it is now clear who authored the paragraph.


3. Unacceptable paraphrasing is the restating of another author’s words and meanings without giving proper credit.

a. Original paragraph from the Texas Heart Institute Journal:
“Since 1998, we have operated on 9 patients who had ventricular septal rupture after acute anteroseptal myocardial infarction. There were 3 women and 6 men, and their average age was 74 years.”14

b. Unacceptable paraphrasing:
Ventricular septal rupture after acute anteroseptal myocardial infarction was the reason 9 patients were operated on since 1998. There were 6 men and 3 women averaging 74 years in age.

c. Why is this wrong?
Only the order of the sentence was changed, and no credit was given to the author.

d. Preferred way:
Dr. Fujiwara reported that since 1998, his group had operated on 9 patients with ventricular rupture. The 6 women and 3 men suffered from acute infarct of the anterior part of the intraventricular septum prior to the ventricular rupture.14

e. Why is the right?
This is acceptable paraphrasing. The author was given adequate recognition for his work.


4. Insufficient acknowledgment like mosaic plagiarism is the acknowledgment of only a portion of the original author’s work. It is unclear which ideas belong to which author.

a. Original paragraph from the Texas Heart Institute Journal:
“Control of interpandemic influenza is of primary importance, but the lessons learned from controlling interpandemic influenza can be applied to preparation for the next pandemic.”17

“The 3 principal components of sound public health policy are surveillance, response, and national infrastructure…Surveillance involves the capability at both global and regional levels to increase the likelihood of early detection and effective tracking of the incidence and spread of disease…”18

b. Example of insufficient acknowledgement:
Control of interpandemic influenza is of primary importance, but the lessons learned from controlling interpandemic influenza can be applied to preparation for the next pandemic.17 The 3 principal components of sound public health policy are surveillance, response, and national infrastructure…Surveillance involves the capability at both global and regional levels to increase the likelihood of early detection and effective tracking of the incidence and spread of disease.

c. Why is this wrong?
This paragraph is actually comprised of 2 direct quotes. The first quote is referenced; the second quote is not cited or placed in quotation marks. The reader is left to wonder who the author is.

d. Preferred way:
Glezen, MD, feels strongly that the “control of interpandemic influenza is of primary importance, but the lessons learned from controlling interpandemic influenza can be applied to preparation for the next pandemic.”17 As discussed in an article by E. Slater, MD, “the 3 principal components of sound public health policy are surveillance, response, and national infrastructure…Surveillance involves the capability at both global and regional levels to increase the likelihood of early detection and effective tracking of the incidence and spread of disease…”18

e. Why is this right?
Both quotations are cited and placed in quotation marks. There is no confusion as to who the authors are.

How Can You Avoid Accidental Plagiarism?

In some cases, plagiarism is unintentional or accidental; the author does not intend to plagiarize but fails to properly cite the source. Here are some tips to avoid accidental plagiarism:

  1. Be diligent about citing every piece of information taken from another source, be they facts, figures, opinions, or conversations.19

Example:

TABLE 1. Texas Heart Institute Experience with Aortic Aneurysms, 1953-2004

Aneurysm Location

No.

Ascending thoracic aorta

1,821

Aortic arch

502

Descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aorta

1,467

Abdominal aorta

4,669

Total

8,459

 

Chart used with the permission of Texas Heart Institute Journal.21

  1. Give original authors credit for their work by placing quotations marks around quotes of less than 40 words or by setting off quotes of more than 40 words in an indented block.22
  2. Refer to the author at the beginning of a sentence when you paraphrase or summarize the author’s thoughts or work (e.g., Wilson et al found… ).
  3. Insert the appropriate reference at the end of a paraphrase.
  4. When writing review articles, remember to paraphrase the original author. Even with the best intentions, verbatim copying is copyright infringement.

In Conclusion
Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is unacceptable. It infringes on the authors’ rights to decide how and when they choose to have their work published and distributed. Careful management of citations and references during the research and writing stages of a manuscript or presentation will prevent unintentional plagiarism. Always be mindful of the original authors' rights when paraphrasing and citing their work.

Continue to Lesson 3

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