The act of stealing content created by someone else and passing it off as one’s own is known as plagiarism. Plagiarism of printed and digital content is nothing new but the growing tendency to adapt to plagiarism as an easy alternative for spending hours to create original content is a threat to the creativity of the content creators.
Plagiarism can be of many types. Intentional plagiarism is when people directly use exact words, sentences, phrases, images, music, and other such things, of another content creator without their consent. It is a copy-paste or copied version of the original content. Often accidental or unintentional plagiarism occurs when, without proper acknowledgment, the content creator use outside sources for creating their content.
Plagiarism of all sorts is considered to be stealing content. Therefore, while dealing with it, strictness is there in all fields. Both direct and accidental stealing of content has their consequences. Just like any instance of theft, stealing content or plagiarism is also intellectual theft and is also a punishable offense.
Plagiarism denies the author or content creators the credit and recognition they deserve. Even if a person gets influenced by another person’s work and creativity and borrows ideas, it should be duly appreciated and acknowledged. Content creators must familiarize themselves with the dos and don’ts of developing content.
The Consequence of Plagiarism:
- Plagiarism is a violation of the rights of the content creator. The content creators hold the right to press legal charges on the violator with proper proof of ownership.
- To protect the interest of the content creators and maintain standards, numerous website publishers prefer to have copyright over their original content. In such cases, the offender may face monetary loss. The offenders then have to deal with a fine in case charged with copyright infringement.
- In all professional fields, stealing content leads to a damaged reputation. Duplicate content may lead bloggers and other content creators to lose their followers, leaders, and viewers because plagiarized content, no matter how engaging, is unacceptable and it is a dishonest act.
- In the academic field, plagiarism is a severe offense. It destroys academic integrity. If students use unfair means while writing academic content such as research papers, thesis, and others, they can get expelled from educational institutes. Punishment here depends upon the intensity of the content theft.
- Low grades, reduction of grades, and loss of academic year are also common if students create plagiarized content.
- Search engines also penalize websites with plagiarized content. A website and its duplicate content are not necessarily taken down but lose its organic traffic. Search engines can detect copied content which is the copy-paste version of original content with very few to no changes. The source site of the plagiarized content gets detected by search engines using the site’s URL. The search engines manipulate the search result and redirect users to the source instead of the one with duplicate content.
- SEO is one of the easiest ways for website publishers to reach the target audience easily. A website with a good SEO ranking is more likely to reach people than a paid advertisement. A good SEO ranking of the websites depends on the content. Poor or copied content of a website may result in a poor SEO ranking and harm the website and organization’s reputation.
- Websites are the face of the brand and organization they represent. So it is pretty significant to give out information that is authentic and genuine. On the other hand, stealing content may make the website look deceptive, dishonest, and not at all trustworthy. It may affect the brand’s reputation.
Easy steps to avoid plagiarism:
- Probably the best way to avoid plagiarism is to create content independently without seeking the help of outside sources. If the content creator is aware of the topic, then things are easier for them. A systematic plan: gathering information, jotting down points, and developing the content will help the creator. It will help them in the creation of unique content free of plagiarism.
- Creating unique content is no doubt a time-taking affair that demands time and preparedness. Students and other professionals often indulge in plagiarism to meet the deadline. In a hurry to meet the deadline, they look for a comfortable alternative and prefer to use what is readily available to them. However, writers must avoid stealing content keeping the consequences in mind and maintaining the integrity of their work. They should try to create something of their own.
- In case authors or content creators decide to use outside sources, they must carefully follow the citation rules and use quotation marks for all directly quoted words of another writer. Whether someone else’s idea, tune, video, image, or any other type of content in usage, it must be mentioned in the reference section to acknowledge the effort of the original content creator. Parenthesis, quotation marks, citation, reference are the safest ways of using different sources without being accused of stealing content.
- To avoid any accusation of plagiarism writers, bloggers must refrain from paraphrasing or summarizing a written content as it is. Often paraphrasing and summarizing tools are used by writers to create content. But unlike popular belief, plagiarism checker tools can easily detect such contents. Writers must get rid of all words used in the original content and use their synonyms instead to avoid plagiarism.
- It is advisable to avoid content protected with copyright. Websites can use Copyshield to restrict unauthorized access to content and monitor the same. Using copied content will lead the writers to face charges of copyright infringement. They may face monetary loss.
- Before publishing content online, cross-check the content. Manual proofreading may be a time-consuming affair demanding undivided attention. To make the process easier and for accurate results, one can use plagiarism checker tools to reduce the risks of plagiarism.
Such tools generate a result indicating the extent of plagiarism in content based on a comparison technique. The software compares the document with its stored data and produces an almost accurate result. Based on it, users can make desire changes before publishing the content to avoid plagiarism.