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The Curse of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V

Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan

March 3 was an important day for the students of a certain department of Dhaka University as it was the day final results of their graduation course would be published. Like all the other students, Fahima Khan and Koushik Roy were also excited about it. However a shock was awaiting them. They found their names nowhere in the result sheet. They scrutinised the result sheet top to bottom but their names were nowehere to be found.
Fahima, already in tears, found her name and Koushik's in another list. Beside their names it read, “Result withdrawn, plagiarism detected.” The message was rather loud and clear. While doing their assignments they had copied some information from another source without giving any credit to it. For any publication or research work it has always been regarded as a serious ethical crime which invalidates the authenticity of the entire work.
Due to the spread of the internet and open sources of knowledge such as Wikipedia, plagiarism has become a common practice among college and university students. In our universities many teachers do not take adequate measures against plagiarism. Rakib Hasan a student of Dhaka University says, “For passing a semester we have to submit at least five papers in five different courses. Many students write their papers by copying directly from Wikipedia or other internet based sources without even mentioning or verifying the source. It happens at a large scale, as in most cases our professors don't take the proper measure against it.”
The scenario that Rakib depicts seems quite rampant in many of our universities and colleges. Some students don't want to spend their time in library or field study when the information is just a click away. Lack of knowledge about the correct way of referencing and citation is another reason behind this. Many students, well into their 2nd or 3rd years into the varsity don't know how to credit the sources s/he has used in his/her paper.
Mahbubur Rahman, an assistant professor of Institute of Education and Research, Dhaka University says, “One of the main reasons for plagiarism is that many of our students don't know how to avoid it. It has made us teach our students about the correct way of referencing in a separate course. I think all the departments of our universities should run a mandatory course on referencing and ways to avoid plagiarism.”
However university students and researchers are not alone in committing this crime. Many famous personalities such as political leaders and artists have alleged to have committed plagiarism. And when proved guilty they have to pay a heavy price for it.
We still have no policy to prevent plagiarism in Bangladesh despite the fact that we have 32 public universities and over 50 private universities. Even in the latest education policy passed in 2010, no steps have been taken to prevent plagiarism. While other countries follows a stringent policy to prevent this crime to have more original researches and works, our policy makers and academicians seem to be unaware of it.

(2017). Retrieved from http://www.thedailystar.net/the-curse-of-ctrl-c-and-ctrl-v-15240

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