Avoiding Plagiarism in the Business World
Everyone who has written content for private or public distribution dreads the idea of unintentionally stealing someone else’s words or concepts, and getting caught in a nasty plagiarism dispute. Even accidental plagiarism has the power to devastate careers.
Anytime you utilize a piece of information that comes from an outside source without attribution, it is considered plagiarism. But plagiarism doesn’t merely apply to stealing words. It includes taking concepts or artistic expressions and pretending they’re your creation. This unfortunately happens in the business world occasionally, and is illegal regardless of the circumstances.
Is Plagiarism Common in Business?
There’s no doubt influence often arises from other people’s ideas and words. Professional writers turn to other authors for many reasons, such as sources of inspiration, understanding of a concept, and research to build off of.
Text plagiarism isn’t unheard of in the business world but it is entirely preventable. Often times, corporate plagiarism is less concerned with words and more centered on stealing the next multimillion-dollar idea.
From a legal standpoint, copyright infringement opens a company accused of plagiarism of intellectual property up to lawsuits, resulting in fines and occasionally even jail times. As mentioned, for the individual it can extremely damaging to their career and tarnish reputations.
Types of Plagiarism in the Business World
There are a few types of plagiarism cases that are seen frequently in the business world.
Accidental is perhaps the most common, and occurs when an individual does not realize they have for gotten to cite a source, or improperly cite the source. It also includes inadequate paraphrasing or quotes without references.
Self-plagiarism is reusing any previous submissions or published work. Some examples are recycling data, quotations, or research from any of your old pieces. Whenever you cite an existing paper, you must include a citation even if you are referencing your own work.
Direct plagiarism entails copying and presenting entire volumes of text as your own and without proper attribution. Simply deleting or rearranging a few words from another individual’s work is still considered direct plagiarism.
Samples of Plagiarism in Context
- Taking a YouTube or Pinterest image for your benefit without asking permission or giving credit
- Using substantial texts beyond ‘fair use’ without accrediting the source
- Claiming someone’s work or ideas as yours
- Stealing academic and scientific concepts and research as your theories
- Buying text and pretending the work is yours
Even famous people commit acts of plagiarism. A recent example occurred in 2016 when Melania Trump was found to have copied parts of her Republican National Convention speech from a 2008 convention speech given by Michelle Obama. Joe Biden, George Harrison, and even Martin Luther King Jr have been caught for stealing the work of others as well.
Other known persons accused of plagiarism and reusing property include journalist Fareed Zakaria (CNN), Jayson Blair (NYT), and authors J.K Rowling and Dan Brown. These celebrities and their intellectual theft still rank on social media as the most researched examples of plagiarism.
How to Avoid Plagiarism in Business
When an employee is caught plagiarizing, they may be held accountable but the company is ultimately responsible for the work their hired individuals produce. They are a direct link to the image and brand they project.
A company can provide employees with the necessary tools and learning opportunities to ensure their work doesn’t commit any form of plagiarism. Crafting concise documents that reflect existing ideas or research takes practice, but it’s a learnable skill. Proper education is the first step, and providing employees with resources such as templates or examples of correct citations for various mediums of information. Understanding fair use and copyright laws is also essential to preventing plagiarism in the business world.
A quality plagiarism checker scours the internet and cross-references academic, professional, public, and personal documents against any briefs submitted for verification. It allows the author to quickly adapt the text with proper citations (APA, MLA, or Chicago) on any document, literally, with a click.
Consequences of Plagiarism in Business
In most states, plagiarism is considered a felony. While some fines may seem insignificant, others can be as high as $50 grand or even in the millions and include time spent in jail.
But money aside, plagiarism severely tarnishes reputations. Depending on the industry, this act can derail a business and a person simply for failing to perform due diligence. Being accused of unintentional plagiarism is avoidable by using a plagiarism checker and employing one of the best platforms in the industry. Quetext has performs this invaluable check for thousands of texts, and avoided legal consequences for its clients.
Plagiarism exists, as do the tools to prevent it. Work ethic, credibility, morals, and age-old nose-to-the-grindstone method foster performance mindsets in employees. But why not provide them with the foundation to switch from great employees into high achievers.