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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 188-193

Report on National Conference on Ethics, Copyrights, and Plagiarism in Research and Publications

1 Director, The Society for Social Development and Peoples Action, New Delhi, India
2 Librarian, Junior Librarian, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi, India
3 Scientist 4, Junior Librarian, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi, India
4 Junior Librarian, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2015

Correspondence Address:
Om Prakash Verma
Librarian, Junior Librarian, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7168.166382

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Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India partnered with Society for Social Development and Peoples Action (SDPA) to organize a National Conference on Ethics, Copyrights and Plagiarism in Research & Publications at AYUSH- Sabhagar, New Delhi on 8th August 2015. The conference was aimed at raising awareness about copyright infringement, enhancing knowledge about Intellectual Property Right issues/laws etc and guiding participants to prevent plagiarism. The conference was attended by 125 delegates including Medical and library professionals, researchers and students from ten states across the country. Four scientific sessions on Intellectual property rights- changing concerns, IPR issues in Research & Publications, IPR laws and judicial institution, Internet & Challenges to IPR were held; key speakers of the sessions being Prof. Alka Chawla, Dr. Somen Chakraborty and Dr. Deepankar Mukherjee respectively. The conference concluded with a set of recommendations collated from the papers presented, speeches delivered and individual feedback from the participants. Dr. Raj K. Manchanda in his closing remarks thanked the organising team of both SDPA and CCRH. He further assured to organize events on copyright subjects every year for benefit of all.

Keywords: Copyrights, Ethics, Plagiarism, Intellectual property rights

How to cite this article:
Chakravorty S, Verma OP, Sharma B, Bhatia M. Report on National Conference on Ethics, Copyrights, and Plagiarism in Research and Publications. Indian J Res Homoeopathy 2015;9:188-93

How to cite this URL:
Chakravorty S, Verma OP, Sharma B, Bhatia M. Report on National Conference on Ethics, Copyrights, and Plagiarism in Research and Publications. Indian J Res Homoeopathy [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Mar 22];9:188-93. Available from: https://www.ijrh.org/text.asp?2015/9/3/188/166382

  Introduction Top

Academic dishonesty and copyright infringement have been steadily rising for the last few years. Advancement in information technology and internet has definitely facilitated the access to enormous amount of knowledge at the click of the button but at the same time, digitization has led to the violation of intellectual property rights and writing ethics. Though by some, technological advancement is believed to be the sole cause for encouraging plagiarism, but others argue that it may be only one of the reasons contributing to this rising trend.

Linking of research publications with employment in the research organizations and promotions has further aggravated the problem. A review paper on the issue concludes that the main reason for the spurt in copyright violations and plagiarize stems from the lack of understanding and knowledge at the primary and secondary school level. [1] Copyright infringement and plagiarize are punishable offenses. The students and researchers should be made aware of these malpractices.

In this backdrop, the Council organized a national conference on "Ethics, Copyrights and Plagiarism in Research and Publications" at AYUSH, Sabhagar, New Delhi on August 8, 2015. The Society for Social Development and People's Action (SDPA) and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) were the institutional partners for organizing this national conference. About 125 delegates including medical and library professionals, researchers, and students from ten states attended the conference.

  Inaugural function Top

The chief guest of the inaugural function was Sh. Anil K. Ganeriwala, Joint Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. Prof. Rita Singh Majumdar, Professor, Sarada University, Uttar Pradesh was the Guest of Honor. Convenor of conference Dr. O.P. Verma, Librarian, CCRH welcomed the chief guest, Guest of honor, and participants. Dr. Somen Chakraborty, Director, SDPA explained the significance of the conference in raising awareness on copyright issues.

The Chief Guest, Sh. Anil Kumar Ganeriwala briefly explained about various activities of the Ministry of AYUSH. He emphasized on organizing the different events jointly with civil society organizations to raise awareness on copyrights and plagiarism. While advising the participants not to indulge in copyright violations, he cautioned that the publication and research activities of the Council owe a responsibility to set example by freeing its research and publications of copyright violation and plagiarism. The chief guest also launched the e-book portal of CCRH on the occasion and released the compendium of papers "Ethics, Copyrights and Plagiarism in Research and Publications" and "Disease monograph: Bronchial asthma" during the inaugural function. The documentary film prepared by the Council titled "Homoeopathy-The Science of gentle healing" was also released at the conference.

Dr. Raj K. Manchanda, Director General, CCRH informed about the phenomenal scale of research and publications being brought out by the Council. He then portrayed the importance of debating copyrights and plagiarism in view of various activities of the Council. Prof. Rita Singh Majumdar, the Guest of Honor, shared the experiences of organizing seminars and workshops with SDPA on a similar subject in Sharda University and its positive impact among the students and scholars. Dr. Anil Khurana, Deputy Director of CCRH and a member of the advisory committee of the conference reconfirmed that with such a galaxy of learned participants and paper presenters, it would be a very fruitful discussion on copyright issues.

The conference was divided into four sessions on four distinct subjects for discussion:

  • Intellectual property rights - changing concern
  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues in research and publications
  • IPR laws and judicial institution
  • Internet and challenges to IPR.

Session 1: Intellectual Property Right - Changing Concerns

In keynote address Dr. Ajay Kr. Garg (Director, Innovation and IPR, Department of Electronics and IT, Government of India) informed that speedy advancement of IT was creating new and easier avenues of copyright violations. The Government of India is also taking information technology to such areas of our national life which were earlier not within the reach of IT. This along, the intellectual property rights laws in the country are becoming stronger. However, law and surveillance mechanisms are never adequate to address the issue of copyright violation or plagiarism. He opined that the citizens of this country will have to take initiative to restrain them from the temptation of plagiarism and inclining to copyright violations. For that knowledge and awareness on copyright and other aspects of intellectual property rights are necessary.

Session 2: IPR Issues in Research and Publications

The key speaker of the session Prof. Alka Chawla, Department of Law, University of Delhi clarified that copyright, and plagiarism are legal issues rather than only ethical issues. An author, anyway, is free to assign and relinquish a copyright. Just storing of a work, including a computer program, in an electronic medium does not essentially constitute an infringement of copyright. At the same time merely because the materials are available on the internet does not become a waiver of copyright. Each case is context specific. There is no implied license to download or reproduce the material without the permission of the copyright owner. An act of sending any copyright material to others through E-mail may thus amount to reproduction and communication without the consent of the copyright owner. The act in such instance will result in the violation of the copyright of the owner.

This was followed by the presentation of four papers.

Dr. B.K. Malik and Prof. Rita Singh Majumdar in their paper, "Ethics in Research: An Overview," emphasized that the Ethics Committees in academic institutions were entrusted with responsibility to conduct initial review of all proposed research protocols prior to initiation of the projects. These committees are accountable for regular monitoring of the approved programmers to ensure that they comply with necessary ethical standards. The mandates of the committees essentially cover the concerns of copyright and plagiarism.

The paper on "Ethical Issues in Writing Physiotherapy Research among Physiotherapy Professionals and Researchers" by Piyush Singh and Ruby Aikat threw light on different options to resolve the issue of ethics. Personal desire and academic pressure to reach a given number of publications often compel the authors to resort to plagiarism and other forms of copyright violations. There is a need to help physiotherapy academicians, researchers, and students to avoid legal and administrative actions against them. In case of a published work by co-authors, the first author, though not necessary the principal author, bears the brunt most. Instead of quantum target, the emphasis should be placed on the quality of scientific publications. Ethics as a subject needs to be made a part of the study itself. Ethical review of articles before publication can also help early identification of plagiarism and other copyright violations.

In their paper "Ethical Issues in Research" Abhishek Tripathi, Dr. R.N. Malviya, Dr. Dharmendra Mehta, and Dr. N.K. Mehta argued that internet had made prefabricated plagiarization easier than ever before. Through a unique model, the authors demonstrated various possibilities to prevent plagiarism. Downloading and copying "untraceable" online contents are evident everywhere from the elementary schools to the highest levels of academic pursuit. This provides initial incentives for digital plagiarization. Forms and categories of plagiarism are widely varying. Each incident of plagiarism thus requires proper contextualization.

Session 3: IPR Laws and Judicial Institutions

The key speaker of the session Dr. Somen Chakraborty examined copyright issues from human rights perspective. Already robust intellectual property rights laws of India are becoming stronger through policy changes and judicial decisions. However, that has not stopped copyright violations. He stressed on the need to produce original works and abandon "cut-paste" practices to make creative intellectual works sustain. Unique observation capacity, innovative ideas, and new expression enhance the credibility of research which is required in India.

The joint paper by Dr. Divya Taneja, Scientist-1 and Dr. O. P. Verma, Librarian CCRH "The Foundation of Homoeopathy through a Plagiarism Scanner," informed that the publication was merely one site of intersection between science and the production of texts. Various kinds of writings, particularly the records of daily activity and research, constitute the bulk of scientific documents and form an essential informational infrastructure in research sciences. The temptation to "Copy-Paste" turns fatal to creativity and independent thought. Instead of that attention must be directed towards accurate notes and generation of appropriate research/clinical infrastructure.

Pulkita Sood in her paper "Copyright Infringement in India - Plagiarism and Piracy," argued that the trends of publishing increased awareness to protect copyright. The challenge is that the scale of violation is so entrenching that distinguishing between fair use and intended violation often becomes difficult. Even the persons at the highest echelon of academia are found indulging in plagiarism and copyright violation. Intellectual property rights legislation is not enforced with full might because the government resources and infrastructure are insufficient. On the other hand, the majority of the students cannot afford to purchase books from foreign publishers. This is why the piracy of books is rampant. Inculcating knowledge and awareness about copyright at an early age may restrain people indulging in plagiarism and copyright violations. Enforceability of law is also crucial. 24 × 7 library services may help users to get easy access to reference materials.

Based on a primary research by Vandana Dua, Ruby Aikat, Stuti Sehgal, and Megha Nijhawan on "Beliefs and Attitudes about Authorial Identity among Rehabilitation Professionals: A Preliminary Survey," confirmed that the confidence in writing, approach to writing, and knowledge to avoid plagiarism had remained unchanged notwithstanding increasing experience or the number of researches/publications. One suggested remedy is to make students aware of plagiarism and copyright from a much lower level of schooling.

In "Academic Level Plagiarism and its Management," Dr. Venkateshan Hari affirmed that plagiarism and copyright violation had happened at all level of research. Students as well as teachers are equally involved in this malpractice. One major reason for plagiarism tendency is, of course, tremendous pressure. Identifying the plagiarism is never difficult. Close monitoring of the selection process of a research subject and methodologies followed in research can significantly reduce plagiarism. In Homoeopathy research, plagiarism tendencies are greater because web-based cross checking opportunities are inadequate. Preventing plagiarism because it causes a copyright violation is perhaps wrong way to see the problem. The intense campaign against plagiarism is necessary because it prevents the intellectual ideation, weakens skills, and harms creativity in research.

Session 4: Internet and Challenges to IPR

The key speaker of the session Dr. Deepankar Mukherjee, Somani Foundation appealed to accept the fact that reading habit among the scholars had declined. The knowledge gap does not allow thinking creatively. It weakens the expression skill too. An easy way left before many scholars, or creative writers, or artists is to cut-paste materials with minor to major paraphrasing/modification and bring out new products. Internet has made things much easier. Thus, knowingly or unknowingly people step into the practice of plagiarism and copyright violations. Law can punish one's action. The need is to change the mindset. People must be serious and honest to the things they want to do and create. It is self-responsibility to produce original works. Such a determination will prevent people to indulge in academic/professional malpractices and enhance the acceptability of India's research outputs.
"Is Higher Impact Factor Important for Publishing Quality Based Papers: A Review Report," by Dr. Chitra Kataria and Dr. Nishu Tyagi was an attempt to analyze the impact factors of writing works. Writing or creating an art work is extremely private matter. The problem arises when that work comes to the public domain. Identifying a suitable journal for publication is crucial to assess the impact factors of writing. Thus, the maintenance of standards, including freeing it from plagiarism is necessary to enhance its impact factors.

In "Open Access and Licensing," Nishat and Anjar Jamal emphsized on the need for immunity from the risks of copyright violations. Opportunities for open access to reference materials are to be enhanced to reduce threat of copyright violations. This may begin with specific and designated purposes. Moreover for certain usages content creators' permission may be made compulsory. Many easy ways have evolved to manage copyright licenses, and that can give more access to potential researchers. Creative common licenses provide easy ways to manage the copyright terms that automatically attach all creative materials under copyright. Under this license, users are free to share copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. One can adapt, remix, transform, and even build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

  Participants' Feedback Top

Dr. Anil Khurana, Deputy Director of CCRH and a member of the advisory committee of the conference interacted with participants in an open-ended session and obtained feedback. The participants thanked the organizers for providing an ideal environment for serious discussion on an important subject such as copyright and plagiarism. They appreciated the speakers for informative, focused, and in-depth analysis on the critical topics. The papers presented in the conference scrutinized the subject from different viewpoints. The participants were unanimous that it had been a learning experience all through the conference proceedings.

  Valedictory function Top

Dr. Raj K. Manchanda in his closing remarks thanked the organizing team of SDPA and CCRH for making such a flawless arrangement at a massive scale. He informed that with the participation of a distinguished guest from Bangladesh, the conference was in true sense elevated to an international event. He assured to organize events on copyright subjects every year in collaboration with SDPA.

The chief guest of valedictory session Prof. (Dr.) C. Nayak, former Director General of CCRH, in a brief presentation reminded the participants that mere borrowing of knowledge was never copyright violation. It occurs when there is a conscious attempt not to recognize the source. The skill for creative and original works comes through practice, perseverance, and determination. The life of an original work is eternal, while the chances of survival of a research work infested by plagiarism are only short-term.

  Recommendations Top

The conference ended with a set of recommendations collated from the papers presented, speeches delivered, and individual feedback from the participants. They are,

  1. Copyright and plagiarism need to be included in all university academic courses.
  2. Ethics in study and research must be part of school education curriculum.
  3. Regular orientation workshops on intellectual property rights to be held at national regional levels at regular intervals.
  4. Quality check of publication materials through anti-plagiarism software is to be promoted.
  5. Open access facilities are to be enhanced.
  6. Preference must be given to quality of publications over quantity and number of publications.
  7. Stronger monitoring system of research and innovation activities has to be in place.

  Adieu Top

In her vote of thanks, Meenakshi Bhatia, Junior Librarian at CCRH thanked the management of CCRH for extending all cooperation to make the conference a success. The participants were appreciated for traveling from far distant states to attend this conference. Those who submitted the papers were thanked. She remembered the happy moments to work with the SDPA team. Last but not least, she thanked the invisible volunteers who worked behind the curtain and made sure that all services and facilities are in place without fail.

Financial Support and Sponsorship


Conflicts of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Matthew R. Ballard, Increasing Academic Dishonesty and Copyright Infringement in Universities: A Literature Review. Available from: matthewrballard.com/Documents/LIS584BallardMLitReview.pdf.  Back to cited text no. 1


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