Dealing with Plagiarism in the Information Systems Research Community: A Look at Factors that Drive Plagiarism and Ways to Address Them

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Vol: 27, Issue: 4

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Kock, Ned; Davison, Robert
Ethics; committees; community; plagiarism; information systems research
article description
Imagine yourself spending years conducting a research project and having it published as an article in a refereed journal, only to see a plagiarized copy of the article later published in another journal. Then imagine yourself being left to fight for your rights alone, and eventually finding out that it would be very difficult to hold the plagiarist accountable for what he or she did. The recent decision by the Association of Information Systems to create a standing committee on member misconduct suggests that while this type of situation may sound outrageous, it is likely to become uncomfortably frequent in the information systems research community if proper measures are not taken by a community-backed organization. In this article, we discuss factors that can drive plagiarism, as well as potential measures to prevent it. Our goal is to discuss alternative ways in which plagiarism can be prevented and dealt with when it arises. We hope to start a debate that provides the basis on which broader mechanisms to deal with plagiarism can be established, which we envision as being associated with and complementary to the committee created by the Association for Information Systems.