Saturday, September 19, 2009

Plagiarism: Lecturers warned

PETALING JAYA - A STERN warning will be given to two Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) lecturers for plagiarising materials from the Internet to produce a guide book.

UPM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah said this warning would also be included in their service records, which would affect their promotion.

'The management decided to take this action following advice from the legal department that the two be given very stern warnings,' he said when contacted.

Prof Nik Mustapha said the university viewed the case seriously and did not condone it. 'No one will be suspended but they have to return any royalty received,' he said.

He said the guide books would be removed from the (university's) shelves immediately. He was commenting on a news report that two UPM lecturers had plagiarised materials to produce a guide book on writing effective resumes for management students.

Prof Nik Mustapha said the legal department had made suggestions to the management on the disciplinary action to be taken after personally meeting the authors.

'The junior author, who recently completed her PhD, said that since the source was from the Internet, she thought the information was in the public domain and as such did not cite the article,' he said.

Prof Nik Mustapha said the senior author admitted to the legal team that the manuscript looked all right to him, not realising that it was taken from another work.

'Since this is a guide book, we decided that the punishment was reasonable,' he said.

Prof Nik Mustapha said that the two authors have apologised for their ignorance, adding that the plagiarism did not affect UPM undergraduates as the work was not a textbook.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin when contacted said the ministry viewed the matter seriously. 'We will leave it to the university to conduct an investigation and take action,' he said. -- THE STAR/ANN

Source : The Straits Times

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