Plagiarism: Not just about academics

Many students attending Regis University are doing so to obtain degrees and certificates for professional and career advancement. The world of academics can be observed as having its own culture, rules, and policies, but students should note that the criteria and expectations for academic work and scholarship often mimic those found in professional work settings. A good example of this is the recent controversy surrounding Colorado Gubernatorial candidate Scott Mcinnis, who has recently been accused of plagiarism. As we’ve seen in previous cases of plagiarism, ignorance is no excuse!

The fact that, “McInnis acknowledged the similarities but blamed a researcher” does not exonerate him. McInnis presented the content and ideas as his own ( or at least as part of a collective effort in which he participated), and in doing so, he accepted responsibility for his actions and the work of the research assistant. As with most plagiarism cases, McInnis could of avoided the controversy by simply providing attribution to the works he cited or referred to. Politics aside, by not doing the right thing and citing Hobb’s, McInnis has brought into question the integrity and honesty with which he performs his work (not exactly good news for a politician!).

So what does this mean for the (aspiring) professional working Regis student? Plagiarism isn’t just an academic issue. Increasingly employers are looking for persons who understand how to synthesize vast amounts of information, create new ideas, and communicate recommendations and/or conclusions to a target audience. A critical step in this process is giving credit where credit is due. Otherwise you jeopardize the reputation and brand of your employer as well as yourself. Furthermore, by citing your sources, your employer will immediately understand that you have valuable research skills and an ability to find appropriate sources for the information need.



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