1. Definition and Context
Respecting intellectual property rights is a foundational principle of the UbiCC's Codes of Ethics. Plagiarism, in which one misrepresents ideas, words, computer codes or other creative expression as one's own, is a clear violation of such ethical principles. Plagiarism can also represent a violation of copyright law, punishable by statute. Plagiarism manifests itself in a variety of forms, including
Self-plagiarism is a related issue. In this
document we define self-plagiarism as the verbatim or near-verbatim reuse of
significant portions of one's own copyrighted work without citing the original
source. Note that self-plagiarism does not apply to publications based on the
author's own previously copyrighted work (e.g., appearing in a conference
proceedings) where an explicit reference is made to the prior publication. Such
reuse does not require quotation marks to delineate the reused text but does
require that the source be cited.
All authors are deemed to be individually and collectively responsible for the content of papers published by UbiCC. Hence, it is the responsibility of each author to ensure that papers submitted to UbiCC attain the highest ethical standards with respect to plagiarism.
UbiCC and the UbiCC Publications Board place the investigation of each claim of plagiarism at the highest priority for resolution and action.
2. Notifying UbiCC of Alleged Plagiarism
To inform UbiCC of alleged plagiarism, send email to UbiCC Director of Publications, and include the following information:
UbiCC can only process plagiarism claims
involving UbiCC-copyrighted material.
Upon receipt of an allegation of plagiarism, the Director of Publications will inform the appropriate UbiCC volunteers and Senior Headquarters Staff. The Director will then coordinate the investigation. Depending on the details of the claim, the investigation may include, but not be limited to, any or all of the following steps:
Once the investigation has been completed, the
UbiCC Publications Board, based on a recommendation from the UbiCC Director of
Publications, will determine the penalties to be imposed depending on the type
All aspects of an investigation will be treated with the utmost regard for confidentiality. However, in order to ensure timely and effective resolution, details of a claim will be circulated to individuals on a need-to-know basis (e.g., see Section 3 above). As part of the investigation, it may be necessary for UbiCC to contact current and/or past employers of the authors. Additionally, some institutions have specific requirements for their employees to disclose any pending legal/ethical matters.
UbiCC, at its discretion, may decide to inform the general UbiCC membership of the plagiarism investigation. However, during the investigation, under no circumstances will UbiCC disclose any individual author's name, paper titles, referees, ad hoc investigation committee members, or any other personal or specific information regarding a plagiarism claim to the general membership.
5. Results of an Investigation
Once a decision has been reached, it will be communicated to all parties immediately by the UbiCC Director of Publications. If plagiarism has been found, all parties will be informed of the penalties and the actions that will be taken. Upon notification, the investigative phase will be deemed to have ended, and there will be no further communication with any party by UbiCC unless there is an appeal to the UbiCC President. All appeals must be made in writing to the UbiCC President no more than 30 days from the date of notification. Once a determination of plagiarism has been made, there is no guarantee that the author names and paper titles will continue to be kept confidential. However, UbiCC will not disclose an individual author's name, the paper title, the referees, the ad hoc investigation committee members, or any other personal or specific information in a forum actively distributed to the general membership (e.g., UbiCC).
6. Penalties for Plagiarism
When plagiarism has been found to have occurred, UbiCC will take the actions listed below as determined by the type of plagiarism. Unless determined otherwise during the investigation, all authors are deemed to be individually and collectively responsible for the content of a plagiarizing paper.
a. Verbatim copying, near-verbatim copying, or
purposely paraphrasing a significant portion of another author's paper without
citing the source and without clearly delineating (e.g., in quotation marks) the
b. Verbatim copying, near-verbatim copying, or
purposely paraphrasing sentences of another author's paper and/or, copying
elements of another author's paper (such as non-common knowledge illustrations
and equations) without citing the source and without clearly delineating (e.g.,
in quotation marks) the source material.
The authors will be asked to write a formal letter of apology to the authors of the plagiarized paper, including an admission of the plagiarism.
c. Verbatim copying of portions of another author's paper with citing, but not clearly differentiating what text has been copied (e.g., not applying quotation marks correctly) and/or not citing the source correctly.
d. Self plagiarism (verbatim or near-verbatim reuse of significant portions of one's own copyrighted work in subsequent papers where the authors have not disclosed in the subsequent paper the previous publication).