The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses publishes AACN Advanced Critical Care. Stanford University Libraries' HighWire Press® assists in the publication of ACC Online.

Current Issue : Spring 2017

From the Editor

Plagiarism - the very word can make most people cringe.  Plagiarism can happen in a variety of ways.   I would like to believe that it is infrequent when plagiarism is done intentionally with malicious purpose.  Rather I believe the vast majority of plagiarism incidents occur either intentionally due to a lack of understanding about what constitutes plagiarism or unintentionally due to carelessness and lack of attention to detail.  Regardless of intent, the outcome is the same - use of another's ideas or words without appropriate attribution.   Editors take plagiarism seriously and are diligent in screening articles to the best of their ability to ensure that submitted manuscripts are original work with proper attribution as needed.  Most publishers and editors use plagiarism detection software to look for any duplicate content. 

New authors may not realize that in most instances, when a manuscript has been accepted for publication, authors typically are requested to sign a copyright release form, transferring copyright of the manuscript to the publisher. In this case, 'ownership' of the manuscript transfers to the publisher.  Therefore if the author writes a future manuscript on a similar topic, the author must follow the same rules in citing the original work and requesting permission from the publisher/copyright owner to reprint any figures or tables from the original work. 

To avoid any potential for even accidental plagiarism, it is important for authors to:

1.  Understand what constitutes plagiarism so you can appropriately incorporate the ideas of others into your work with accurate use of citations and quotation marks.
2.  learn how to take and organize thorough notes when researching and reviewing the literature
3.   ensure careful and detailed tracking of source materials
4.  understand the pros and cons of using plagiarism detection software.

Even accidental plagiarism can have serious consequences.  Careful and detailed tracking of ideas and content throughout the literature review and the writing process will ensure that you are not caught in making this significant misstep in your publishing efforts. 

Mary Fran Tracy, RN, PhD, CCNS

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