What is plagiarism, exactly? Is it a matter of copying a source word for word? Or is it a matter of rephrasing a sentence in a source and calling it your own? The rules related to plagiarism actually are quite complex, and there are instances in which people who unwittingly plagiarized have ended up in court. The concept of academic integrity should be important to you as a doctoral student. Maintaining academic integrity includes avoiding plagiarism. However, in order to avoid plagiarism, you must first become proficient at recognizing it.
In this Assignment, you practice recognizing plagiarism and consider how you might avoid plagiarism in your own writing.
Doctors, whose first allegiance is supposed to be to their patients, have traditionally stood between drug company researchers and trusting consumers. Yet unless there is evidence of misconduct (the deliberate misrepresentation of something as fact by someone who knows it is not), it is very difficult to discover and virtually impossible to prove that a piece of biomedical research has been tainted by conflict of interest. No study is perfect, and problems arise in the labs of even the most conscientious and honest researchers. Although biomedical research incorporates rigorous scientific rules and is often critically scrutinized by peers, the information can nevertheless be warped—by ending a study because the results are disappointing; changing rules mid-study; not trying to publish negative results; publicizing preliminary results even with final and less positive results in hand; skimming over or even not acknowledging drawbacks; and, especially, casting the results in the best light or, as scientists say, buffing them (Crossen, 1994, pp. 166–167).
“Consumers must trust that the research that has gone into the manufacture of new drugs is safe. But it is hard to know if a conflict of interest between doctors, researchers, and the drug company stockholders has tainted the results. Biomedical researchers incorporate strict rules of science into their work, which is examined by peers. Yet the resulting information can be warped for five reasons: ending a study too soon, not publishing negative results, publishing results too early, skimming over or ignoring drawbacks, and ‘buffing’ the results by showing them in the best light” (Crossen, 1994, p. 167).
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