MET workshops

Handling plagiarism

Plagiarism – failing to give credit where credit is due – is one of the issues language professionals, whether authors’ editors, translators, copy editors or writers, are bound to face in their work sooner or later. This means we should be prepared and equipped to deal with it. Although we’re not expected to police our clients, we do need to know how to act when we find that a text we’re working on contains substantial portions of unoriginal material, or when a client asks for our help in responding to an accusation of plagiarism. So knowing what plagiarism is, what the moral and professional consequences can be, and what the current editorial attitudes – and the possible penalties – are is a fundamental part of our stock-in-trade. 
Facilitator: Marije de Jager
This is an update of a workshop for manuscript editors developed in 2010 with Mary Ellen Kerans and Dado Čakalo. 
Purpose: To provide language professionals with background knowledge and tools to deal effectively with more and less serious degrees of plagiarism and text recycling (also referred to as self-plagiarism).
Description/structure: We will start by formulating a working definition of plagiarism and looking at the breadth of the problem especially in scholarly writing. We will then move on to plagiarism detection methods, editorial attitudes and guidelines, writing and citing issues related to patchwriting and paraphrasing, and communication about these problems with clients. Theoretical sections will be alternated with practical work and discussion, and participants are encouraged to share their own experiences of detecting and handling plagiarism.
Who should attend? Manuscript editors (authors’ editors and copy editors), translators, writers and anyone else who is likely to have to deal with plagiarism issues in the texts they work with.
Outcome: Participants will become more aware of the extent of plagiarism in different text types, with a focus on academic manuscripts. They will become familiar with some plagiarism detection tools and with the interpretation of a similarity report. They will be better equipped to discuss this often delicate issue with their clients and perhaps even educate them on how to avoid it. 

Pre-workshop information: Participants are invited to bring along and discuss examples from their own practice. Shortly before the workshop they will receive a few short editorials about plagiarism in scientific texts that will serve as a basis for discussion.
About the facilitator: Marije de Jager received her NL-EN-IT translator’s training at the University of Amsterdam. She spent a few years in London before moving to Italy and embarking on a career as a freelance translator and editor. She currently works as a copy editor and authors’ editor in biomedicine. Through her work as an editor, she developed an interest in the prevention of plagiarism in scientific writing and in steering authors towards originality in text production.