Plagiarism is also the reproduction of a text, part of a text, any literary or graphic production, or the paraphrasing of a text without indicating its author. It violates the rules of academic ethics and constitutes fraud in graded work. Plagiarism also constitutes an infringement of copyright and intellectual property rights, which may be considered as an offence of counterfeiting. When the author of an academic work feels the need to rely on another text, he/she must do so in accordance with the following rules:
When an extract, even a short one, is quoted exactly, it must be placed between inverted commas (or indented and in slightly smaller characters if the text is longer than a few lines) and the reference (name of the author and source) must be indicated; the quoted extract must be short;
When the text or a passage of the text is paraphrased or summarised, the reference (author’s name and source) must be given.
Plagiarism also constitutes an infringement of copyright and intellectual property rights, which may be considered as a counterfeiting offence. It raises doubts about the qualities expected of contributors (critical thinking, creativity, honesty, ability to develop a personal argument and to transcribe it, etc.) and is considered a serious breach of scientific ethics. Plagiarism brings discredit not only on the offending work but also on the plagiarist’s work as a whole and, hence, on his or her competence.
The complainant must be made aware that the matter cannot be investigated unless at some point the Akofena journal informs the corresponding (or complained-about) author (due process). The first stage must be a simple comparison of the relevant (two) texts. This can be a simple side-by-side comparison by our editor for the simpler forms of plagiarism or a more thoughtful analysis if paraphrasing or types of ‘self-plagiarism’ are alleged.
What if the editor reasonably determines that there is significant overlap of text?
A confidential letter summarizing the complaint is sent to the author who is the subject of the complaint. In addition, Akofena may anonymously involve peer reviewers, members of the editorial board, or experts in the field using standard peer review procedures, to review texts (especially if the allegation is a more complex form of plagiarism). Legal review may be appropriate if the complainant or his/her publisher alleges copyright infringement.
What if the complained-about author accepts the position of the complainant?
There may still be a disagreement about the proper description. It is normally sufficient to simply state that the item complained of included substantial portions copied without attribution from a prior item. Although the complainant may feel that a stronger statement would be more appropriate – and if in fact the infringer was simply « passing off » someone else’s material as his or her own, a stronger statement would probably be appropriate, but with legal scrutiny for defamation. Finally, the editor may need to make a judgment about the appropriate language for the statement, if there is no consensus, and should do so in consultation with the Akofena administration.
What if the corresponding author rejects the position of the complainant?
Akofena journal will consider whether the author’s explanation is reasonable, then inform the complainant of the author’s explanation and request comments with justification.
What if the corresponding author has not responded in a timely fashion (approximately 30 days) to the editor’s correspondence?
The editor of our journal will make the appropriate determination that the complaint has merit.
As with authorship or fraud complaints, what if an institution is contacted and responds negatively or does not respond?
This should be reviewed with the complainant (perhaps the complainant is better placed to make the complaint directly with the institution).
What if a funding agency is involved?
To determine this, Akofena journal must review the disclosure statements in the offending article. If so, we may consider contacting the agency.
- Ban on publication in the Akofena journal for a maximum of three (03) years.
- Permanent removal of the article from our website www.revue-akofena.com
- Permanent ban on publication in Akofena and partner journals.
- Notification to the Dean, Rector of the home university.