Scientific Community in Serbia Brings Attention to Widespread Plagiarism with iThenticate Study
Even with the rise in technology, plagiarism is an overlooked and silenced issue in many countries. Serbia is one example where editors and government authorities are in the early stages of understanding the importance of plagiarism prevention. Leading the quest is the Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science (CEON/CEES), a non-profit organization that promotes procedures of modern evaluation among the academic community of Serbia, and publishes the Serbian national citation index, SCIndeks. President of CEON/CEES, Dr. Pero Sipka, spoke to us about their newly established plagiarism prevention programs (utilizing iThenticate) for Serbian scientific journals, and about working with the Serbian government to create additional programs that aid in the betterment of education, research and scientific development in their country.
Listen to the interview (3:30 minutes):
iThenticate: It’s an honor to have Dr. Pero Sipka from the Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science speak with us today about their experience with iThenticate. Welcome, Pero. Could you please tell us about your role and your organization?
Sipka: I am President of the Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science (CEON/CEES), which is a non-profit organization that is working to introduce modern technologies for evaluation of scientific entities in Serbia. Also, I am professor teaching at the PhD level topics related to information support to evaluation (University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Psychology).
We are not only a publisher of certain database, of a certain tool to be used for evaluation, we are also an organization with a mission to introduce fair, data-driven, objective and pure evaluation in our country. We, as an organization and publisher of our national citation index couldn’t afford to publish illegitimate papers that are plagiarized and papers containing references that cannot be accepted (as coming from plagiarized or duplicated sources).
We were aware that something had to be changed and tried to locate the proper, professional service, and arrived at the solution of using iThenticate.
iThenticate: iThenticate helped you conduct a study of plagiarism to gauge the level of plagiarism in Serbia, and conclude that something needed to be done. What kind of an impact have you seen iThenticate have?
Sipka: I think the greatest impact and the most positive effect from using iThenticate is raising awareness of the importance of fighting plagiarism in our country, in our national journals. This was something that was totally out of sight of authorities in this country, the biggest players like journal publishers. Thanks to our study based on iThenticate, we turned attention to the problem, which is not something that can be swept under the carpet. This is something very important for the scientific development for the country and also important for the general climate in our society.
So, we succeeded in a positive response of dozens of journals who joined our program of using iThenticate in their daily job in the prevention of plagiarism, which is very important. As to the other effects, we are still waiting on the response from national authorities including to our proposal containing 10 items for how to fight plagiarism, from the first entering year of our students to our scientists publishing in Serbia and internationally.