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Researcher Insights into the Types of Plagiarism & Attribution Issues

How is plagiarism defined in research? This interactive report displays 10 of the most common and most serious types of plagiarism and attribution issues in research.

As cases of plagiarism in academia and at scholarly journals rise, much discussion has centered on methods of preventing and detecting plagiarism and applying appropriate consequences. Amid the publicity surrounding the National Science Foundation’s discovery of plagiarism in some grant proposals as well as data from Nature citing major spikes in retractions over the past ten years, it has become clear that understanding and addressing plagiarism is more complex than a simple assessment of originality. For universities, research organizations and scholarly publishers to formulate a truly comprehensive strategy for addressing and preventing plagiarism, a thorough understanding of the many shades of duplication is critical.

To facilitate this exploration, iThenticate conducted an online survey of several hundred scientific researchers to gauge their understanding and experience with various forms of plagiarism. Inspired by Turnitin’s Plagiarism Spectrum, the survey asked respondents to rate the severity of each form and report its perceived commonness.

See the survey summary.

Codifying a clear set of terms and definitions to describe the various types of plagiarism that are present within the research community can:

  • Assist with reducing ethical breaches, retractions and scandals
  • Allow researchers and editors to communicate with clarity about this important matter

To see the interactive web page, please fill out the form on the right side.

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A poster enables a broader reach for sharing the information with faculty, researchers and graduates to help inform them about the definitions of plagiarism and assist with preventing future misconduct incidents.

Request posters for your institution or department (U.S. mailing addresses only). Posters mail within 10 working days via USPS.

Posters resemble the infographic.


View the 10 types as an online infographic. This infographic may be printed out as an alternative to the posters (for international requests).


Thank you very much for the great brochure you sent to me on Research Ethics, and for the website you created to highlight the findings of your survey. I would like additional brochures to post in our academic library, as well as in research areas around campus.
- Teresa Hartman, MLS, Associate Professor | Head, Education Department | McGoogan Library of Medicine University of Nebraska Medical Center

View the Types of Plagiarism in Research