With every kind of action comes a variety of outcomes. With positive actions, those consequences might prove that the action was worth it, with contrary actions, such as plagiarism, those consequences can be dire and tremendously harmful. To further enlighten people about the adverse effects of plagiarism, we explain the most common consequences of plagiarism.
We have analyzed tons of cases where people suffered from the plagiarism that was left in their papers. Most of the cases may be grouped by direct or indirect damage according to the table below.
Consequences of Plagiarism by groups
- Reduced grades
- Damaged reputation
- Damaged trust level
- Harder to find job
- Call to legal action
Call to legal action
If you happen to infringe copyrighted material, steal someone’s trademark or “piggy-back” off of others’ success in the academic field, do not be surprised to see them take legal action against you. Most of the time, copyright violations are subject to severe penalties and fines, sometimes exceeding six or seven digits. However, original authors will likely try to contact you directly beforehand and politely ask to disassociate yourself from that work, issue a public apology or something of sorts. Legal action is burdensome to handle and deal with; thus it is in your best interest to do everything to avoid it. Using plagiarism checkers is one of the best ways to do so.
The most know legal actions
|Plaintiff||Defendant||Essence||Compensation requested, granted, agreed|
|Elsevier||SciHub||In 2015, Elsevier filed a lawsuit against Sci-Hub, in Elsevier et al. v. Sci-Hub et al., at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. It was the largest copyright infringement case that had been filed in the US, or in the world, at the time. Elsevier alleged that Sci-Hub violated copyright law and induced others to do so, and it alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as inducements to violate that law. Elsevier asked for monetary damages and an injunction to stop the sharing of the papers.||US$15 million|
|Authors Guild||Authors Guild v. Google is a copyright case litigated in the United States. It centers on the allegations by the Authors Guild, and previously by the Association of American Publishers, that Google infringed their copyrights in developing its Google Book Search database.||US$125 million|
|Tasini||New York Times Co.||New York Times Co. v. Tasini, 533 U.S. 483 (2001), is a leading decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of copyright in the contents of a newspaper database. It held that The New York Times, in licensing back issues of the newspaper for inclusion in electronic databases such as LexisNexis, could not license the works of free-lance journalists contained in the newspapers.||US$18 million|
For students writing essays or completing regular written assignments, plagiarism can result in a failed and non-satisfactory grade or minus some points from the final total. However, if you catch the attention of a lecturer or professor, they are going to have to file a report (most of the time), thus giving you a strike and then keeping you under their radar for the rest of the semester.
Ooh! Ooh! Me, sir! Please, sir! We’ve had to deal with exactly this situation.Our son was once marked down on an essay which his tutor had declared was “clearly copied from the internet”. This greatly surprised my wife, who had read it before he submitted it and thought “well, that’s so much in his own writing style that no-one could mistake it for anyone else’s work” – but apparently the tutor had judged the essay more mature and well-written than a child of my son’s age could produce without plagiarism.
Severe or repetitive instances of plagiarism could call for more severe responses from the school or university. Suspension can be a direct result of a students’ unwillingness to stop plagiarising, or if they decided to plagiarise coursework, thesis or purposefully bought papers from outside sources online.
I have been suspended for an academic violation from my university. I had committed the first offense in my junior year where I copied an entire paper from the internet. I was given a warning and sent on my way. In my second-to-last semester, I plagiarized again. However, I feel as though the second instance was different from the first. I want it to be known I am terribly sorry for what happened and I regret it so much. The second time I plagiarized was on a 3 page paper.
As one of the most severe punishments, a student can have, expulsion for plagiarism does happen quite a lot. With very rare exceptions, you are likely to get expelled if you plagiarise coursework, thesis and/or other tasks that account a lot on your final grade. Expulsion also might happen if you spread plagiarised content, meaning that you are writing those types of essays, thesis, coursework for other students in the community. Once in a blue moon will a university will review your case and maybe take it lightly. Almost every instance ends in severe punishment with little hesitation from the expulsion board. The consequences of plagiarism here might even ruin one’s future.
I’ve been on a panel that voted to kick a student out of a university for plagiarism.
In the scale we used to determine punishments, from worst to least bad, were roughly:
- Aggravated or mass violation. That is, stealing and sharing an exam answer key, maliciously hacking some sort of system, or otherwise committing large-scale, illegal, or particularly grievous academic integrity violations or academic fraud. This could be a one-off expulsion – if there were illegalities also involved, those would be handled by law enforcement.
Despite being of the most severe consequences of plagiarism, expulsion gets applied on more instances than before. Case in point:
Stripping of all academic honours and disassociation from the academic institution
This almost always goes hand in hand with expulsion. If you are an alumnus of a university and are found to be guilty of plagiarism later on down the road, the school will not hesitate one bit to revoke your academic honours. MD’s are left empty-handed, and people lose BA’s degrees quicker than you could blink. In universities, plagiarising does not pay off. With more of them integrating plagiarism checking systems almost every day, trying to get by gets enormously tricky.
Petras Barsauskas, rector of the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), is stepping down amid suspicions of plagiarizing his habilitation thesis.
The resignation was announced by Barsauskas to the KTU community on Wednesday. “After analyzing and giving much thought to a number of circumstances and having looked at the situation from outside, today I announced what seems to be the fairest decision – I am stepping down from the post,” Barsauskas said in a press release.
If you are a content writer and cut corners using copy-paste techniques or just knock off someone else’s work, prepare to issue a lot of refunds.
When working for a publisher, magazine, or any company directly in contact with content writing or content management, plagiarism is not an option. When your boss or someone responsible for your department finds out about something related to plagiarism, they will not be lenient. Plagiarism is not a laughing matter; the lawsuits and lousy SEO can bring threatens businesses.
Thus it is always better to check twice, three times, or even more, to avoid the negative consequences of plagiarism.