Plagiarism or Plain Survival?

The undersigned have read with interest the excellent article on plagiarism by Sudip K. Das.1 Although the article deals with the incidence of plagiarism in higher education* that has recently set off some empathetic alarm bells throughout the academic community, its content can undoubtedly be applied to another related problem, that is, plagiarism among non-native English-speaking scientists while writing papers. For a non-native English-speaking scientist, one of the most frustrating comments coming from a manuscript's referee reads as follows: "English is poor." Setting aside the well-known fact that some referees reach this conclusion simply driven by preconceived prejudices regarding the capacity of non-native speakers to write in a foreign language, we wonder: Couldn't it be possible to use a more "refined" expression to state the same fact, such as, "Both the choice of vocabulary and the grammatical structure of the text, in its present...

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?