Guidelines on Plagiarism

These guidelines are intended to guide authors when dealing with cases of Plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism?
In the context of Philippine law and cases, "Plagiarism is a concept more understood in academic circles as an offense against academic integrity anathema to the strict standards of originality of scholarly works which members of the academic community subscribe to.” The Supreme Court has also described Plagiarism as the "deliberate and knowing presentation of another person's original ideas or creative expressions as one's own".

Is Plagiarism a crime?
Plagiarism is not considered a crime under the Philippine law but if committed under certain circumstances, it can amount to criminal violation of the Intellectual Property Code, the E-Commerce Act or the Cybercrime Prevention Act. While cybercrimes generally include cyber-attacks, online fraud, cybersex and child pornography, Sec 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act also states that it covers “all crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws.” Copyright infringement under Section 217 of R.A. No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code (IPC) can be punishable by one to three years imprisonment and a fine ranging from P50,000-P150,000 for the first offense; three years and one day to six years imprisonment and a fine ranging from P150,000-P500,000 for the second offense; and six years and one day to nine years imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1,500,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.

When does Plagiarism become a legal issue?
Plagiarism becomes a legal issue if the alleged plagiarized material violates the copyright protection of the original author.

What are the rights conferred to the author of a work?
The author of a work has copy or economic rights, as well as moral rights over the work. The author has the exclusive right to carry out, authorize or prevent the:

  • Reproduction of the work or substantial portion of the work;
  • Dramatization, translation, adaptation, abridgment, arrangement or other transformation of the work;
  • The first public distribution of the original and each copy of the work by sale or other forms of transfer of ownership;
  • Rental of the original or a copy of an audio-visual or cinematographic work, a work embodied in a sound recording, a computer program, a compilation of data and other materials or a musical work in graphic form, irrespective of the ownership of the original or the copy which is the subject of the rental;
  • Public display of the original or a copy of the work;
  • Public performance of the work; and
  • Other communication to the public of the work.

Moral rights confer the following on the author of a work:

  • To require that the authorship of the works be attributed to him, in particular; the right that his name, as far as practicable, be indicated in a prominent way on the copies, and in connection with the public use of his work;
  • To make any alterations of his work prior to, or to withhold it from publication;
  • To object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, his work which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation; and
  • To restrain the use of his name with respect to any work not of his own creation or in a distorted version of his work.

What constitutes copyright infringement in the Philippines?
Copyright infringement occurs when there is a violation of any of the exclusive economic or moral rights granted to the copyright owner. It may also consist in aiding or abetting such infringement. The IP Code also provides for the liability of a person who at the time when copyright subsists in a work has in his possession an article which he knows, or ought to know, to be an infringing copy of the work for the following purposes: (a) selling or letting for hire, or by way of trade offering or exposing for sale or hire, the article; (b) distributing the article for the purpose of trade, or for any other purpose to an extent that will prejudice the rights of the copyright owner in the work; or (c) trade exhibit of the article in public.

What is the acceptable percentage of Plagiarism Report?
There is a lack of established international standard on how much percentage of Plagiarism is acceptable in a manuscript. Nevertheless, SciEnggJ promotes the principle of zero (0) plagiarism for original papers, emphasizing the importance of producing entirely unique content. However, for journals and other scholarly works, a limited similarity of up to 15% may be deemed permissible, provided proper citation and attribution practices are diligently followed.


© 2023 SciEnggJ
Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering