Plagiarism Policy


International Journal of Chemical, Material and Environmental Research, an online journal that focuses on chemical, material and environmental sciences publishes articles every quarter. These issues before publication are firstly peer-reviewed before being made public.


What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of stealing someone’s work and presenting it as one’s own work. It is an act of copying - ideas or concepts belonging to individuals and using it without acknowledging the original source. Plagiarism means failing to use proper quotation marks for text, sentence, formula etc. copied directly from someone’s work (i.e, copying a sentence, paragraph or any form of knowledge directly from a source and using it without quotation mark or putting the quotations mark and failing to acknowledge the source). Plagiarism also means paraphrasing another person’s original work while still maintaining the sentence structure of the author. In this case, the act of simply changing and/or rearranging few of the words into a new pattern and failing to reference the source of the text, word or sentence done is regarded as unacceptable. When author(s) paraphrase other works without referencing the source, he/she is failing to show the reader that the knowledge is not his/hers. Furthermore, plagiarism is copying other scholarly work word-for-word without proper citations or taking ownership of someone’s work. If author(s) did not come up with the idea, information, code, formula, lyrics etc. the author(s) must always declare that he/she is using the idea, code, formula etc. of others by putting the necessary citation of the original work. Author(s) cannot take ownership of someone’s knowledge, idea, formula etc. as his/her own. Likewise, plagiarism can also be committed when author(s) use significant portion of his/her work without putting the reference of his/her original work, this is called self-plagiarism. Although, the author(s) are reusing their work, they still need to reference the previous copyrighted work they are reusing. In general, plagiarism is when author(s) misrepresent ideas, words, computer codes or other creative expression and claim ownership of such; it is a clear violation of such ethical principles.


Plagiarism can either be committed deliberately or out of negligence, author(s) however have the responsibility to make sure that all their academic work is well cited, referenced and clear of any plagiarism. Academic institutions also have the responsibility to ensure that their academic staffs are aware of what is considered plagiarism as well as consequences of such act. Different academic institutions provide their own definitions of plagiarism and policy guidance for students and academics. According to University of Oxford, plagiarism is when one uses someone’s work, ideas or paraphrases without proper citation and presents the work as own work. On the other hand, the University of Cape Town student plagiarism guide reminds students to make sure that they use and put the necessary reference of all used source to avoid plagiarism in their academic submissions. It further stresses that students must always show their understanding in their own words and must use quotation marks for all quotes that have been used and provide proper reference to all borrowed ideas.   

In the academics, plagiarism is considered an academic fraud, dishonesty, unethical and breach of academic integrity. Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. currently engages the Turnitin software to detect all forms of plagiarism.



Common types of plagiarism are copy and paste, word switch, style, metaphor, self-plagiarism etc. Few are discussed below:



Verbatim is the use of sentence(s), figure(s), table(s), significant phrase(s), etc. from a source without references to the source; taking ownership of someone else’s work. In order to avoid verbatim plagiarism, author(s) need to interpret the idea or concept of another scholar’s work into their own words and at the same time indicate that the work did not originate from them by providing the reference source.



Quotation plagiarism is committed when author(s) take a line, passage or paragraph from a source and uses it without proper quotation mark or citation. Even if proper quotation marks have been used for the text copied, plagiarism is committed if author(s) fail to provide proper citation to the original work.



Paraphrasing on the other hand is copying a passage or paragraph from a book, article, or other scholarly work, wherein a few of the words and language is changed but the structure of the passage is maintained. Although, the author(s) indicate the source, it shows that the author(s) fail to understand the work been presented. 



Reuse of one’s own copyrighted work without acknowledging the previous work.  



The act of plagiarism by different academic institutions is conceded as academic dishonesty or misconduct. It is the obligation of author(s) and individuals to report any suspicion of plagiarism. This also allows Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. to investigate any misconduct committed in order to uphold intellectual property right, for example in the context of this journal, the author(s) have the full copyright of the information in the journal he/she publishes. Using the contents of this journal without proper citation, quotation mark for direct quotes, copying and paste, paraphrasing, copying ideas, words, figure(s), table(s) and/or formula or other creative expression is regarded as a serious offence liable to punishment. As such, any suspicion of plagiarism involving article(s) published under Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. copyright or plagiarised Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. articles should be reported to the Editor-in-Chief on [email protected].


The author(s) making the claim should state their names, affiliation and contacts in the emails to be sent in this regard. Also required are: how they came across in identifying the plagiarism, citation to the original article(s), and citation to the alleged plagiarized article(s), including the pages, sections, sentences, figures, tables, equations, etc. in each article(s) alleged as evidence of plagiarism. The author(s) making the claim should further include the original paper(s) title, the name of the author for this specific publication alleged for plagiarism and the date of publication. It can also help with investigation if the claimer sends copies of all the plagiarised pages.


The Editor-in-Chief of Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. possesses the right to conduct a manual/automated test of the content of the publication upon the receipt of a claim.


The plagiarising author(s) will be notified and a panel will be formed comprising the Editor-in-Chief, editor(s), editorial board members of the journal, Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. committee on publishing ethics, and reviewers of the alleged plagiarised material(s).  


Moreover, individual(s) making the claim and other parties involved in the publication including the author(s) would be notified of all investigation developments. The investigation processes would be kept confidential.


If the claim is true and plagiarism is found then all the parties involved would be notified by the Editor-in-Chief and parties involved would be punished according to Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. penalty policy. However, if the author(s) or any other party would want to appeal, they can do so within 30 days of notification. 



Upon the detection of plagiarism, the following penalties will be implemented: Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. will inform the current and/or past employers of the author(s) if the paper is already published. The author(s) will also be asked to write a formal letter of apology to the author(s) of the plagiarized article. If the paper is under review or in press, the paper will automatically be rejected, while, the Editor-in-Chief will write a letter of warning to the author(s). Upon non-compliance to writing an apology letter or if it is found that there have been several violations by the same author(s), Int. J. Chem. Mater. Environ. Res. retains the right to withdraw the article(s) and automatically reject all current and future submissions by the author(s).



1. Accessed: 24/11/2014

2. The IRED Scientific Publishing. Plagiarism Policy. Accessed: 28/11/2014.

3. University of Oxford. Academic Good Practice – A Practical Guide. Accessed: 10/12/2014.

4. University of Cape Town 2005. Avoiding Plagiarism: A guide for students. Accessed: 10/12/2014.

Yodit Zegeye

Masters in Public Administration {in view} @ UWC, South Africa