What is “plagiarism”?
“To copy another person’s ideas, words or work and pretend that they are your own” (Oxford dictionary)
At THIMUN we expect delegates to create and develop their own new ideas and actions, thus plagiarised clauses from previous resolutions are not accepted at THIMUN. Exceptions are only ‘common’ clauses, often used as an introduction or last clause.
Even if someone rephrases information and ideas he found in a book or on the Internet, this is plagiarism. Quotations are no problem as long as they are cited accordingly.
Self–plagiarism, referring to the usage of one’s published material in an unpublished report, is in order as long as one acknowledges the source of material citing it, and introduces new material that is original. This, while usually unobserved, should be dealt with in this way if observed or pointed out.
Here is an example of how to recognize unacceptable and acceptable paraphrases:
Calls upon all parties concerned to ensure that the protection, rights and well being of children affected by armed conflict are specifically integrated into all peace processes, peace agreements and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction planning and programmes;
Unacceptable phrase of plagiarism:
Urges all member nations to ensure that the rights, protection, and wellbeing of children affected by armed conflict are particularly integrated into post-conflict recovery and reconstruction planning, as well as all peace programmes, peace processes, and agreements;
Why is this plagiarism?
The writer has only changed around a few words and phrases or changed the order of the original’s sentence. If an individual does this, they are plagiarizing.
Stresses that all children affected by violent engagements must be protected by all member states and that they are particularly integrated into post-conflict recovery through reconstruction planning and special rehabilitation programs to further improve their reintegration into social life;
Why is this acceptable?
Although it has some components of the original clause, which we do not encourage, it also states new ideas and this would not count as plagiarism and it would be a rare occasion that another delegate is aware with the familiar wording.
At THIMUN two different ‘types’ of plagiarism can occur
During the lobbying process:
Prior to submitting resolutions to the approval panel, please check for plagiarism.
At the time of checking the resolutions for paraphrases, it is often helpful to use websites, such as: http://www.plagiarismdetect.com/ . However , this should not be your only way of checking resolutions for plagiarism.
In the case that you encounter plagiarised clauses or entire resolutions, you should demand the main submitter to develop own ideas and totally rephrase their clauses; otherwise that resolution will not be debated. After finding plagiarism in this resolution, give priority to the other resolutions.
During the debate:
If a delegate can prove that clauses have been plagiarised from another UN or THIMUN document, call for a five-minute indoor recess and ask both the main submitter and the accuser to approach the chair.
Depending on the gravity plagiarized clauses there are two possibilities:
- One clause plagiarized: Main submitter and accuser approach the chair, who calls for a five-minute indoor recess. If the accusations are correct, it is up to the chair’s decision what to do. Either by not accepting a plagiarized resolution and withdrawing it, or giving the main submitter the chance to rephrase the clause through an amendment;
- More than one plagiarized clauses: Since it would take too much time to amend the affected clauses, the chair will decide that the main submitter withdraws the resolution. If a clause has been plagiarised from another delegate, this will cause some trouble, since it is a statement against a statement. Check all the resolutions you gathered during the Ad Hoc meeting, it could occur however that a delegate left a merging group, after they have come up with a new clause. Again, it is up to the chair’s discretion what to do, however, you can always consult your designated Deputy Secretary-General or member of the Executive Team for advice.