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Optical Materials Express

Optical Materials Express

  • Editor: David J. Hagan
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2013
  • pp: 307–308
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From the Board of Editors: on Plagiarism

The OSA Board of Editors  »View Author Affiliations

Optical Materials Express, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp. 307-308 (2013)

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Dear Colleagues

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Plagiarism is a serious breach of ethics and is defined as the substantial replication, without attribution, of significant elements of another document already published by the same or other authors. Two types of plagiarism can occur – self-plagiarism and plagiarism from others’ works:

Plagiarism from others’ works constitutes the most offensive form of plagiarism. Effectively, it is using someone else’s work as if it is your own. Any text, equations, ideas, or figures taken from another paper or work must be specifically acknowledged as they occur in the paper or work. Figures, tables, or other images reproduced from another source normally require permission from the publisher. Text or concepts can, for example, be quoted as follows: “As stated by xxx (name of lead author), “text” [reference].”

Action on Notification of Allegations of Plagiarism

OSA identifies an act of plagiarism in a published document to be the substantial replication, without appropriate attribution, of significant elements of another document already published by the same or other authors. OSA has implemented a process for dealing with cases of plagiarism. When the Editor-in-Chief of a journal is notified of an instance of either of the two possible forms of plagiarism discussed above, he or she will make a preliminary investigation of the allegations, including a request for the accused authors to explain the situation. If further action is justified, then the Editor-in-Chief will refer the matter to the OSA Editorial Ethics Review Panel, who will investigate and take corrective action as appropriate. The Panel will consist of three members: the OSA Senior Director of Science Policy who will serve as Chair; the Chair of the Board of Editors who will serve as a member; and a third member with prior editorial experience and appointed by the Board of Editors. Penalties assessed to authors range from a simple warning to blocking access to a paper in the journal website, publishing notices describing the infraction and temporarily prohibiting the offending authors from publishing in OSA journals. In general, the penalty becomes more severe the more serious the infraction. Severity is judged by extent of the plagiarism (a few lines of text versus more extensive plagiarism of text, whether the infraction is a first offense, etc.) or the type of plagiarism. For example, self-plagiarism is considered less severe than plagiarism and plagiarism of text is considered less severe than plagiarism of ideas and results. Severe penalties, such as loss of OSA publishing privileges and blocking access to a paper in the journal website, require a unanimous vote of the Panel. An example of the notice that is inserted into the OSA electronic record in place of a blocked plagiarizing article is the following:

“It has come to the attention of The Optical Society that this article should not have been submitted owing to its substantial replication, without appropriate attribution, of significant elements found in the previously published material: [citation data – including the authors, journal title, full citation of the earlier published material.]”

The OSA Board of Editors

Original Manuscript: January 22, 2013
Published: January 29, 2013

The OSA Board of Editors, "From the Board of Editors: on Plagiarism," Opt. Mater. Express 3, 307-308 (2013)

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