Education Ministry plans to update plagiarism guidelines

By Claire Lee
  • Published : Jul 13, 2014 - 20:32
  • Updated : Jul 13, 2014 - 20:32
The Ministry of Education plans to create a set of new guidelines aimed at preventing plagiarism in response to public criticism over the alleged misconduct of minister nominee Kim Myung-soo.

The guidelines, which were last updated back in 2007, only define plagiarism as “using the ideas and research findings of another person without citing them.” The ministry is to introduce a more detailed definition of plagiarism and how to avoid it.

The code, however, will only apply to research projects that are funded by the government. Local universities have their own guidelines that students must follow. As of 2012, a total of 168 universities nationwide had established a code of academic conduct.

Education Minister-designate Kim Myung-soo has been under attack for alleged multiple acts of academic misconduct, including plagiarism and publishing his students’ dissertations as if they were his own research findings.

The professor emeritus at Korea National University of Education has been also accused of making his students write newspaper columns under his name. He bungled many of the answers at the confirmation hearing at the National Assembly last week, which sent observers, including the lawmakers of the ruling Saenuri Party, scratching their heads about why he was nominated in the first place.

The Education Ministry wants to include rules on multiple submissions and coauthorship between professors and their students.

In some universities in the U.S. and Canada, acts of plagiarism include working with someone else on a project but failing to provide credit in the final paper; having someone else rewrite or “heavily edit” one’s academic paper; failing to use quotation marks when using a direct quotation; and paraphrasing someone else’s argument and passing it off as one’s own.

The ministry plans to encourage universities to adopt the government’s guidelines on academic integrity once the updated version is released.

By Claire Lee (