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There has been a dramatic increase in the number of articles published in Philica containing plagiarized text. While this coincides with a decrease in the number of reviews per article, the two were not significantly related.
I have noticed a dramatic increase in the occurrence of plagiarism in papers published on Philica. For this article, I am using the portion of the plagiarism definition as the presentation of text as the author’s own without citation or proper attribution to the true creator of that text. I accessed each available article on Philica (as of 30 May 2012) to assess if text within the article was original to that author or if it had been copied from some other source. Within each article I selected 3 full paragraphs or other large blocks of text (at least 2 sentences long) and searched, using Google.com, for each selection individually. If the text was found in another publication online, I ensured that 1) it was not the same article in a different format by the same author, and 2) it was a different article/document by a different author published prior to the Philica article.
Of the 222 articles accessed from April 2006-May 2012, 37 (16.7%) contained portions of text that were not original to that author in that article (Table 1). Several were whole articles copied from other sources with the new authors name being the only change. Others were self-plagiarized with portions of text copied from other Philica articles by the same author.
Table 1. Total number of articles published and containing plagiarized text in Philica in each scientific area, April 2006-May 2012. Asterisk (*) signifies areas without published articles
Over the first 6 years of existence (2006-2011), there was a mean of 4.2 (SD = 1.7) articles containing plagiarized text each year. In the first 5 months of 2012, there have been 12 out of 18 articles with plagiarized text (Figure 1). This increase in plagiarism was not significantly related to the number of reviews/article (r = -0.45, P = 0.310), which has decreased since 2006 (Figure 2). The jump from an average of 13.0% (SD = 6.0%) to 66.7% of articles containing large sections of plagiarized text should be disheartening to anyone with a desire for Philica to succeed as a scientific outlet.
Figure 1. Percent of published articles in Philica containing plagiarized text.
Figure 2. Mean number of reviews per article published in Philica.
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June, F. (2012). Increase in the incidence of plagiarism in Philica articles. PHILICA.COM Article number 330.