Publication, Plagiarism and Copyright

Policies and Procedures

Journalism graduate students will adhere to the University Senate Rules and Regulations vis-a-vis student publication responsibility. Before students submit academic papers, they need to observe and follow policies and guidelines of the particular publishing company. Different companies have different policies. For example, SAGE does not accept previously published manuscripts except in rare cases in which authors should inform the editor to acknowledge or permit the first source of publication (i.e., abstracts and posters at conferences), re-used raw data, and clinical trials registries. Moreover, publishing companies do not allow the same research to be published in more than one journal. Translated journals and materials published elsewhere need appropriate permission. However, if authors have any problem, it is the best way to consult with the particular publishing companies.

USRR defines plagiarism as “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.” Plagiarism is viewed as a part of research misconduct together with fabrication and falsification. Plagiarism can be committed intentionally or unintentionally. Intentional plagiarism is use of ideas of others without giving credit or acknowledgement to the owner. Unintentional plagiarism can occur when students do not know how to give proper citation of their references. Exact definitions of plagiarism can differ not only from one institution to another, but also from one country to another. Therefore, the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications should ensure international students know its exact definitions and punishments so students can avoid both types of intentional and unintentional plagiarisms.

Whereas plagiarism is an issue of behavioral norms, copyright is an issue of legality. Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct whereby an author uses another person’s ideas without giving appropriate attribution. Black’s Law Dictionary defines copyright as “[t]he right of literary property as recognized and sanctioned by positive law. A right granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby he is invested, for a limited period, with the sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies of the same and publishing and selling them.” Unlike 22 the spirit of plagiarism protections, which preserve the just assignment of intellectual credit, copyright laws protect the economic well-being of the copyright holder. In his 2016 Duquesne Law Review article, Professor Frye notes that “copyright prohibits certain uses of original works of authorship without permission, irrespective of attribution; plagiarism norms prohibit copying certain expressions, facts, and ideas without attribution, irrespective of copyright protection.” Therefore, copyright laws cannot protect individual facts or ideas while plagiarism norms typically do. Additionally, the holder of the copyright may not be the author of the copyrighted work. Students of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications will sign a copyright agreement form, to be created at a later date. This form will ensure that (1) any submitted academic work is the original work of the student (except for written permissions for the student to use copyrighted material) and (2) the academic work does not infringe any copyright or proprietary rights. Additionally, journalism students will abide by the fair use and copyright standards stipulated by KU Libraries’ Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright (OSC&C) to ensure compliance with state intellectual property, trademark, and copyright law. Journalism students will adhere to the Copyright Decision Tree as published the OSC&C. This decision tree and checklist will help students identify potential issues with fair use and creative commons compliance. Students will contact the Head of the OSC&C, if questions or concerns arise from their consultation with the Copyright Decision Tree.


Publication misconduct will be addressed on an ad hoc basis. Disputes between authors will be mediated by the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development. The following sanctions may be imposed if a student or an instructor commits academic misconduct: admonition, warning and censure. In addition, other sanctions may be imposed such as reduction of grade for specific work, reduction of grade for the course, exclusion from activities, transcript citation for academic misconduct, expulsion, suspension from a specific course, recommendations of suspension and dismissal. Each publishing company has different punishment of misconduct publication. For example, the Editor-in-Chief/Editorial Board has the right to refuse to review/accept papers from these authors. Moreover, the publishing companies will retract papers. In some cases, they will be promptly published which will be freely available to all readers. Moreover, the editor can inform the author’s institution, and may refuse for a time to consider future work from the authors.

Punishments vary, depending on the policy of different universities. Some universities train the first-time violators, while some universities just give zero for a student’s work if he or she is found of guilty for the first time. Sometimes students will be asked to rework on the assignment with reduced grade. Plagiarism that is always seen as an academic misconduct sometimes can lead to a criminal case. In some cases, a plagiarist can be sued by an author and if the case is deemed a criminal offense, a plagiarist can be imprisoned.

Because copyright is a legal issue, consequences for copyright maleficence will be twofold. First, copyright infringement will be addressed internally by disciplinary action as stipulated in the plagiarism and fabrication policies of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the University Senate Rules and Regulations. Second, copyright infringement could be addressed externally through civil and criminal procedures. For details see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Should a copyright violation occur, the student author must indemnify and hold harmless the University of Kansas and its subsidiaries. When a third party’s work is used without permission, the party may demand a license fee which shall be paid by the student author.

Copyright Resources

KU libraries offer services and course guides to aid students and faculty with copyright. This includes course guides for: using copyrighted materials for fair use, how to teach about copyright, and understanding copyright publisher agreements when publishing in academic journals or books. Graduate students can also meet with librarians one-on-one to review their publisher agreements with academic journals and books. These copyright services and librarians can be reached in the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication and Copyright in Watson Library, Room 450.


University Senate Rules and Regulations Article IV

SAGE Prior Publication

AEJMC Code of Ethics Research

Springer Publishing Ethics for Journals

American Psychological Association Journal Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

Wiley Best Practice Guidelines on Publishing Ethics (pdf)

ACS Publications Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research

Seattlepi Consequences of Plagiarism in College

William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications Plagiarism and Fabrication Policies

iThenticate 6 Consequences of Plagiarism

University Senate Rules and Regulations Article IX

Check for Plagiarism Plagiarism Law

Department of Homeland Security What is Plagiarism?

University of Iowa History Style and Citation

SYMPOSIUM ARTICLE: Plagiarism is Not a Crime, 54 Duq. L. Rev. 133

The Law Dictionary What is COPYRIGHT?

University Senate Rules and Regulations

Princeton University Copyright Infringement

(Guidelines developed by Harrison Rosenthal, Nyan Lynn and Chanapa Noonark.)