The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to purchase the anti-plagiarism software Turnitin to prevent plagiarism in research papers.
Plagiarism in researchers' and teachers' theses can be determined with the help of the Turnitin Software Authenticator part while the students' plagiarism can be detected in its feedback studio.
The UGC took the decision on Sunday at a virtual meeting of the committee on purchasing plagiarism-checking web services after receiving huge allegations of plagiarism in the research papers, which are essential for the teachers to get promotion at their respective universities.
Prof Dr Abu Taher, member of the UGC, said the commission will provide the software initially to 30 public universities and gradually all the universities will get the software.
"Using this software will make it easier to protect the rights and originality of research. Bangladesh is a developing country now. It will face obstacles if the researchers get involved in plagiarism. I believe the software will play an important role in curbing plagiarism and ensure the quality of researches," he added.
Professor Sazzad Hossain, another member of the UGC, said, "The incidents of plagiarism are increasing day by day. We cannot identify plagiarism due to the lack of a policy. So, we must formulate a policy soon. A roadmap for long-term use of this software would be prepared as well."
Currently, 17 universities are using this software on their own initiatives. Letters inquiring about the latest status of the software will be sent to the universities.
Professor Dr Tofayel Ahmed Chowdhury and Dr Jabed Ahmed from Dhaka University, Professor Dr Md Sekendar Ali from Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Professor Dr Moshiul Haque from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Professor Dr Sayedur Rahman from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dr Shamim Al Mamun from University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Dr Syed Akhter Hossain from United International University and Dr Kamal Hossain, director of Research Support and Publication Division at UGC, among others, were present at the function.
Recent incidents of plagiarism
In January this year, the syndicate of Dhaka University took disciplinary actions against three teachers for resorting to plagiarism in academic papers and PhD thesis.
The convicted teachers are Samia Rahman from Department of Mass Communication And Journalism, Sayed Mahfuzul Haque Marzan from Department of Criminology and Omar Faruque from Department of Islamic History and Culture at the Dhaka University.
Among them, Samia Rahman has been made assistant professor through a demotion from the post of associate professor. Mahfuzul Haque, who is currently on a study leave, has to serve as a lecturer for two more years once the leave is over.
The university syndicate has demoted Omar Faruque from assistant professor to lecturer and cancelled his degree due to forgery in his PhD thesis.