It has also been described as the intentional or unintentional use of another’s work or ideas, published or unpublished, without clearly acknowledging the source of that work or idea (Logue, 2004 cited by Lass et al., 2006). Plagiarism is considered the theft of intellectual property and therefore, according to Mike Todd, Editor of Anesthesiology, it is a serious challenge to the integrity of any publishing effort (cited by Editor in VAA, 2006).
The word plagiarism has been derived from the Latin word for – kidnapper or plagiarius. The definitions given by the two dictionaries are more or less the same conveying that it the use of others’ ideas and thoughts. The definition of Todd cited in VAA appears to bear substance. Based on the above definitions, the most appropriate definition would be considering plagiarism as the theft of intellectual property and presenting it as one’s own ideas and thoughts. This appears to be the most appropriate because in words of the editor of VVA, plagiarism is considered a substitute for writing and so also a substitute for thinking. This makes it necessary that any proof of plagiarism must be acted on swiftly and comprehensively. Once plagiarism has been established necessary action can be taken.
The nursing profession specifies in its code of professional ethics that nurses must be trustworthy and they must possess the qualities of integrity and honesty. This is in sharp contrast to fraud. Fraud has been defined as a deliberate intention to deceive and is based on dishonesty (Semple, Kenkare & Achilles, 2004). Today people are more concerned about presenting a deceivingly glossy image to the public and would go to any extent to achieve this. It has been found in the UK that nurses did not possess the requisite practical nursing skills expected of them by the employers.