One of the most challenging issues confronting scientific writers, especially young or otherwise inexperienced writers, is the concept of plagiarism. Although some forms of plagiarism are obvious, such as quoting someone else without quotation marks or citation, other instances are more challenging to discern, and there is no universal agreement as to what extent text must be paraphrased to avoid the stigma of plagiarism. However, in an effort to avoid plagiarism, some text is paraphrased with words and phrases that misrepresent the original meaning, perhaps only subtly, but enough that it could be considered inappropriate, an issue not typically addressed in discussions of plagiarism. This summary addresses the issues of plagiarism, misrepresentation, and related topics in scientific writing in the hope it will assist authors as they assess and improve their writing skills.
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