University Dons caution PhD students against plagiarism

University Dons caution PhD students against plagiarism
UTAMU Dons enjoy a photo moment with the PhD Students after the workshop
UTAMU Dons enjoy a photo moment with the PhD Students after the workshop

Dons at Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) have cautioned PhD students under the Mbarara University of Science and Technology university (MUST) – UTAMU PhD joint programme to desist from the rising trend of plagiarism.

Orienting PhD students during a research methodology workshop from 6th-8th August 2014, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jude T. Lubega, the Dean, School of Business and Management, Prof. Benon C. Basheka and the Dean of Computing and Engineering Dr. John Ngubiri said plagiarism software will be used to check the students’ work for academic malpractice.

They cautioned students against simply using other people’s work without officially recognizing them or mentioning the source of the information.

“As a scholar, you must desist from duplicating other people’s work. If you must use it, acknowledge the author,” Basheka noted.

They challenged participants to draw up original, feasible and focused papers backed by citations. “Reviewing what other people have written is very important if one is to gain a critical perspective of what is going on in that specific area of research,” Lubega emphasized.

As the overall Coordinator of the PHD programme at UTAMU, Prof. Basheka accentuated that supervisors at a doctoral level, seek to empower graduates to demonstrate leadership and innovative skills as well as a high degree of independence in their research.

Basheka also highlighted some of the common mistakes students make during their research and provided key insights on doctoral proposal writing while Prof. Lubega’s discussion focused on quality control measures in doctoral research. “MUST-UTAMU program is interested in novel work.

It is therefore necessary to monitor the supervision process, students’ progress and their final publications to ensure that it does not contain anything which does not belong to them,” Lubega said.

Prof. Lubega also revealed that MUST and UTAMU have established a monitoring system to continuously discuss with the student and track the progress of their research and agree on the next steps throughout the research journey.

He added that students will be subjected to a six months interview to assess what they have been doing and what they hope to do in the next six months. “This is will be mandatory for all students and whoever will not show progress in one year will not continue with the program” Lubega adds.

Although, student are normally allocated two supervisors; both senior and junior, Lubega challenged students to fully own their work so that they can ably defend it.

“Please be reminded that you are pursuing your own doctorate. Do not wait for the supervisor to lead you, because you know where you want to go. Supervisors will only guide you, ensure you are on the right path towards your final destination. You need to demonstrate your understanding of the topic. You must work for it and not simply acquire it,” he cautioned.

Darius Asiimwe, a PHD student at the workshop says they were equipped with the foundational principles and armed to think like researchers which is important at this level.

“The workshop opened my eyes on internet usage for PhD studies. The discussions on the proposal content was spot on and brought out a deeper understanding of research. I thank all the presenters”, Brian Mwebaze, a PhD student recounts.

“We are from different background and given our different orientation, the workshop was crucial for getting us on the same level. It was an eye opener for me.” most students confirmed. The 3-day workshop was at UTAMU Resource Centre.

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