Participants pose for a group photo on day one of the workshop

Plagiarism is one of the topical issues in research. The University of Venda (Univen) in partnership with Research Management Services South Africa and Phoenix Management Services held Plagiarism, Research Ethics and Stress Management Postgraduate Students Workshop on 18-19 September at Research Conference Centre.

The workshop focused on supporting postgraduate students in realising their academic responsibilities. It has also placed a special attention on plagiarism within the context of research ethics and integrity. The intention was to support students in exploring and developing techniques on how plagiarism and non-ethical research practices and behaviours can be avoided. As part of the process, students were introduced to effective stress self-management techniques to avert any inability in realising academic responsibilities.

You should apply wisdom in your everyday life- Prof Ekosse

The Director of Research and Innovation Senior Professor Georges Ekosse said “If you have knowledge and that knowledge is not guided, then that knowledge will be regarded as being useless. Knowledge without wisdom is equivalent to nothing. You have to be able to apply your wisdom.”

Senior Prof Ekosse urged postgraduate students to apply wisdom in their everyday life so that they can be successful. “You have to utilize your knowledge effectively,” Prof Ekosse said.

Senior Prof Ekosse further said Univen’s vision is to be one of the best universities in the world. “By 2020, Univen must be among top ten universities in South Africa,” Prof Ekosse added.

When pressure begins to build up, it can cause adverse strain on your emotions- Ms Furlong

Ms Antonette McLean Furlong said self-management is the ability to observe and understand yourself and to recognise a feeling as it happens. “Having this ability means that you will know your internal state, preferences, resources, and perceptions,” Ms Furlong added.

Furlong defined stress as the general term applied to the pressures people feel in life. “When pressure begins to build up, it can cause adverse strain on your emotions, thought processes and physical condition. Stress cannot be avoided and it is essential to daily living,” Ms Furlong added.

In terms of emotional intelligence, Furlong said: “Understanding your own emotions and emotions of others. Be able to manage such emotions effectively in a way that improves your personal power and productivity.”

Ms Furlong further said that some sources of stress includes feelings of personal insecurity, need for approval, lack of tolerance for ambiguity and fear of inability to cope with changed circumstances.
Ms Furlong is a part time lecturer for MBA students, at Regenesys Business School in the field of Project Management.

To understand ethics we have to understand what makes one a virtuous person- Dr Johnson

Dr Bernadette Johnson presented on plagiarism, research ethics and integrity. She said plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. “Research ethics is something that is being brought to our awareness,” Dr Johnson added.

“Research is based on the same ethical values that apply in everyday life including honesty, fairness, objectivity, openness, trustworthiness and respect for others”.

She further said that the value and benefits of research depend on the integrity of the research process. “To understand ethics we have to understand what makes one a virtuous person,” added Dr Johnson.

Dr Johnson further said that research ethics is research behaviour viewed from the perspective of moral principles and research integrity is research behaviour viewed from the research professional standards.

“Anything can be plagiarised. There is a lot you can steal in research. You can steal someone’s methodology and data analysis. Reasons for plagiarism includes poor self-esteem, pressure to achieve and lack of ability.”

Dr Johnson is an NRF Grant Holder and active researcher.

The objective of the workshop was to give postgraduate students an insight nature of plagiarism with reference to academic writings such as thesis, dissertations and scholarly publications.

The students gained an understanding of the nature of research ethics and integrity.

Participants pose for group photo on day two of the workshop

Issued by
Department of Communications and Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525
Date: 03 October 2017

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