Anti-Plagiarism Test Not A Witch-Hunt, Tobinson Insists At SGS Orientation

Contrary to the opinion held by some Graduate Students that the anti-plagiarism check was a deliberate witch-hunt intended to delay the completion of their programmes, Acting Director of the Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO), Dr. Tobinson Briggs, has rubbished such line of thinking, insisting that it was in line with global best practice.
Dr Briggs assured them that no sane academic would wish to truncate the future career choices of students in search of self-actualisation in the academia. He corrected the impression while reacting disapprovingly to the position of a Doctoral candidate, who claimed that the anti-plagiarism check was aimed at witch-hunting students during the Orientation exercise for newly-admitted students into the 2016/2017 academic session at the Amatu Braide Lecture Theatre, University Park on Thursday, April 13, 2017.
“Why on earth should Graduate Students feel that the School of Graduate Studies in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Office would wish to truncate their academic destinies? IPTTO was established by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), which is a Federal Government agency charged with the responsibility of promoting the commercialisation of original research and development in the country. The Office is also responsible for facilitating the process of patenting research products,” Dr. Briggs pointed out. He averred that only lazy students who did not wish to engage in original research would see the anti-plagiarism check as a witch-hunt. Dr. Briggs, who was a Resource Person at the Orientation made a presentation on Academic Integrity in Graduate Programme—Anti-Plagiarism Check.
The Acting Director observed that many students had engaged in plagiarism due largely to inadequate knowledge about it or probably because they did not consider it a wrongful act, while some others did not want to spend their money and time to carry out quality research work. 
Briggs restated his commitment to the full implementation of the mandate handed down to his office, vowing that all research proposals by Graduate Students must undergo the mandatory ethical clearance before they can graduate. He disclosed that Master’s Dissertation must not exceed the maximum 20 per cent plagiarism test, while Doctoral Thesis and Staff Papers/Books must not exceed 15 per cent.  
“Once we closed the doors of copy and paste research, we have automatically opened the doors of critical imagination, which will give birth to innovations and inventions that will usher in the inflow of patents and spinoffs,” the Acting Director stated. 
Speaking in a combined opening remarks and presentation entitled: Staff-Student Relationship in Graduate Programme, Outgoing Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Professor Regina Ogali, congratulated the fresh Graduate students for meeting the stringent requirements which enabled them to secure admission into the School. 
“On securing admission, some of you may think you know all other processes to follow, especially those of you who must have obtained earlier degrees from this University, but there are changes that you must know. We are aware that some of those we gave admission are not supposed to be here, but the system has an inbuilt mechanism for self-regulation as you would soon find out. Finally, we expect you to behave yourselves as Graduate Students,” the Dean admonished the new students.
“If you don’t meet up our residency period and you exceed the grace period, we deregister you. This is not a place to while away time. We want to teach people who are focussed. If there is a problem, don’t wait until it is late. It is illegal to be working Full-Time and also studying on Full-Time basis. You must pay your fees as at when due and you cannot register without payment of your fees. The rule is that in every new session, you must renew your payment to remain a bona fide student,” the Dean warned.
Others who made presentations included the Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Agatha Ataga who spoke on Academic Policies in Graduate Programme, Director, Quality Assurance and Quality Control/SERVICOM Unit, Professor Ikechukwu Agbagwa, who told the students to lodge any complaints or suggestions on SERVICOM Box and Chairman, Professional Ethics Committee, Professor Frank Ugiomoh, who tasked the students on ethical conduct in the University. The Orientation exercise ended with an interactive session with the students.


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