Social work researchers often refer books which are not worthy to be referred. Professor Shankar Pathak, who retired from the Delhi School of Social Work ( now Department of Social Work at the Delhi University), recently brought to the attention of social work fraternity the "social work academic piracy " through a privately circulated letter. A writer of impeccable academic and professional integrity, Professor Pathak has exposed the wholesale piracy of a multi-volume Encyclopaedia of Social Work brought out by a private institute based at Lucknow. Encyclopaedia is a very serious academic effort needing enormous organizational and academic co-ordination. But copying others' works does not need any serious effort. Only two requirements for such an enterprise:(1)materials are to be identified for copying, and (2) unlimited confidence that the mass copying would not be noticed, and if noticed no one would bother about it.
Many social work researchers, when they work for a research degree, are not serious about the authenticity of the sources which they refer while writing. Research degrees are considered a hurdle to be crossed for promotion, or as a mandatory requirement. Many , these days, aim at getting PhD degree as a status symbol.So there is an unholy nexus between research guides, research scholars , and dissertation writers.Outsourcing research degree work has become a lucrative business enterprise.A real case of a PhD:(1):Research instruments from Internet sources; (2):contract for data collection from 300 respondents and data analysis ( Rs.3 lakhs ); (3):contract for writing the dissertation including typesetting and getting dissertation copies bound (Rs.3.25 lakhs); (4): miscellaneous (Rs.1 lakh).Total around Rs.7.5 lakhs for a PhD degree. In this scenario, plagiarism and piracy thrive.
Only a war -like action by the governments, UGC, and committed academics can make a dent on this menace. It is as deadly as corruption in public and social life.
Source : Dr T K Nair's Social Work Blog