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FACT CHECK: Did UI Management Plagiarize Memo On Coronavirus?

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Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan is currently facing criticism from the public after a memo signed by the management of the institution was ‘alleged to have been plagiarized.

The memo dated 12th of March, 2020 is part of the precautionary measures to prevent members of the University community from contacting Corona virus (COVID-19), a disease the World Health Organization(WHO) has declared to be epidemic.

The criticism started after multiple social media users updated the picture of a similar memo issued by the University of Cape Coast.



In this fact-check, OYOINSIGHT.COM’s Adebayo Abdulrahman digs deeper to unravel the truthfulness of the allegation.

DID UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST ISSUE THE MEMO?

The picture of the memo alleged to have been plagiarized by UI management was dated 11th of March, 2020. According to the picture, the Directorate of Public Affairs, the University of Cape Coast issued it as part of precautionary measures to prevent the free spreading of Corona Virus in the University community.

In a bid to verify the credibility of the memo OYOINSIGHT did a Google reverse image search on the picture and discovered that it did not exist before the 11th of March, 2020 when the letter was supposedly issued.

Some content of the memo was posted on the official website of theUniversity on the 11th of March, 2020 with the title “UPDATE ON UCT COVID-19 RESPONSE”.

Further investigation revealed that various online media including omanghana.com, asempanews, and rainbowradioonline posted the picture in the early hours of March, 12.

WHAT TIME DID UI ISSUE THE MEMO?

Attempt to use Google reverse image to ascertain the exact time the picture of the memo issued by the University of Ibadan surfaced online showed that it was not earlier than the 12th of March, 2020.

DID UI PLAGIARIZE THE MEMO?

According to the official website of the University of Oxford, ” plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgment“.

Even though the two memos are not entirely identical, the Cape Coast memo was copied almost word to word.

The introduction was written with exactly the same words except for the ” Central Regional Health Directorate” which was replaced with ” Director, Infectious Disease Institute, University College Hospital“.

The first four precautions listed were also copied word to word except for the number of days to self – quarantine after international travel which was 5 in the University of Cape Coast memo but 14 days in that of University of Ibadan.

The remainder of the memo also had a similar resemblance in the use of words, and the arrangement of points.

CONCLUSION

There is a lack of consensus or clear-cut-rules on what percentage of plagiarism is acceptable in a work. However, According to scrubby.com, when two works share higher than 10% similarities, then it is troublesome (plagiarized).

An analysis of the similarities of the two memos shows over fortypercent similarities, therefore, Nigeria’s Premier University, University of Ibadan plagiarized the memo of the University of Cape Coast on Corona Virus.

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