Plagiarism is the unauthorized use of close imitation of the language and thoughts of another and representation of them as their one’s original work or simply copying of another’s written work. This is the biggest challenge in research work. It is no secret that plagiarism is the biggest trouble that a writer can get into. A thousand of free information provided by the internet has allowed dishonest writers who steal other peoples work and present it as their own. Most research scholars have misused Information Technology by just copying what others have already researched on and posted their results in the website, this contributes to lack of originality because the work is only but a duplication of other’s work. Some times because the work in the website may have been produced a long time ago, the information at the time of duplication is not up to date especially when the information relies on data or numerical values because time has passed since the data that is in the website was produced hence the duplicated work is not a true reflection of the current time (data is not up to date)
Technology has rocked the research with quite a chunk of literature. This information may be very relevant to one title or topic but equally the literature may be quite large that for one to go through and sieve this requirement is quite a task, this is further made worse by the fact that one in the process may carry out unnecessary information which does not add up properly and this contributes to irrelevant information being gathered. More so today the tools used in research are so complicated that if not correctly and rightly controlled will give out wrong perception including researcher’s conclusion and recommendation which may be disastrous if implemented. This implies that some of these techniques of research like sampling and gathering information must be practically done and results analyzed rather than using the Information Technology to generate them.
Since the introduction of Information Technology on research, it has come to notice that most of the researchers especially the scholars do not produce their own original work from the field since they may be undertaking a similar project that is already posted in websites. Since the work could be accessible to anybody this could lead to duplicating work that has already been done without even getting data from the actual field but simply doing exactly what others have already done, this contributes to lack of originality and creativity and this may make the whole research lose its meaning because no much personal effort has been made but only relying on others efforts.
Confidentiality is one of the ethical issues in research work. A research project should guarantee confidentiality when the researcher can identify a given person’s responses but essentially promises not to do so in publicly. In an interview survey for example the researcher could make public the income reported by a given respondent, but the respondent is assured this will not be done. When a research project is confidential, it is like researchers responsibility to make that fact clear to the respondent. This is not always an easy task to follow. Once the researcher does not keep this confidentiality and the information spreads to the public either through the media or the website, it spreads to a large number of populations and this creates much harm to the feelings of the respondent, because information that is in the internet can be accessed to everyone hence compromising privacy or confidentiality. J. Steven (1996a, 1996b) points out that a certificate of confidentiality to protect confidentiality of research subject data against disclosure can act as an important protection through both filed reports and data in the websites.
Hacking of research information
Researchers may use computer to steal research data and information stored from other computers through hacking. Computer hacking is the practice of modifying computer hardware and software to accomplish a goal outside of the original purpose. People who engage in computer hacking are called hackers. This involves manipulating other person’s security details (password) and accessing his/her information in the computer software without his/her consent. This is a crime, in some cases, computer hackers or thieves often take advantage of one’s effort to access their information has already been exposed to the public with or without her knowledge. It is true that internet has made research work easier but it is also reflecting an uglier side to its existence through a number of problems to its users. Internet theft and misuse of information has been a great challenge. Cases of people using someone’s information and research and using it as if it were their own have been reported through this practice of hacking. Since at times protection in the computer software may not be effective to keep off hackers, researchers find it difficult to do their work and at times are forced to do it manually.
Hokanson and Hooper (2000 ) report that technology use in Education research has generated poor results .He argues out that technology has been used only to automate existing educational processes and thus has short changed its potential. The computer technology be realized leading to improved Educational quality and productivity. In cases where one relies on only what others have already done is a topic related to what one may under take leads to production of results that are not a true reflection.
Impersonification in the act of using another person’s identity and details to perform a certain task for him/her. Today people do not do their own work anymore. More and more students and researchers rely on the web to do their work for them. This can range from copy and pasting to paying a website to write a paper for them. This encourages cheating in ones paper in research because the work has been done by another person.
Use of dominance culture that may be irrelevant to our situation
While information technology may have made the world a global village, it has also contributed to one culture dominating another .In all aspects of life including scholarly work, business among others, for example it is now argued that the US researchers influence others all over the world on how to perform their research and if one does not conform with their standards no matter how relevant the results are, it may be nullified. Languages too have become overshadowed with English becoming the primary mode of communication for research everywhere, bearing in mind that not all countries or nations speak or communicate in English.
Since most researchers store their information in computer storage devices which includes flash disks, CDS and tapes, without proper backup the information may be lost. It is no longer important to file one’s work in written records because they type their work in computers, store the data in the computers, when these devices get destroyed the information is lost. This issue is brought about by over reliance on technology.