International Journal of Trichology

: 2023  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2


Ralph Michel Trueb 
 Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb, Zurich-Wallisellen, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Ralph Michel Trueb
Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases Professor Trüeb, Zurich-Wallisellen

How to cite this article:
Trueb RM. Ignorism.Int J Trichol 2023;15:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Trueb RM. Ignorism. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Jun 4 ];15:1-2
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By definition, plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and representing them as one's own original work. Plagiarism is considered an academic dishonesty and ethical offense, and is therefore actively pursued.[1] Equally, the reuse of identical or nearly identical portions of one's own work is regarded as self-plagiarism.[2] Self-plagiarism is deemed problematic when claimed to consist of a novelty. With regard to self-plagiarism, it must be acknowledged though, that despite some overlap in wording and expression with earlier work, originality may nevertheless exist in the new context the work is presented in, as philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) [Figure 1] stated: “The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.” While deliberate plagiarism is obviously a serious offense, unintentional plagiarism represents a specific risk for the unexperienced, since copying of even a sentence may have the same repercussion. The risk is particularly important for those of a foreign language who copy to facilitate their writing in English.[3] For the purpose of prevention, free online plagiarism detection programs are available to the public.[4]{Figure 1}

At this point, a special note is made on yet another academic dishonesty that has not found nearly the attention plagiarism has. It is the act of ignoring the scientific work of others. Unless due to poor literacy or failure to appreciate the significance of another's work, this may be deliberately practiced in an atmosphere of hostility. Ultimately, obscurantism is the practice of purposefully preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known. Selectively excluding others' work of relevance is to be regarded as reprehensible as copying others' or one's own work.

While plagiarism may not contribute to the advancement of science due to the lack of originality, ignoring significant ideas of peers obstructs the progress of science. Philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650) [Figure 2] claimed in his “Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting one's Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences” to “eventually make enumerations so complete, and reviews so general, so that nothing is omitted, that might compromise success.”{Figure 2}

To broach the issue and call a spade a spade, we propose the introduction of the term ignorism.[5] Unfortunately, there are no ignorism detection programs, and it lies in the aptitude and responsibility of both editors and reviewers of scientific journals to be alert of this underestimated hazard of ignorism. Ultimately, plagiarism, and more importantly ignorism, prevent science from advancement.


1Kumar PM, Priya NS, Musalaiah S, Nagasree M. Knowing and avoiding plagiarism during scientific writing. Ann Med Health Sci Res 2014;4:S193-8.
2Burdine LK, de Castro Maymone MB, Vashi NA. Text recycling: Self-plagiarism in scientific writing. Int J Womens Dermatol 2019;5:134-6.
3Shashok K. Authors, editors, and the signs, symptoms and causes of plagiarism. Saudi J Anaesth 2011;5:303-7.
4Debnath J. Plagiarism: A silent epidemic in scientific writing – Reasons, recognition and remedies. Med J Armed Forces India 2016;72:164-7.
5Available from: [Last accessed on 2021 Dec 05].