I am an high school senior who has recently started getting into research in Electrical Engineering and CS. One thing that I have trouble in understanding sometimes is determining the difference between using an already-publish research paper as guidance vs going so far as to copy a lot of the ideas and methodology. Let me explain what I mean.
Let's assume there is a paper on building an autonomous drone which explains the drone hardware design, software design, autonomous flight algorithms, etc. If I read the paper, understand the methodology, and implement the methodology using my own code and effort, perhaps making a few small improvements, is that ethical?
If I don't copy any of the actual code or any verbatim phrases from the research paper, does it ever count as plagiarism? What happens if parts of the research/presentations/papers are very similar by accident?
I know that with high school science and engineering fairs this is sort of looked down upon by students but that might just be because it is high school.
Thanks ~ An aspiring EECS engineer