Ed-tech historian and critic Audrey Watters, for example, said plagiarism-detection software in general frames all writers as potential cheaters, undermining the trust that is essential to strong student-teacher relationships. She said the companies making the software tend to accept as given that most writing assignments are so cookie-cutter that students can reasonably consider copying someone else’s work a viable strategy.
My note: the paragraph above reflects my deep personal belief and most of the information and notes in this blog regarding the “automation” of plagiarism detection
what constitutes plagiarism, how prevalent plagiarism is in our schools, colleges, and society, what is done to prevent and reduce plagiarism, the attitudes of faculty toward academic dishonesty in general, and individual differences as predictors of academic dishonesty
the interdisciplinary nature of the topic and the ethical challenges of accessing and using information technology, especially in the age of the Internet. Writings have been reported in the literatures of education, psychology, and library and information studies, each looking at academic dishonesty from different perspectives. The literature has been aimed at instructors and scholars in education and developmental psychology, as well as college librarians and school media specialists.
Although the literature appears to be scattered across many fields, standard dictionaries and encyclopedias agree on the meaning of plagiarism.
According to Webster’s, plagiarism is equated with kidnapping and defined as “the unauthorized use of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own.”(FN10) The Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as the “wrongful appropriation or purloining, and publication as one’s own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas (literary, artistic, musical, mechanical, etc.).”(
plagiarism is an elusive concept and has been treated differently in different contexts.
different types of plagiarism: direct plagiarism; truncation (where strings are deleted in the beginning or ending); excision (strings are deleted from the middle of sentences); insertions; inversions; substitutions; change of tense, person, number, or voice; undocumented factual information; inappropriate use of quotation marks; or paraphrasing.
defined plagiarism as a deliberate use of “someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source.”(FN30) This definition is extended to printed and digital materials, manuscripts, and other works. Plagiarism is interrelated to intellectual property, copyright, and authorship, and is discussed from the perspective of multiculturalism.(FN31)
Jeffrey Klausman made three distinctions among direct plagiarism, paraphrase plagiarism, and patchwork plagiarism
Cosgrove, J., Norelli, B., & Putnam, E. (2005). Setting the Record Straight: How Online Database Providers Are Handling Plagiarism and Fabrication Issues. College & Research Libraries, 66(2), 136-148.
None of the database providers used links for corrections. Although it is true that the structure of a particular database (LexisNexis, for instance) may make static links more difficult to create than appending corrections, it is a shame that the most elemental characteristic of online resources–the ability to link–is so underutilized within the databases themselves.
Finding reliable materials using online databases is difficult enough for students, especially undergraduates, without having to navigate easily fixed pitfalls. The articles in this study are those most obviously in need of a correction or a link to a correction–articles identified by the publications themselves as being flawed by error, plagiarism, or fabrication. Academic librarians instruct students to carefully evaluate the literature in their campuses’ database resources. Unfortunately, it is not practical to expect undergraduate students to routinely search at the level necessary to uncover corrections and retractions nor do librarians commonly have the time to teach those skills.
a recent PEW research study found that while educators find technology beneficial in teaching writing skills, they feel it has also led to a direct increase in rates of plagiarism and infringement of intellectual property rights.
We want students to do “group work,” to collaborate, and to discuss. However, we have very specific realms in which we want this to happen: the group assignment, the in-class discussion, studying for exams, etc. At the same time, many of us want to put up barriers and halt any collaboration at other times (during assessments, for example). When collaboration takes place during assessment, we deem it plagiarism or cheating, and technology is often identified as the instrument that tempts students into such behavior.
A student may produce an entirely wrong answer, but if how they got there was through logic, reasonable assumption, educated guessing (not just plain old “guessing”) – and they were effective in communicating that process – then there is evidence of learning that I can take into account.
More on plagiarism, academic integrity and academic dishonesty in this IMS blog:
it’s important to question whether alleged “personalized,” “project-based,” or “collaborative” learning efforts are actually helping students and teachers to “hold ourselves in a state of questioning.”
In a true inquiry-based model, how learning happens isn’t as important as whether that learning encourages students to try to learn even more.
“Inquiry means living in the soup. Inquiry means living in that uncomfortable space where we don’t know the answer.”
Increased collaboration between students and increasing student scrutiny of educational content were two other signs Lehmann and the group said signaled the right approach, even if they clashed with classroom norms.For example, collaboration can often lead to tricky discussions about what part of a students’ work are his or her own and what part is recycled. (see IMS blog entry on academic dishonesty: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/05/04/cheating-inadvertently/)
namely, that plagiarism is in a much smaller degree intentional and to its largest percentage lack of systematic approach and clear directions by faculty toward students.
Rebecca Moore Howard, a professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, has called “patchwriting,” or borrowing large sentence structures and vocabularies from a source and only swapping out the occasional word or phrase with language of their own.
academic integrity represents an incredibly complex subject to master: It encompasses knowledge (What are the rules of academic integrity? How do they apply in this context?), skills (How do I summarize or paraphrase this passage without plagiarizing? How do I credit the work of others when I am collaborating with peers or using sources?), and values (Why does academic integrity matter? Why should I care about it?).
“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” ― Salvador Dalí
I’ve typically come to the defense of Gen Y, to which I belong, when baby boomers and others accuse us of neglecting personal relationships in favor of social networking, or of growing so reliant on technology that we’re unable to operate an actual telephone book or read a paper map. I even make my living doing all kinds of Millennial-y things like blogging and writing for online publications. But I also went to a solid journalism school that instilled me with plenty of old-old-school values, many of which I don’t think are forgiving when it comes to lifting another person’s writing or insights without also admitting where you got them.
The current concept of plagiarism is based on a capitalist view of property and ownership. It assumes that everything of value can be owned, bought, and sold and that ideas, knowledge, and art are created by individuals who have the rights of ownership. This view is deeply ingrained in Western culture.
Traditional definitions of plagiarism are further challenged by the digital revolution.
This situation has caused the current Millennial generation to see knowledge ownership, acquisition, and distribution in radically different terms than in previous generations. Clearly,
academia is past due in reevaluating the concept and how we deal with it in secondary and higher