The plagiarism panic and the partial academic

Procter, CT 1997, The plagiarism panic and the partial academic , in: ECE conference 2007, September 2007, University of Salford. (Unpublished)

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This paper is concerned with exploring the causes of plagiarism. The author presented his own experience in the investigation of plagiarism over a four year period. This experience suggests that plagiarism can be the result of poor academic practice and partial reporting. These issues are generally ignored in the current moral panic concerning the use of the internet for the purchase of coursework. They are ignored in a debate which centres around technology for detection, and regulations which seek to present plagiarism as a simple process of trial and punishment of the guilty. In this context the paper explored ethical boundaries. During the period 2001-5 the author conducted the preliminary investigations into all alleged cases of plagiarism by undergraduates in his school. In all cases the students had submitted work which fell within the University definition of plagiarism. Two groups of issues arise. Firstly the contrast between the ‘impartial’ regulations and the circumstances under which the academic chooses to report their allegation. Should the academic seek to measure the degree of plagiarism? Should they consider the extent to which the student intended to deceive - is mens rea part of the crime of plagiarism? In the experience of the author most academics are partial in their reporting of plagiarism. The second issue concerns the circumstances of the plagiarism. In some cases the plagiarism coincided with poor assessment practice – for example where coursework was re-used between cohorts. In other cases it coincided with a lack of supervision. In other cases it was carried out by students for whom English is their second language. Are the circumstances a relevant consideration in tackling the problem? Relevant literature was cited in the presentation, including the publications of JISC ‘Deterring,detecting and dealing with plagiarism’ and work of Introna on plagiarism and ethics, to help ensure a well informed discussion based on research and experience. It is hoped that this discussion can make a contribution to informing future policy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Refereed: No
Depositing User: Chris Procter
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2011 14:38
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:45

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