|Robert V. Smith,
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Editor
When is it unethical to copy the works of others?
My first trip to the Louvre in Paris, now nearly thirty years ago, was marked by several stunning experiences. Besides the viewing of many world-famous works of art, I was struck in several galleries by the young artists—accompanied by easels, canvases and painting accoutrements—copying the works of the masters. Indeed, the city known for art—appreciation and education—also has teachers who encourage replication of classic works to build appreciation and understanding of great styles and techniques. The practitioner students’ gain appreciably through such experiences and few of us are worried that they will pass off their faux Monet or Rousseau paintings as their own.
In more familiar educational settings—as we might find in the classrooms, laboratories, libraries, studios and study areas at the University—we can imagine “copying” as a learning exercise. And, indeed, copying—under many guises—may seem “O.K.” to Internet users who routinely observe the duplication of the works of others without apparent permission or attribution. However, copying as an exercise and copying with the intent of portraying others works as one’s own are wholly different matters, as we’ll be reminded forthwith.
This paper is about plagiarism, beginning with its relevance to our intellectual lives and a University-adopted definition, continuing with apparent abuses in written and printed works, and considering factors that may lead to misunderstanding and misappropriation of the intellectual property of others. The paper ends with some heartfelt advice to students, faculty, and staff on avoiding and preventing the pitfalls of plagiarism in our academic community. So let’s get started with some definitions and a description of the landscape that offers context for our discussion of one of the more vexing problems in the academic world; but, with one final set of introductory thoughts: In the academy, taking the words of another and using them as our own, without proper attribution, is the equivalent of the students in the Louvre taking the paintings off the wall and walking out the door with them. In other words, plagiarism is an academic heist.
Definitions and Understanding
When discussing plagiarism, we often refer to intellectual property, which includes the fruits of original inquiry and creative efforts such as algorithms, books or papers, chemicals and devices, drawings, films, genetically modified animals, microorganisms and plants, ideas or theories, manuscripts, maps, recordings, software, and works of art. For the purposes of this paper, we will concentrate on written works, but it is important to recognize that intellectual property has a broad range of components.
Federal law and regulations, state law, and institutional policies govern intellectual property ownership. Indeed, U.S. copyright law insures ownership of original work by mere declaration of the creator thereof and for our purposes—authors. Thus, while authors may formally seek registration of copyrighted material, as in the case of publicly produced books, journals and magazines, copyright protection of intellectual property exists (i.e., for the author’s life plus decades thereafter depending on the date of publication) regardless of registration. Thus, the concept of ownership and protection take on special meaning, particularly when we consider plagiarism. More information on U.S. copyright protection and its application to the academic community can be found in the excellent publication, Campus Copyright Rights and Responsibilities: A Basic Guide to Policy Considerations (2005) and a copyright course (http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/cprtindx.htm ) both available free through the Internet. But, let’s return to plagiarism.
UA campus policy contains a good definition of plagiarism (University of Arkansas Student Handbook, 2006):
And, for the benefit of students, the Student Handbook notes:
The take-home message for students—and, really for all members of our academic community is this: Plagiarism is a serious misconduct matter that is taken seriously at the University. Also, and as noted by Bowers (1997), plagiarism is tantamount to stealing. Besides the personal violation the plagiarist inflicts on authors, the plagiarist risks extreme embarrassment, educational sanctions including the failure of courses and even the remission of degrees, and legal penalties. Let’s consider these topics next.
Plagiarism—Its Prevalence and Penalties
A week rarely goes by in the world of higher education when we are not reminded of plagiarism. For illustrative purposes, I offer the following:
• During the period 1963-1993, McCabe and Trevino (1996) found that an average of 54% of student respondents admitting to copying information without properly referencing work. Follow-up studies suggest increasing incidences of plagiarism in the U.S. (McCabe, Trevino, and Butterfield, 2001, Hard, Conway, and Moran, 2006) and Canada (Birchard, 2006).
• In 2006, more than thirty-five cases of plagiarism were found among master’s theses in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Ohio (Wasley, 2006).
• Faculty plagiarism has occurred frequently enough to be of serious concern and is exemplified by cases such as the late and well-known University of New Orleans historian Stephen Ambrose (Barnes, 2002) and the lesser known Texas Tech University history professor Jayme Aaron Sokolow (Mallon, 1991). But, instances of plagiarism are hardly restricted to historians. A recent special report published in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Bartlett and Smallwood, 2004) documents faculty plagiarism cases far and wide, from biology to geography to law to political science.
• Academic administrators are not immune from allegations of plagiarism as attested by cases brought against an arts and sciences dean at the University of Missouri at Kansas City (Bartlett, 2005) and the Chancellor of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Bartlett, 2006).
As noted earlier, the consequences of plagiarism include extreme embarrassment, educational sanctions, and legal penalties. But, what are the specific consequences and procedures for addressing this unethical behavior—among students, and faculty and staff, particularly at the U of A? Let’s consider the situations for students, and faculty and staff separately.
Plagiarism and Students
Regarding undergraduate students, plagiarism is a key component of the University’s policies on academic integrity, as described in the UA Student Handbook (2006). For graduate students, the Graduate School handles allegations of course-related plagiarism through policies and procedures noted in the UA Student Handbook (2006) or, in cases of plagiarism committed as a function of scholarly and research efforts, the Research Council and the University’s research misconduct policies (Research and Scholarly Misconduct Policies and Procedures, 1997). Charges of plagiarism among School of Law students are adjudicated by the Student Conduct Council, which operates under the School’s Student Code of Conduct (2006).
Students are responsible for being aware of and following the University’s published policies regarding academic dishonesty. Faculty members assist students to comply by highlighting the policies’ existence, underscoring their significance, and helping students understand how the rules apply in practice. As a part of this role, statements about plagiarism and a lack of tolerance for it are commonly found in course syllabi. The detection and development of sanctions for plagiarized work are the primary responsibilities of instructors of record (i.e., including teaching assistants when relevant) for courses. Penalties may involve instructor-invoked grade sanctions such as failures on assignments, reduction of course grades, or course failures, and University-imposed disciplinary sanctions such as additional or special educational requirements, reprimand, censure conduct probation, suspension, or even expulsion from the University, particularly in cases of multiple infractions (UA Student Handbook, 2006).
The detection of plagiarism takes many forms, including instructor intuition about expressions from familiar works, the use of Web browsers such as GoogleÔ to find parallel or identical expressions in works accessible through the Web, and specific software designed to detect plagiarized work (Parrish, 2006, Juhl andParker-Gibson, 2007). Indeed, instructors today have powerful Web-based means of detecting plagiarism, which should serve as a deterrent to all who would contemplate plagiarizing others’ work. In a subsequent section of this article (Advice to Faculty and Staff), I will have more to report on software for plagiarism detection and assessment.
Once plagiarism is detected, instructors are encouraged to inform the Judicial Coordinator in the UA Student Affairs Division. The information may trigger a series of outcomes including (UA Student Handbook, 2006):
• The determination of a grade sanction (up to and including failure of the course) by the instructor. When a grade sanction is assigned, the instructor notifies the Judicial Coordinator in the UA Student Affairs Division, who in turn notifies the student and outlines the review and appeal options that are available including the option of a hearing by the All-University Judiciary (AUJ).
• In lieu of determining a grade sanction, the instructor of record may file an incident report and refer the matter to the University’s judicial process, which may include either an administrative hearing or a hearing by the AUJ, which consists of a group of faculty members and students. Such disciplinary hearings are conducted to determine if the student has violated the University’s Academic Honesty Policy. If the student is found responsible for a violation, then the AUJ may impose sanctions, and, in addition, the instructor may impose a grade sanction.
• A student may appeal a determination of responsibility, as well as any or all sanctions, through procedures described in the Academic Honesty Policy. Through considering such appeals, I have learned—first-hand—about student perceptions and perspectives, which will be alluded to in the section below on factors influencing plagiarism.
• Based on their assessment of the record, and consistent with University policy, reviewing officials may modify determinations of responsibility or sanctions imposed, or may require an additional hearing. The processes noted above are more detailed procedurally then can be readily summarized here so students are encouraged to become familiar with the sections on academic honesty in the UA Student Handbook (2006). However, the take-home message of this paper and related readings is this: in the University setting, nothing is more serious than the misappropriation of another’s thoughts and ideas. Accordingly, committing plagiarism is a high-risk venture that can be a source of near-term consternation and stress and long-term consequences—conditions that students should wish to avoid at all cost.
In cases of course-related plagiarism by graduate or law students, the processes outlined above are conducted in parallel fashion through the Graduate School or School of Law Student Conduct Council as mentioned earlier.
The University has not published data on the incidence of plagiarism among its students, but, anecdotal evidence suggests that plagiarism at the University is sufficiently prevalent to be a concern, reflecting trends at the national level (McCabe and Trevino, 1996, McCabe, Trevino, and Butterfield, 2001). Thus, the University makes every effort to insure that plagiarism cases are handled thoughtfully and diligently by faculty and administrative staff—who care deeply about the academic integrity of our student-centered university.
As noted earlier, plagiarism is not a problem exclusively related to student behavior. Acts of plagiarism may also occur among faculty and staff. We will consider this matter next.
The University must protect its integrity in all that it does, but most especially in the fruits of research and scholarship produced by its faculty, students (especially graduate students because of their research and original scholarly pursuits), and staff. Thus, UA’s related players are subject to research and scholarly misconduct policies and procedures (1997) that were first formulated in the late eighties following federal initiatives by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). While the roots of these policies and procedures come from the biomedical and natural sciences, they nevertheless pertain to all faculty, students and staff in their creative, scholarly and research endeavors and they specifically target plagiarism as an offense that may occur in “proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results” (Research Misconduct, 2005, or equivalent language in the UA’s Research and Scholarly Misconduct Policies and Procedures, 1997).
Faculty and staff should be familiar with the University’s policies and procedures regarding research and scholarly misconduct. The policies address individuals’ rights and the responsibilities of the institution, including the rights and protections of persons making allegations of misconduct, and the obligations of persons accused of misconduct. The University’s research and scholarly misconduct policies and procedures also define the roles of the institution’s Research Integrity Officer (i.e., the Chair of the Research Council unless there is a conflict of interest) and Deciding Official (i.e., the Provost with liaison to the Research Council by the Vice Provost for Research) in research misconduct inquiries and investigations.
According to Parrish (2006), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and its precursor agencies evaluated more than 120 allegations of plagiarism during the period 1989-2000 and approximately 20% were confirmed. The NSF confirmed plagiarism in about 17% of the more than one hundred cases of alleged plagiarism brought to the agency’s attention during 1989-2000 (Parrish, 2006). Thus, while not of epidemic proportions, the incidence of plagiarism in the biomedical and natural sciences and other disciplines, as noted by Bartlett and Smallwood (2000), should be of significant concern. And, that concern undergirds the resolve and commitment that the University has in following up on plagiarism allegations—regardless of scholarly discipline, along with formal investigations, when appropriate.
The penalties for plagiarism by faculty, students, and staff can include a variety of sanctions or other consequences from reprimand to demotion to termination to debarment from federal grant review processes and funding. Thus, there is ample reason to heighten one’s sensitivity to this facet of research and scholarly misconduct.
Having considered the incidence and penalties for plagiarism by students, faculty, and staff, it is time now to address the roots of this egregious behavior.
Plagiarism and Its Roots
Ask English instructors and they will tell you that they have heard all the excuses for plagiarized work from their teaching experiences with students. But, what about faculty—who should know better? Are their conditions or traps in our academic environs that seem to trigger plagiarism among students and faculty and staff colleagues? Let’s consider these matters—all in a cultural context.
Plagiarism Among Students
There are many roads to plagiarism but here are some that will resonate with members of the UA academic community:
• Procrastination: We all know how easy it is to put tasks off, to think that there will be plenty of time to get a job done, including writing assignments. Then, before you know it, the due date is tomorrow or the next day and the pressure is on to be original and craft good written work without sufficient time. In such instances, there is temptation to lift material from articles or books, or more commonly from the Web. The trap has been set and sprung. In his book, How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country’s Top Students (2005), MIT student, Cal Newport, offers this sage advice about last-minute approaches to writing tasks:
“The lure of procrastination is powerful, but you can conquer it by employing one very simple technique: When assigned a long-term project, finish some amount of work toward its completion that very same day. This doesn’t have to be a major chunk of work. Thirty minutes is enough . . . . Once you have accomplished something, not matter how small, you realize that starting your project early is not actually all that bad. In fact, it feels good.”
• Feelings of inadequacy as a writer: How often have you thought while doing background reading for an assignment and coming upon a particularly well-written piece: “I don’t know if I will ever be able to write as well as that”? Of course, the trap here is, “Why not just pilfer the well-stated material?”
• It’s all well-known material: I have heard students proclaim that they weren’t plagiarizing, just using material that was well known as fact. This excuse is often enmeshed with the trap of confusing facts or information in the public domain (e.g., the date of the Battle of Hastings, the freezing temperature of water, tenets the first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the composer of music for the Phantom of the Opera) with the expressions of those facts. We are reminded that plagiarism is not the restatement of fact but the expropriation of expression or the lack of attribution, which characterize plagiarism.
• Family and occupational pressures: Family members may overemphasize achievement or the notion of a college degree as a ticket to a good job. An “end justifying the means” mentality may ensue, wherein grades become more important than learning and plagiarized work becomes the “way out of a pressurized situation.”
• Cultural and other beliefs: Students with origins from other traditions and cultures may have difficulty with the concept of ownership of one’s expression (Why Students Plagiarize, 2007). For such students, adopting the perspectives espoused in this paper may require “new thinking and understanding,” particularly for some international students.
Now, place the above behavioral proclivities and cultural situations in the context of the busy and sometimes seemingly overwhelmed students. Also, place these elements in the context of essays and papers readily and quickly available through literally thousands of Web sources (Simmonds, 2003), mix with students who would compromise their values and those of the University, and you have a potential cultural milieu for plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. Compound this situation with a view “that everyone is doing it” because of shoddy practices perceived through the Internet and possibly comments from misguided friends or relatives, and the temptation to plagiarize is reinforced.
At the risk of sounding overly moralistic, I want to suggest that plagiarists cheat more than the authors of original work. They cheat themselves by compromising opportunities to develop capabilities and skills that are absolutely obligatory in our twenty-first Century world, where innovation and creativity are keys to successful professional careers. So, those who are tempted to think they can get away with plagiarism—should forget it. Additionally, the professional world of work can be just as harsh on plagiarists as what is experienced in the academic environs.
Concluding this section, the take-home-message for students is this: 1, avoid plagiarism at all cost, 2, do not delude yourself that ignorance is an excuse, 3, avoid the behavioral and cultural traps that predispose some individuals to academically dishonest thinking, and 4, commit yourself to developing first-rate scholarly and writing abilities and skills that will hold you in good stead for the forty or more years of your professional life. I will have more relevant comments to share under the section on Advice to Students, but let me now turn to the cultural antecedents and milieu of plagiarism among faculty and staff members, and students who engage in University-related research and original scholarship.
Plagiarism Among Faculty, Staff and Students Involved in Research and Original Scholarship
It is difficult to reconcile plagiarism among higher education scholars, be they faculty, students, or staff members. But, we know all too well that it occurs and its occurrence may have some of the following roots:
• Careless, hurried or shoddy practices: So often when plagiarism is detected among practicing scholars, the reason given will sound something like, “in the processing of my notes, I failed to put in quotation marks” or “my student assistants were not sufficiently careful in their use of quotation marks.” Frankly, you observe this type of excuse so often in reports on plagiarism that its veracity is questionable. The latter is also true with claims of “inadvertent downloading of original material.”
• Failures of contributors: Sometimes we hear that apparent plagiarism is the fault of a contributing author. In works with multiple authors, all contributors are responsible for the “final product” and all co-authors must take pains to insure that their colleagues are operating within the same ethical framework.
• Ignorance: Particularly for established faculty and staff scholars, ignorance can never be legitimately declared as an excuse for plagiarism, though some seemingly knowledgeable scholars may make this claim. Such assertions receive little sympathy at this or other academic institutions.
In his excellent two-part series of articles on plagiarism, Hoffer (2004 a and b), whose field is history, accurately notes that interpretations of what is and what is not plagiarism may vary somewhat according to the field. In the visual arts such as painting, for example, replication of style (e.g., Cubism in works by Picasso or Braque) is accepted and may be interpreted as a compliment (Hoffer, 2004 a and b). Similarly, in music composition the selective reference to passages of others’ works (e.g., the “Gift to be Simple” theme in Aaron Copeland’s Appalachian Spring) is commonly accepted. But, in written works, as has been emphasized in this paper, the rules of attribution—paraphrasing, quotation and acknowledgement clearly obtain.
Summarizing this section, while there are acknowledged roots to plagiarism among students, faculty members and staff, there are few if any legitimate excuses for this misbehavior and it behooves all members of our academic community to understand and abide by relevant ethical standards and practices as codified in university policies (University of Arkansas Student Handbook, 2006, Research and Scholarly Misconduct Policies and Procedures, 1997). The next section, containing advice to all academic colleagues, may be of some additional value.
Advice for Students, Faculty and Staff
Plagiarism—its avoidance and prevention—should be of concern to all members of the UA academic community. But, the emphases on avoidance and prevention vary for students versus faculty and staff.
Let’s consider avoidance advice that should be of value to students in coursework writing assignments and other written works (e.g., undergraduate and master’s or doctoral theses):
• Information and understanding: Students should take the time to learn and fully understand the meaning of plagiarism. Some of the concepts contained herein should be helpful but where doubts exist, students may seek clarification from an English instructor, staff or faculty members associated with the Quality Writing Center, or a Library faculty member.
• Commit to serious scholarship: The professional and personal corollaries to the twenty-first Century world of innovation and creativity are commitments to serious scholarship and life-long learning. Plagiarism, akin to other lapses in academic integrity, thwarts serious scholarship and threatens life-long learning. Thus, its avoidance boosts both professional and personal development.
• Plan ahead: Originality and revision are primary preventative measures to plagiarism. Both originality and revision, however, take time. The great American author, James A. Michener noted: "I retype everything four, five, and six times—critical passages more . . .”. American author and writing teacher, Gloria Delamar elaborated similarly, “Only amateurs don't rewrite. It’s in the rewriting that writers bring ALL their knowledge—basic craft, technique, style, organization, attitude, creative inspiration—to the work" (On Rewriting, 2007). Thus, originality and revision can only be assured if “last minute efforts” are avoided.
• Care in assembling notes: Students should be careful to differentiate their notes from material that is extracted from other documents or the Web. Remember that the excuse of “I forgot to use quotation marks” will not go very far with the AUJ Board or other review or investigative groups.
• Be especially mindful of plagiarism in literature reviews: There are sometimes misconceptions of the rules of proper writing in the preparation of literature reviews that are typically crafted as introductory portions of major papers, theses, and dissertations. As my colleague, Dennis Brewer, noted recently, “There seems to be the notion out there that it is okay to plagiarize in this section since it labeled a ‘review’ of the work of others . . .” The message should be clear: Plagiarism is never “proper” or acceptable.
• Cite material properly the moment you introduce it into a piece of work, even a rough draft. Don’t depend on your ability to properly recall the source of a passage or idea later during the revision process. Properly citing material during the initial composition of an assignment may slow your progress in writing, but it will help prevent serious problems later on.
• Watch paraphrasing: Paraphrasing—the rephrasing of the work of others—is tricky. If the rewording is so close as to mimic others’ expressions, plagiarism may be charged. If thoughtfully written, the re-phrased work still deserves attribution as noted by Gunder and Sadler (2007), who offer a host of tips on paraphrasing. One can also use the lead in, “To paraphrase ______ (name of author of work effected)” and cite a reference.
The above paragraphs represent a few useful suggestions for preventing plagiarism. Other suggestions and tips can be found at websites at the University of Alberta (Why Student Plagiarize, 2007), the UA Mullins Library (Citing Your Sources, 2007), and the University of California, Davis (Avoiding Plagiarism: Mastering the Art of Scholarship, 1999). The suggestions and tips can also become components of plans for improving writing capabilities and skills.
While faculty and staff, especially those staff members engaged in research and original scholarship (e.g., postdoctoral fellows) should have considerable understanding and resolve to avoid plagiarism, instructors have special responsibilities in promoting academic honesty in courses and other teaching efforts. The latter responsibilities include:
• Providing information and encouraging understanding: While students always bear responsibility to comply with University policies regarding academic honesty, and to ask questions when they are unclear about the expectations in any particular case, instructors can help foster compliance by incorporating course specific information on plagiarism and reiterating its importance in course syllabi. Where relevant such information may supplemented by directions and instructions in classes, seminars and ethics workshops. The UA Graduate School, for example, has incorporated discussions of plagiarism and its avoidance in research ethics seminars it has offered to graduate students during the past two years.
• Detecting and reporting instances of plagiarism: As noted earlier, some collegiate units at the University (e.g., School of Continuing Education and Academic Outreach, Graduate School, Walton College of Business) are already using software such as Turnitin, as a means of detecting plagiarism. Faculty who use such software tools, recommend alerting students of its use—to prevent surprises and to provide for deterrence. Plagiarism should not only be detected but addressed promptly pursuant to Academic Honesty Policy procedures. Instructors who discover suspected plagiarism need to cooperate fully with relevant proceedings.
• Project a personal commitment to serious scholarship: Faculty members who direct thesis or equivalent work at the undergraduate and graduate levels have a special responsibility to students in not only projecting a commitment to intellectual integrity but also advising students regarding plagiarism. There have been instances here and at other universities where faculty members were too lax in their guidance of students, which possibly contributed to the occurrence of plagiarized work.
Besides the above, instructors should review the tips and suggestions offered in the piece on plagiarism prepared by UA Library faculty members Beth Juhl andNeciaParker-Gibson (2007) and appended to this article with permission. Beyond these helpful tips and suggestions, faculty and staff must lead by example, consciously acting to avoid any hint of plagiarism—even inadvertent errors—in their own scholarly efforts. One clear preventative to inadvertent plagiarism is to practice the craft of writing.
Modern communication methods, including e-mailing, text messaging and blogging have a tendency to encourage sloppiness in writing. How many times, for example, have you received e-mail messages with grammatical, punctuation, and syntactic mistakes? The art of writing well is one of the best hedges against plagiarism and related temptations. Thus, I recommend to colleagues that building writing facility through the careful crafting of communications—of all types—will pay dividends, in addition to helping thwart “writer’s block,” so common among would be scholars and authors.
Summary and Conclusions
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery (IdeaBank®, 2007) but when it comes to original creative work, it can lead to plagiarism, lest appropriate attribution is used. This paper represents a personal commitment to help deter plagiarism among students, faculty, and staff. I hope that the sections on the prevalence and penalties for plagiarism, the roots of this academic dishonesty or misconduct, some advice on avoiding and detecting plagiarism, along with some of the reference materials will be informative to some, a reminder to others, and perhaps insightful to still others. If this comes to pass, the purpose of the paper will have been met.
Readers’ thoughts, of course, are always valued and I encourage your comments, questions and criticisms, which should be directed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know a chief academic officer of a major research university who had a sobering experience with plagiarized material. The incident involved an interview of a candidate for department head in a technologically oriented field. While reading a prospectus prepared by the candidate, the following expressions were noted: “The key is to be a light not a judge; a model, not a critic.” Googling these phrases led to a detection of their expression in Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Successful People: Powerful Lessons in Successful Change (1989). While speaking with the candidate about how he had prepared for his first interview as department head, the candidate was asked about the origin of the above-noted thoughts. His response: “Oh, I guess I should have put them in quotes.” Needless to say, the chief academic officer informed the search committee chair immediately.
Several colleagues contributed ideas, corrections and suggestions for this article. I am indebted to all of them, including: Dennis Brewer (Associate Vice Provost for Research), Collis Geren (Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School), Bill Kincaid (Associate General Counsel), Bob McMath (Dean, Honors College), and Suzanne McCray (Associate Dean, Honors College). I also appreciated the permission to append the well-crafted piece, Cut out Cutting and Pasting: Methods to Discourage Plagiarism, developed and recently updated by UA Library faculty members Beth Juhl and Necia Parker-Gibson.
Avoiding Plagiarism: Mastering the Art of Scholarship. Davis: Student Judicial Affairs, University of California, Davis, 1999. http://sja.ucdavis.edu/files/plagiarism.pdf (February 6, 2007).
Barnes, Fred. “The latest work of the bestselling historian isn’t all his.” The Weekly Standard, January 14, 2002. www.weeklystandard.com (February 1, 2007).
Bartlett, Thomas and Scott Smallwood. “Four Academic Plagiarists You've Never Heard Of: How Many More Are Out There?” Chronicle of Higher Education 51 no. 17 (2004): A8.
Bartlett, Thomas. “Missouri Dean Appears to Have Plagiarized a Speech by Cornel West.” Chronicle of Higher Education 51 no. 42 (2005): A13.
Bartlett, Thomas. “Southern Illinois Chief Fights Copying Charge.” Chronicle of Higher Education 52 no. 48 (2006): A10.
Bowers, Neal. Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a Plagiarist. New York: Norton, 1997.
Campus Copyright Rights and Responsibilities: A Basic Guide to Policy Considerations . Washington, DC: Association of American Universities, Association of Research Libraries and New York: Association of American University Presses, and Association of American Publishers, 2005.
Citing Your Sources. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Libraries. http://libinfo.uark.edu/reference/citingyoursources.asp (February 20, 2007).
Covey, Stephen R. Seven Habits of Successful People: Powerful Lessons in Successful Change.New York:Free Press, 1989.
Gunder, Paula and Randall Sadler. “Paraphrasing textual material.” Tucson: University of Arizona, University-wide General Education Program. http://www.gened.arizona.edu/eslweb/paraphra.htm (February 15, 2007).
Hard, Stephan F., James M. Conway, and Antonia C. Moran. “Faculty and College Student Beliefs about the Frequency of Student Academic Misconduct.” Journal of Higher Education 77 no. 6 (2006): 1067.
Hoffer, Peter Charles. “Reflections on Plagiarism ~ Part 1—‘A Guide for the Perplexed.’” Perspectives, February 2004a: 17-23.
Hoffer, Peter Charles. “Reflections on Plagiarism ~ Part 2—‘The Object of Trials’.” Perspectives, March 2004b: 21-25.
IdeaBank ®. From the English Proverb: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” http://www.idea-bank.com/ib/html/ (February 6, 2007).
Juhl, Beth and Necia Parker-Gibson. Cut out Cutting and Pasting: Methods to Discourage Plagiarism. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas, Mullins Library. http://libinfo.uark.edu/webdocs/reference/plagiarismprevention.pdf (February 20, 2007).
Mallon, Thomas. Stolen Words. New York: Harcourt, 1991.
McCabe, Donald L. and Linda K. Revino. “What We Know About Cheating in College: Longitudinal Trends and Recent Developments.” Change January/February (1996): 31.
Newport, Cal. How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country’s Top Students. New York: Broadway Books, 2005.
On Rewriting. Delamar Web. http://www.delamar.org/xqrewriting.htm (February 15, 2007).
Parrish, M. Debra. “Research Misconduct and Plagiarism.” Journal of College and University Law 33 no. 1 (2006): 65-95.
Research and Scholarly Misconduct Policies and Procedures. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas, 1997. http://www.uark.edu/admin/rsspinfo/policy/index.html (February 6, 2007).
Research Misconduct. 42 Code of Federal Regulations 93.103. http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx ?c=ecfr& sid=55007eed908b9c1dd154f282931aa248 &rgn=div5 &view=text &node=42:188.8.131.52.71 &idno=42 (February 17, 2007).
Simmonds, Patience. “Plagiarism and cyber-plagiarism.” Collegiate & Research Libraries News, June, 2003: 385-389.
Student Code of Conduct and Sexual Harassment & Sexual Assault Policies. Fayetteville: School of Law, University of Arkansas, 2007.
Why Students Plagiarize. Alberta, Canada: University of Alberta Libraries. http://www.library.ualberta.ca/guides/plagiarism/why/index.cfm (January 27, 2007).
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1. Make your expectations clear.
Quote from the campus Academic Honesty and Term Paper Assistance policies in the syllabus. Explain the procedures you will follow if you suspect that work has been plagiarized.
2. Make your definition of plagiarism explicit.
Give examples of what you consider to be plagiarism. If the class has a major research paper assignment, allot some time to discussion and questions. Student misconceptions can be pretty horrifying (e.g., "it's not plagiarism since I changed all the words.")
3. Let students know that you are Web-savvy.
Let drop that you know how to search for phrases on the Web and at the term paper mill sites (many students can't believe that a professor would know about something like "schoolsucks.com" or "fastpapers.com"). If free Web sites will be allowed as research sources, explain to the students what constitutes an authoritative or scholarly Web source and what will not be allowed.
4. Distinguish between research and writing.
If the purpose of the assignment is to learn to compose a better argument or read and understand a body of scholarship, then original research may not be needed. Ask students to read and respond to selected articles, or ask them to write short abstracts for key journal articles in their own words.
If the purpose of the assignment is to teach students the mechanics of research in a particular field, then perhaps the composition aspect is not needed. Ask students to compile an annotated bibliography on certain topics, with the bibliography formatted in a certain style.
If the assignment has the dual purpose of both research process and written synthesis, then make it clear how much of the paper should be original and how much a student may rely on secondary sources.
5. Vary topic themes each semester; make topics as specific as possible.
Give students a list of topics they may choose from. If students are allowed to pick their own topics, then sign off on them. Before assigning a topic, look it up at one of the term paper sites (e.g., http://www.123helpme.com/). Ask students to make an unconventional argument, for example, not; "What were the causes of World War I?" but "What could have prevented World War I?" Ask students to compose dialogs between various authorities or to suggest alternate endings of a novel or work of literature.
6. Suggest methods of documenting research sources.
Give students guidelines or suggestions on how to take research notes and to keep track of sources. Give examples from your own research. Emphasize the "cite as you write" approach. Librarians are available to teach students how to use the RefWorks bibliographic manager software.
7. Specify what sorts of materials can be used as sources.
If appropriate, specify that at least 2 or 3 of the sources be from the last 1, 3, or 5 years. Give a prescribed list of the journals students should consult. Ask the students to limit their sources to items found in specific library databases.
8. Ask students to attach photocopies or printouts of sources used to the finished paper.
9. Break the research assignment into "check points."
Give the students goals for each step of the research paper process. Ask for an annotated list of sources that will be used, a paper outline, a rough draft, even a second draft. The annotated bibliography can be compared to the final product; the drafts can be reviewed for problematic sections before the student turns in a final version for a grade.
10. Ask students to give brief paper summaries to the class.
Allot time for students to discuss their paper, the sources they used, and their findings.
11. Use campus research and writing resources.
Ask a librarian to give a class session on research sources for the assignment. Refer students to the Quality Writing Center for composition help. Students with the right tools and support have less need to resort to plagiarism.
*Tips compiled from several sources:
"Academic Librarians Launch a Strategic Campaign." American Libraries 34, no. 6 (2003): 44-45. http://0-search.ebscohost.com.library.uark.edu:80/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9923252&site=ehost-live.
Center for Academic Integrity, Kennan Center for Ethics, Duke University. http://www.academicintegrity.org/.
"ERIC Resources on Plagiarism." Teacher Librarian 30, no. 4 (2003): 60-62. http://0-search.ebscohost.com.library.uark.edu:80/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9460799&site=ehost-live.
"Fighting Online Plagiarism." Chronicle of Higher Education 47, no. 46 (July 27, 2001): Online colloquium, excerpted at B17. http://0-chronicle.com.library.uark.edu/colloquylive/2001/07/cheat/.
Harris, Robert. "Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers." Posted on "Virtual Salt (Robert Harris' Web page). Last updated: November 14, 2004. http://www.virtualsalt.com/antiplag.htm.
_____ and Vic Lockman. The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing, 2001.
Howard, Rebecca Moore. Don't Police Plagiarism: Just TEACH!" Chronicle of Higher Education 48, no. 13 (November 16, 2001): B24. http://0-chronicle.com.library.uark.edu/weekly/v48/i12/12b02401.htm.
Lathrop, Ann and Kathleen Foss. Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era: A Wake-Up Call. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2000. MAIN-LRC: LB 3609 .L28.
Plagiarism.org / Turnitin.com Resources Page. http://www.turnitin.com/research_site/e_home.html.
"Preventing Cyber-Plagiarism," Pennsylvania State University Web page. http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/cyberplag/.
Renard, Lisa. "Cut and Paste 101: Plagiarism and the Net." Educational Leadership 57, no. 4 (1999): 38-42. http://0-search.ebscohost.com.library.uark.edu:80/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=3270320&site=ehost-live.
Articles about Turnitin and other Detection Tools
Carnevale, Dan. "Web Services Help Professors Detect Plagiarism." Chronicle of Higher Education 46, no. 12 (November 12, 1999): A49. http://0-chronicle.com.library.uark.edu/weekly/v46/i12/12a04901.htm.
Foster, Andrea L. "Plagiarism-Detection Tool Creates Legal Quandary." Chronicle of Higher Education 40, no. 36 (May 17, 2002): A37. http://0-chronicle.com.library.uark.edu/weekly/v48/i36/36a03701.htm.
Royce, John. "Has Turnitin Got it all Wrapped Up?" Teacher Librarian 30, no. 4 (2003): 26-30. http://0-search.ebscohost.com.library.uark.edu:80/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9460777&site=ehost-live.
Young, Jeffrey. "The Cat-and-Mouse Game of Plagiarism Detection." Chronicle of Higher Education 47, no. 3 (July 6, 2001): A 26. http://0-chronicle.com.library.uark.edu/weekly/v47/i43/43a02601.htm.
Last updated: March 28, 2007