A UK institution's university-wide approach to plagiarism:

Christina Mainka, Scott Raeburn, Shirley Earl

Abstract


Research and consultations in session 2003/2004 by a University's Plagiarism Working Group uncovered a poor understanding of plagiarism and inconsistent handling procedures throughout its schools. In an effort to address both these issues, a strategic 2-year Action Plan was developed and rolled out beginning the following academic year in order to improve student support, staff awareness and more consistent practice overall. The plan included a pilot using the detection software service, Turnitin'UK, with five of the University's 14 schools. The pilot was only one of a series of university-wide deliberations, others included the revision and piloting of a University Plagiarism Code of Practice, implementation of school-based academic conduct officers, improved staff development opportunities and student support materials and events. One school in the University has served as a role model of good practice throughout. Noteworthy is the school's record keeping practice since session 2001/02 of incidences of plagiarism and other academic misconduct. In the paper we present the factors such as gender, nationality and level of study that have been found linked to the incidences of plagiarism in the school. Additionally, the role plagiarism detection software plays in addressing plagiarism is explored within the collaborative and holistic approach of the Action Plan. Finally, the challenges and resistance faced by key players throughout the implementation of the first phase of the Action Plan at the University are considered and the commitment to continuous enhancement recognised.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/IJEI.v2i1.27