Editorial 9(1)

Tracey Bretag

Abstract


Welcome to Volume 9(1) of the International Journal for Educational Integrity. This issue is being published just a few months after the International Center for Academic Integrity's Annual Conference in San Antonio, and directly before the Plagiarism Across Europe and Beyond Conference opens in Brno, Czech Republic. Further research and good practice will be shared at the 6th Asia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity, in Sydney, 2-4 October 2013. It is evident from the increasing depth and maturity of research output that academic integrity as a field of inquiry is well established.

This expanded issue is presented thematically, beginning with articles that explore how academic integrity is understood by under graduate and international students,through to papers that report how postgraduate research students develop writing and academic skills, then to an overview of systems for detecting plagiarism when itoccurs, and finally a paper which reports on an initiative which aimed to change institutional practices and build a culture of integrity.

Mike Joy and UK colleagues build on their previous research by investigating computing students' understandings of source-code plagiarism via their responses to a series of scenarios. Based on data from 770 students representing 21 higher education institutions, mostly in Europe, Joy et al. not only detail findings which will bevaluable for institutional policy and practice, but provide useful scenarios which can be adapted and used as educational resources. Not surprisingly, a key finding from this work is that "certain types of plagiaristic activity are poorly understood".

Stella-Maris Orim and her colleagues from the Impact of Policies for Plagiarism in Higher Education Across Europe Project (led by Irene Glendinning) at Coventry University, use a different approach to explore Nigerian postgraduate students' understandings of plagiarism as they negotiate their new educational environment in the UK. Based on interview data from 18 Nigerian postgraduate students, the authors use the phenomenographic method to develop six categories relating to this student group's understanding of plagiarism. The authors conclude that "Nigerian postgraduate students have an inadequate understanding of plagiarism from their previous institutions".

Michelle Vieyra, Denise Strickland and Briana Timmerman extend work previously published in the IJEI by Gilmore et al. (2010). Vieyra and colleagues report on patterns of plagiarised material in science and engineering master's and doctoral theses "in the hope that it will contribute to the growing awareness of the problem of plagiarism in graduate schools as well as provide insight into the causes ofplagiarism". Plagiarised text was found in 28% of the proposals, and in agreement with other research described in this issue, the authors conclude that the plagiarism occurred as a result of lack of familiarity with the requirements of academic writing and conventions.

Moving from understanding and preventing plagiarism, US researchers Norman Meuschke and Bela Gipp provide a comprehensive review of plagiarism detection systems with the aim of finding an "approach which automatically detects morestrongly disguised plagiarism, such as paraphrases, translations or idea plagiarism" rather than the more easily identified character-based text comparisons. Having explored the advantages and disadvantages of a range of detection approaches, the authors conclude that to be able to reliably detect paraphrases, translated plagiarism and idea plagiarism requires a novel method, which may need to incorporate crosslingual,citation-based, and intrinsic plagiarism detection approaches.

Andrew Garner and Larry Hubbell, from the University of Wyoming, use the case study method to identify three models employed in US colleges and universities toadjudicate academic integrity breaches, specifically plagiarism: the 'student-centered' model, the 'due process' model and the defacto 'classroom manager' model. The authors demonstrate how each of these models provides different incentives tostudents regarding their likelihood to engage in plagiarism, and to staff in terms ofhow they respond to such academic integrity breaches.

The final paper brings together the key issues of inquiry in this field, and demonstrates what is arguably the key ingredient for preventing breaches ofacademic integrity: developing and nurturing a culture of integrity. The initiative reported by Patrick Baughan at City University, London aimed to promote better understanding of academic conduct issues amongst staff and students and generate institution-wide culture change. Based on phenomenographic analysis of interviews with eight change agents, known as Educational Development Associates, the author concludes that consideration of cultures and practices in departmental/programme contexts needs to complement central planning approaches to change initiatives.

I trust you will enjoy the range of topics explored in this issue. Volume 9(2) will publish the best papers from the Plagiarism Across Europe and Beyond Conference, together with regular reviewed submissions. I welcome feedback via email:tracey.bretag@unisa.edu.au

Tracey Bretag, Editor, International Journal for Educational Integrity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/IJEI.v9i1.843