Institutional models for adjudicating plagiarism in the United States

Andrew D Garner, Larry Hubbell


There is considerable variation in how colleges and universities across the United States adjudicate plagiarism. This article formulates three separate models that reflect differing administrative approaches in these institutions and discusses how each model alters the incentive structures for both students and faculty when it comes to preventing and mediating instances of academic dishonesty. Among highly selective private liberal arts colleges, the authors find that many schools employ a 'student-centered' model that allows students control over much of the decisionmaking process. In contrast, many larger universities and public institutions engage in a more litigation-averse'due process' model where faculty and administration are the primary decision-makers. Finally, the authors consider the presence of a potential de facto 'classroom manager' model where adjudication of academic dishonesty is handled primarily by the professor outside of any independent institutional process. These models reflect general typologies reflecting different institutional and organisational cultures that can lead to different incentive structures for faculty and students when confronted with instances of academic dishonesty.

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