The Ugly

8 April 2004

I subscribe to the the JIS Plagiarism mailing list and a couple of interesting articles can be found there.

In the first The Journal of E-Learning has an article called Plagiarism and Poor Academic Practice? A Threat to the Extension of e-Learning in Higher Education which provides some interesting facts on the size of the problem.

According to the article, in the UK:

… Franklyn-Stokes and Newstead (1995) and Newstead et.al. (1996) have attempted to ascertain the frequencies of a range of non-academic practices. Students were asked to report whether they had engaged in a range of behaviour at least once in the previous academic year.

And their table looked like this (allowing for translation between mediums) table.

| Behaviour| Percentage reporting behaviour| |——-|——————–:| | Paraphrasing material from another source without acknowledging the author| 54| | Inventing data| 48| | Allowing coursework to be copied by another student| 46| | Copying material for coursework from a book or other publication without acknowledging the source| 42| | Copying another student’s coursework with their knowledge| 36| | Doing another student?s coursework for them| 16| | Copying from a neighbour during an exam without them realising| 13|

Anyway it makes interesting reading. Another thing that is interesting to read is the The Plagiarism Blog. For example, one of the stories on the Blog talks about a Canadian university that has given up using take home essays as a form of assessment as an means to counter, what they see, as increased plagiarism.

I watch with curiosity what will happen.