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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Plagiarism: policy against cheating or policy for learning? (Papers: Brian Martin 2004)

Published/Released on February 04, 2004 | Posted by Admin on January 14, 2016 / , , , , , ,
 


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Summary: 
Compulsory use of plagiarism-detection software, specifically turnitin.com, is proposed for introduction at the University of Wollongong in 2004. The pros and cons of this are canvassed.

There are several types of plagiarism, including plagiarism of ideas, word-for-word plagiarism, plagiarism of sources and plagiarism of authorship. Using plagiarism-detection software can readily pinpoint only word-for-word plagiarism, and only some instances of it.

There are four main rationales for using plagiarism-detection software: deterring and detecting cheating; fostering learning of proper acknowledgement practice; building institutional reputation; and treating students fairly. None of these provides a strong case for compulsory use of the software. There are some serious negative effects of compulsory checking, especially reduced trust.

Plagiarism-detection software potentially can play a valuable contribution if it is used voluntarily by students, on a case-by-case basis by teachers and as part of a wider process of learning proper acknowledgement practice.

Brian Martin. Plagiarism: policy against cheating or policy for learning? 4 February 2004. A short version was published in Nexus (Newsletter of the Australian Sociological Association), Vol. 16, No. 2, June 2004, pp. 15-16.



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