Plagiarism is an issue of great concern
to high school, college and university faculty. Plagiarism is a moral,
ethical, and legal issue. Plagiarism has been around for centuries,
but the Internet and the subsequent proliferation of information have
made the problem rampant. Plagiarism is not limited to students. Teachers,
lawyers, businessmen, school administrators, politicians, reporters
and other people in all walks of life plagiarize the work of others.
Plagiarism is taking someone else's work and passing it off as one's own. If you do not wish to plagiarize then all you need to do is provide proper acknowledgment or documentation when you use the work or words of others. It is just that simple.
There are a multitude of resources available on the Internet to educate students about what plagiarism is and show them strategies to prevent them from plagiarizing. Below you will find a selection of some these sources.
Plagiarism awareness sites
Plagiarism definition and statements on plagiarism
• Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at the University of Albany. CETL’s Web site provides tips to educate students and teachers about plagiarism, definitions, and strategies for avoiding plagiarism. It also has software available to detect plagiarism and provides a list of paper dealers. Access: http://albany.edu/cetl/teaching/plagiarism.html.
• Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism. This site, which links to the University of Maryland’s College’s Effective Writing Program, has tips and general guidelines to resources. Access:
• Plagiarism: Definitions, Examples and Penalties. Designed for a chemistry class at the University of Kentucky, this site provides definitions and examples of plagiarism with subsequent penalties for committing the offense, but the information can be applied to any subject area. The information is still relevant, but the site has not been updated since December 1998. Access:
• Plagiarism: What it is and How to Recognize and Avoid it. The information for this site is taken from the “Student Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct” handbook at Indiana University-Bloomington. It provides students with information and strategies for avoiding plagiarism with examples of proper paraphrasing. Access: http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/plagiarism.html.
• Purdue Online Writing Lab. This site presents information on avoiding plagiarism and shows circumstances when documentation is necessary. It also provides a plagiarism exercise for students and shows a graph of deliberate plagiarism and possible accidental plagiarism. Access: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_plagiar.html.
• Talking about Plagiarism. A site that provides a description of suitable language, which faculty can include in their syllabus to make students understand what plagiarism is and emphasize good writing skills. It also gives teachers permission to use any of the content to create their own syllabi. Access: http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/technotes/workshops/talkingplagy.htm.
Academic integrity and honor codes
• Center for Academic Integrity (CAI). Affiliated with the Keenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, CAI promotes academic integrity among its members. It currently has a consortium of over 320 institutions and provides a list of colleges and universities with honor codes. CAI provides both institutional and individual membership for a fee. Access: http://www.academicintegrity.org/.
• Johns Hopkins University Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board Statement on Ethics. This site presents a comprehensive list of violations including plagiarism. Has a link to other colleges and universities with Web sites on plagiarism and other forms of academic ethical issues. It promises confidentially for people who wish to report academic misconduct. Access: http://www.jhu.edu/~ethics/statement.html.
• Academic Integrity at Penn State: A Statement by the Council of Academic Deans. The statement, which was formulated in August 2000, states, “the primary responsibility for supporting and promoting academic integrity lies with the faculty and administration, but students must be active participants.” Penn State requires there to be a statement on academic integrity in every syllabus. Access: http://www.psu.edu/oue/integrity.html.
Plagiarism prevention and detection resources and software
• Cyberplagiarism Detection and Prevention. This resource is available at the Teaching and Learning with Technology site at Penn State. It presents a basic definition of plagiarism and a list of articles on plagiarism culled from local and national papers. It also presents possible causes of plagiarism, detection strategies, and tools and signs to warn the instructor about possible plagiarism; it also discusses Penn State’s policies on academic integrity and plagiarism and allows professors to create plagiarism quizzes to test students’ knowledge of plagiarism. Access: http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/cyberplag/.
• EduTie.com. EduTie is an Internet plagiarism service founded in August 2000 that provides access to about 250,000 papers online. EduTie uses PlagiServ technology to analyze loaded papers for evidence of plagiarism. This is a fee-based service that provides free trials; its users include administrators, instructors, and students and it serves colleges and universities and K–12 school districts. Access: http://www.edutie.com/.
• Glatt Plagiarism Services, Inc. This site provides three different software programs to teach students about plagiarism, screen programs to detect plagiarism for faculty, and a self-detection program to detect plagiarism. This is a fee-based service with a mission “to deter plagiarism and encourage academic honesty.” Access: http://www.plagiarism.com.
• JPlag. This software was developed by Guido Malpohl to detect academic dishonesty. The software not only compares the text of documents, but examines program language syntax and program structure to detect stolen software parts. It is free for use by instructors, but they are required to set up an account. Access: http://www.jplag.de/.
• MOSS (Measure of Software Similarity). This is software for determining similarities among computer programs such as Java, C, C++, Paschal, Ada, Lisp, or Scheme programs. Moss was invented in 1994, and is used to detect plagiarism in computer programming classes. Moss is free for instructors and staff of programming language courses. Access: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~aiken/moss.html.
• Plagiarism.org. An online resource for detecting plagiarism designed for educators and created by the students and alumni at the University of California-Berkeley. Papers submitted to plagiarism.org are checked using turnitin.com, dubbed the “world’s leading plagiarism prevention system.” Plagiarism.org and turnitin.com are recommended for both high school and academic libraries, and are used in over 50 countries. Access: http://www.plagiarism.org.
• Turnitin.com. Affiliated with plagiarism.org, turnitin.com considers itself to be “the world’s most widely recognized and trusted resource for helping prevent Internet plagiarism.” Turnitin.com boasts of “deterring plagiarism for nearly 5 million educators and students worldwide.” It is a fee-based service, but provides free trials. Access: http://www.turnitin.com.
Seminars, workshops, and comprehensive documents
• Electronic Plagiarism Seminar. This very detailed document was prepared by Gretchen Pearson, public services librarian at the Noreen Reale Falcone at Le Moyne College. Pearson starts by looking at media coverage of the issue of plagiarism and has links to some plagiarism detection tools. She presents definitions of key terms relating to plagiarism, including copyright, intellectual property, and data. Pearson outlines some strategies for preventing and detecting plagiarism, provides links to guides for educators and students, and examines sites that provide both free and fee-based term papers. She also provides links to articles on plagiarism, anti-plagiarism, and plagiarism prevention and detection. Access: http://www.lemoyne.edu/library/plagiarism.htm.
• Plagiarism. This excellent and very detailed document was prepared by Sharon Stoerger, a librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She looks at articles on copyright and intellectual freedom for instructors and students, and she discusses and provides links to plagiarism case studies, plagiarism detection tools, and term paper sites. Her paper provides a comprehensive and thorough examination of plagiarism. Access: http://www.web-miner.com/plagiarism.
• Plagiarism in Colleges in USA. Ronald B. Standler, an attorney and a consultant, prepared this comprehensive document, which is an examination of plagiarism from the legal standpoint. Topics discussed include plagiarism, law of plagiarism, copyright law, trademark law, fraud, and statutes about the sale of term papers. He also presents cases involving plagiarism in colleges, cases against commercial institutions, legal action against people who report plagiarism, and provides links to other excellent resources on plagiarism. Access: http://www.rbs2.com/plag.htm.
• Plagiarism Stopper: A Teacher’s Guide. This list was compiled by Jane Sharka with help from some school librarians in Illinois to attempt to guide teachers in dealing with student plagiarism. It includes tips on how to detect plagiarism, prevention and training, free detection tools, fee-based services, and list of paper mills. Access: http://www.ncusd203.org/central/html/where/plagiarism_stoppers.html.
Search engines and library subscribed full-text databases and plagiarism promotion
• Google. Google’s advanced search tool is capable of acting as a plagiarism detection tool. It can locate keywords that appear in a research paper. Google also directs the user to other plagiarism detection services and resources with the Google Advanced Directory. Access: http://www.google.com.
• Metacrawler. Metacrawler is a meta-search engine, searching other search engines for phrases and keywords. Access: http://www.metacrawler.com.
• Yahoo. Yahoo places information into categories and subcategories. The search engine searches these categories as well as other Web sites for words or phrases. Access: http://www.yahoo.com.
Full-text databases in educational institutions are readily accessible to students. It is easy to cut and paste large parts of articles in a student’s research paper. Sample full-text databases include: ProQuest, Lexis-Nexis Academic, ABI/INFORM, JSTOR, INFOTRAC, Project Muse, and Science Direct.
Links to bibliographies
• Plagiarism in Cyberspace. This Web site, titled “Plagiarism in Cyberspace: Sources, Prevention, Detection, and Other Information,” was prepared in April 2002 by Laura M. Boyer at the California State University Stanislaus Library. It includes articles, book, links to articles on the Web, and news for faculty about plagiarism. Access: http://wwwlibrary.csustan.edu/lboyer/plagiarism/plagiarism3bibliog.htm.
1. Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 8 May 2003.