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Fostering academic integrity has always been a goal of educators. The web provides incredible educational resources, while it increase to the challenge of discouraging plagiarism. What can faculty members do to encourage academic integrity in the "wild west" of the 21st-century Internet era?

how to encourage academic integrity

Online Plagiarism: How to Prevent It, How to Detect It - from the Citadel's Daniel Library, suggests the following:

    • Define and explain plagiarism to your students, including your policies about it.
    • Don't assume that they understand the concept of intellectual property and documentation of material.
    • Explain exactly how much group work and student collaboration is permissible.
    • Discuss how to document sources, both traditional and electronic.
    • Provide an opportunity for your students to learn to do research. Schedule research instruction classes with the Library.
    • Establish a process for researching and writing the paper by devising a timeline for turning in elements of the paper. Establish deadlines throughout the semester for submitting topics, working bibliographies, outlines, and rough drafts.
    • Require that students include copies of all sources with the final draft.
    • Devise an exercise whereby the students must reflect on some aspect of their papers. This could be an in-class essay on what they learned or an exam question relating the paper to some aspect of the course.
  • Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers -- by Robert Harris (revised Nov. 2004)
  • Cheating 101: Paper Mills and You, Teaching Effectiveness Seminar, Coastal Carolina University, March 5, 1999, revised March 2003. "....aimed at providing faculty with an overview of the current state of Internet paper mills, how to locate paper mills, how to detect plagiarized papers, how to track down suspicious papers, and how to combat plagiarism."
  • Cut-and-Paste Plagiarism: Preventing, Detecting and Tracking Online Plagiarism - clear-cut guide with detection suggestions that are still relevant.
  • Student Plagiarism - good, annotated up-to-date list of resources. (Thanks to Amy Hazelton for the reference.)

plagiarism - understanding the problem

  • Sharon Stoerger, MLS, MBA offers an extensive, up-to-date annotated bibliography of online plagiarism resources: articles, copyright & intellectual freedom, for instructors, for students, plagiarism case studies, detection tools, term paper sites, examples, and additional plagiarism and ethics resources.
  • Plagiarism in Colleges in the US, by Dr. Ronald B. Standler, an attorney who specializes in higher education law, (2000): long essay on plagiarism, including an examination of ethical and legal questions, with plenty of guidelines for students.
  • Student Plagiarism in an Online World, 1998 American Society for Engineering Education online article by Julie Ryan, describes several strategies to "expose cybercheaters". Older article with current relevance.

In addition to basic searching on the Internet and in library databases, what online resources facilitate plagiarism?

programs, services, and approaches to detecting plagiarism

  • If you suspect plagiarism while grading a paper, use popular search engines like Google, Alta Vista, and Lycos to test a section of text or the paper title, up to 20 words or so, enclosed in quotation marks. This will reveal if that section of text is taken from another web site or free paper mill. You can use the same approach with a small section of text (eight words) to search library databases with full-text articles, for example MasterFile, Academic Search Elite, InfoTrac OneFile,  Lexis-Nexis, ScienceDirect, etc.
  • Plagiarism.org - (one of several) commercial detection service with the motto "leveling the playing field in the digital age" Their turnitin.com services are licensed on individual campuses and university systems.
  • Moss (Measure of Software Similarity) - an Internet service provided by UC Berkeley to automatically determine "the similarity of C, C++, Java, Pascal, Ada, ML, Lisp, or Scheme programs."

BEWARE - Some "free" anti-plagiarism services have been alleged to be connected to paper mills which turn around and sell submitted papers back to students.

online resources to help students avoid plagiarism

other resources for encouraging academic integrity

  • Center for Academic Integrity - From Duke University, a consortium of 200 institutions working to promote academic integrity. Web site includes a searchable bibliographic database and other resources. Faculty can use many of the resources with a guest account.
  • NEA Advocate Online -Thriving in Academe, a joint project of the National Education Association and POD, the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education. Online essay by Arthur Crawley, Louisiana State University, How Do We Keep Students Honest? Reflections on Honesty and the Academy - Should We Act as Judge and Jury or Try to Create a Culture of Academic Honesty?, Best Practices: Changing the Academic Culture, Issues to Consider: What's new on the horizon? and References & Resources.
  • Sample Honor Codes (sited in "Some Good News about Academic Integrity," Change (Sept/Oct 2000, Vol. 32, Issue 5, pg. 34)
  • Association of College & Research Libraries - Standard Five: "The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally." Site indicates ethics performance indicators and outcomes.

RatingsOnline Colleges - fyi faculty ratings and campus message boards.


Copyright 2005-2011 Susan Kullmann