Designing a Plagiarism Review
This page, compiled by Siobhàn Holland , contains a list of questions that could form the basis of a departmental ‘plagiarism review’.
- Have you noticed a change in the incidence of plagiarism?
- Have student attitudes to it changed?
- Has there been a change in the kinds of sources being plagiarised?
- Does the department have a policy statement on plagiarism? How does this relate to any institutional policies in this area (e.g. some compulsory element in each module must be assessed under supervised conditions)?
- What is the department’s working definition of plagiarism and is this adhered to in practice (a workshop using anonymised examples from essays might be helpful here?
- What are the procedures for detecting and punishing plagiarism?
- What is the level of the burden of proof for lecturers and is this reasonable?
- Do plagiarism procedures work and how might they be improved?
- Does the plagiarism policy cater adequately for sustained, malicious plagiarism and over-use of critics, unacknowledged phrases etc.?
- Do staff share definitions of plagiarism?
- Are these definitions clear for part-time and postgraduate teaching staff?
- Do staff collaborate in the plagiarism detection process?
- Is the plagiarism policy explained outside as well as in the student handbook?
- Are students taught about plagiarism during lecture or seminar time?
- Do students have the opportunity to discuss issues relating to citation?
- Are there opportunities for building the discussion of plagiarism into the curriculum (in discussions of issues such as intertextuality, or Romantic concepts of originality, for example)?
- What are the views of student representatives on the current state of the plagiarism policy in the department?
- Do essay questions make plagiarism easy? How might they do that?
- Does the exam represent a plagiarism ‘solution’? How would a reliance on the exam affect the department’s overall assessment strategy? Are there other possible solutions, and is the exam really plagiarism-proof?
For a full discussion of issues such a review might consider, see the JISC Good Practice Guide, to which this web page acknowledges its debt.