Plagiarism Today

PlagiarismToday had a post about Turnitin’s self-study.

Turnitin identified 10 types of plagiarism. I was glad to see this list, not only because it seems fairly complete, but because it gives names to plagiarism and shows the wide variety of plagiarism possibilities.

A colleague and I have had an ongoing discussion concerning what plagiarism is and how it should be assessed. I am far more likely to be strict than the other person, to the point that they would argue that types 6-10 are NOT plagiarism, but something else.

What do you think?

1. Clone: Verbatim copying without additions/subtractions.
2. CTRL+C: Largely verbatim copying from a single source with minor changes.
3. Find-Replace: Verbatim copying with key words/phrases changed, often automatically.
4. Remix: Paraphrasing content so that it flows seamlessly with other work.
5. Recycle: Plagiarizing from older works of your own, self plagiarism.
6. Hybrid: Combining correctly cited material with non-cited material in the same passage.
7. Mashup: A mix of copied and original content from various sources without attribution.
8. 404 Error: Including citations that do not exist or are inaccurate.
9. Aggregator: Properly cited material that contains little original content.
10. Re-Tweet: Includes proper citation but uses too much of the original wording, content that should have been quoted but was paraphrased.

The results were pretty straightforward. Clone plagiarism was the highest both on the problematic and the frequency scale, easily taking the highest score in both. Mashup plagiarism was nearly as common as Clone plagiarism but was ranked 3rd in terms of being problematic. CTRL+C, instead, was second in problematic and it was also third in frequency.
Turnitin wrapped up the report by making three recommendations for educators. Those are:
1. Intent Matters: Stating that the intent of the alleged plagairist matters and should be weighed when deciding what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken.
2. Guide Students: Help students avoid unintentional plagiarism and make them aware that professors know what is going on.
3. Use OriginalityCheck: Finally, they encouraged educators to give students access to their originality reports so they can see their mistakes and correct them.

2 thoughts on “Plagiarism Today”

  1. Another type of plagiarism, that wouldn’t necessarily be caught by TurnItIn, is re-using your own papers without permission of the teachers. Many professors do not accept this. Yes, the students wrote them. Yes, they may have been their work. But they were not work for this class, which is what they say they are when they turn them in.

    For research papers, I have been perfectly willing to allow credit for two classes, but so far none of the other professors have agreed.

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