From Online Classes comes this article about the Top 10 Plagiarism Scandals of All Time. While their choices may be debatable, all make for profitable discussion about plagiarism, documentation and interpretation of fair use laws. Check them out.
Much of the content of these pages is now being mirrored on the Gelman Library webiste. A Writing in the Disciplines Library Guide has been created to help students enrolled in WID classes through all aspects of the writing process in a variety of disciplines. Please visit that site for the most up to date content.
Welcome to WID Studio: STUDENTS, your connection to the best on the web of writing and research resources.
Content – This site consists of articles, handouts, and tutorials on researching responsibly and writing in today’s digital environment. All resources are presented with annotations and a roll-over window to give you a mini snapshot of the resource.
Finding Resources - You can search for resources three ways: 1) tag cloud (the larger the font, the more resources), or 2) search box, or 3) dropdown list of resources (organized by category) .
Interaction – You are invited to comment on the resources in the reply box at the bottom of every page and every resource. The more people add comments, the useful the resources will become to GW students.
ABOUT THE WID STUDIO: The WID Studio is brought to you by the University Writing Program and the Columbia College of Arts & Science at The George Washington University. For more information, contact Professor Katherine Larsen <email@example.com>.
The GW Code of Academic Integrity was developed by the GW community of students, faculty, librarians, and administrators and initiated in the 1996-1997 academic year. To administer, promote, and manage the code, an Academic Integrity Office and an Academic Integrity Council were formed. More information about these bodies can be found at the GW Academic Integrity Web Site
The Preamble of the Code reads:
We, the Students, Faculty, Librarians and Administration of The George Washington University, believing academic honesty to be central to the mission of the University, commit ourselves to its high standards and to the promotion of academic integrity. Commitment to academic honesty upholds the mutual respect and moral integrity that our community values and nurtures. To this end, we have established The George Washington University Code of Academic Integrity.
The code identifies five types of academic dishonesty. Plagiarism is one of these categories:
- Cheating – intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise; copying from another student’s examination; submitting work for an in-class examination that has been prepared in advance; representing material prepared by another as one’s own work; submitting the same work in more than one course without prior permission of both instructors; violating rules governing administration of examinations; violating any rules relating to academic conduct of a course or program.
- Fabrication - intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any data, information, or citation in an academic exercise.
- Plagiarism – intentionally representing the words, ideas, or sequence of ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise; failure to attribute any of the following: quotations, paraphrases, or borrowed information.
- Falsification and forgery of University academic documents – knowingly making a false statement, concealing material information, or forging a University official’s signature on any University academic document or record. Such academic documents or records may include transcripts, add-drop forms, requests for advanced standing, requests to register for graduate-level courses, etc. (Falsification or forgery of non-academic University documents, such as financial aid forms, shall be considered a violation of the non-academic student disciplinary code.)
- Facilitating academic dishonesty – intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
Sanctions – To learn more about the official procedures should you be accused of plagiarizing, see the Frequently Asked Questions and Procedures sections of the GW Academic Integrity web site. Of particular interest is the part of the Code that discusses Santions (Section 5). The Code recommends that on the first offense the sanction be failure of the assignment. The recommended sanction for repeat violations is failure of the course. Only the official GW Academic Integrity Hearing Panel can request suspension or expulsion of a student for violation of the Code.
The best way to prevent a plagiarism charge is to learn how to properly incorporate the words, ideas, music, images, and so on of others into your research and writing so you don’t accidentally plagiarize or feel the need to intentionally plagiarize.
GW is an academic community that respects the work and ideas of others. In the academic world, words and ideas are protected by rules and regulations that an institution adopts. At GW, these rules are presented in the GW Code of Academic Integrity which defines plagiarism as:
Intentionally representing the words, ideas, or sequence of ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise; failure to attribute any of the following: quotations, paraphrases, or borrowed information.
Though the definition does not provide a laundry list of modes of communication such as audio, video, images, etc., the use of the word “ideas” functions as an umbrella term for today’s multi-modal communication platforms.
Plagiarism is not a legal concept–It is a concept defined by academics as inappropriate professional behavior. However, the ideas adopted in academia about plagiarism derive from the constitutional statute of copyright. Moreover, the concepts underlying the concept of plagiarism and copyright law grew out of Western cultural concepts of intellectual property. Consequently, students from outside the United States may not understand the American concept of plagiarism if their country does not have a similar system of intellectual property rights. For more on these types of cultural issues concerning plagiarism, see Cultural Issues and Plagiarism.
Types of Plagiarism: Intentional and Accidental Plagiarism
Plagiarism can be divided into two types: intentional and accidental.
Intentional plagiarism is when a person knowingly and willfully presents someone else’s work as his/her own whether by buying a paper at an online paper mill or cutting and pasting content directly into a paper without proper attribution. Intentional plagiarism is often detected when an instructor notices an inconsistency in writing such as a change in style, content, or vocabulary. Other times an instructor might suspect plagiarism because something about the content seems familiar to the instructor producing a feeling of “I’ve read that before.”
Why Students Intentionally Plagiarize
There are many reasons why students intentionally plagiarize.
- Fear of failure
- Poor time management
- Disregard for consequences
- Disregard for authorship of material accessible online
Intentionally plagiarizing might seem like an inconsequential short-cut at the time, but academic integrity is taken very seriously by professors and the consequences of plagiarism can be grave. The GW Code of Academic Integrity recommends that the minimal sanction on the first offense of plagiarism is that the student fails the assignment. However for more egregious examples, sanctions may range from failure of the course to suspension. For repeat violations, the Code recommends failure of the course, which comes with an automatic notation to the student’s transcript and/or suspension.
Accidental plagiarism is when a person does not understand how to properly quote, paraphrase, summarize, or cite the work of others being used in one’s paper, resulting in the content being unintentionally attributed to the compiler and not the original author. Accidental or “unintentional” or “negligent” plagiarism may also occur for other reasons such as carelessness, sloppiness, procrastination or simply by oversight. In such cases, it is difficult to prove one way or another whether the plagiarism was intentional. Students assume responsibility when they sign their names to a work product.
Why Students Accidentally Plagiarize
Sometimes students accidentally plagiarize because of inadequate understanding of the conventions of academic attribution. In other words, a student doesn’t know how to properly incorporate the ideas and words of others into a paper or other type of project.
This web site offers resources to help you learn how to research responsibly in the key areas that are trouble spots for accidental plagiarism
- Taking careful notes during the research process
- Knowing how to integrate sources into your work through quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
- Knowing how to put together a bibliography in the requested citation style
In addition to the above reasons, sometimes a foreign student accidentally plagiarizes because of unfamiliarity with American academic conventions of attribution. For more discussion on this topic, see the Cultural Issues in Plagiarism section.
In the end, ignorance is not an excuse; all of us at a university are responsible for learning the rules of academic research and writing.
Top 3 sites
- #1 – Plagiarism [E-HANDOUT]
This handout defines plagiarism, addresses why instructors are concerned about plagiarism, tools for avoiding plagiarism such as proper paraphrasing and citing sources. The handout ends with the moral: “When in doubt, give a citation.”
- #2 – Writing Guide: Working with Sources, Writing@CSU [GUIDE]
Intended to be the equivalent of an online textbook, this writing guide from the well respected online Writing Studio at Colorado State University gives a complete overview of how to avoid plagiarizing by going through all the parts of responsible research from gathering information, to incorporating sources, to documenting sources.
- #3 – Avoiding Plagiarism, The OWL at Purdue [E-HANDOUT]
From the well-respected Purdue OWL (online writing lab), this e-handout consists of four pages. The first page addresses the challenges facing scholars into today’s global and digital world. The second page explores what is and is not plagiarism by addressing such such questions as when to give credit and how to identifying common knowledge. The third page presents an overview of safe research practices from responsible note-taking, paraphrasing and summarizing, to how to properly integrate quotes. The last page consists of exercises testing one’s understanding of the safe practices for avoiding plagiarism.
The resources presented below take the perspective that the merging of technology, writing, and research has brought new opportunities for involvement, collaboration, and distribution as well as new challenges for conducting responsible research. These challenges require one to understand what is happening online where vast amounts of information are not only accessible, but the space between users, audience, and authors has merged and blurred and content is shared and mashed-up. Consequently, this wiki embraces the ideas and technologies of Web 2.0 as we present responsible research resources for the GW community. To get a better understanding of what Web 2.0 means, watch this informative video titled “Web 2.0, The Machine is Us/ing Us,” by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University.
The tools presented below assist the researcher in taking advantage of the collaborative and socially connected nature of online information gathering and sharing in a Web 2.0 environment.
Tabbed, extension-rich browsers offer features and client-side applications that make a browser more than a screen to online content. These browsers help the user interact in customizable ways with the content. Here are links to three such advanced browsers
- Firefox - Mozilla’s Firefox 2 is an open source browser that offers a fully customizable experience for surfing the web with tabbed browsing, spell checking in the browser, RSS feeds, integrated search, live bookmarks, built-in accessibility and access to over 1,000 add-ons. Firefox is installed on most GW computers. You can locate the browser in the Browser folder under Programs.
- Flock - Flock calls itself the “Social Web Browser” because it facilitates easy sharing of photos and content as well as a search feature than anticipates your search by pulling up search results before you finish typing.
- Opera- The Opera browser is available for desktops, mobile phones, and other devices. It offers features that allow the user to customize everything from features to make surfing faster and more efficient to security and privacy issues as well as customizing the browser itself.
Chat, IM, and Voice Chat
Wiki and Content Collaboration
- PBwiki – This is the wiki service behind the GW Plagiarism Project wiki. The name implies that making a wiki using pbwiki is as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich.
- Vyew – An online collaboration tool that allows a group to author new content or collaborate on PowerPoint, Word, Excel, pdf files, audio, and video.
- Wikispaces – Popular wiki tool for making web pages that groups can edit together.
Social Bookmarking, Tagging & Web Archiving
- del.icio.us – This is a social bookmarking service allowing you to store your bookmarks online for access from any computer. With del.icio.us, you organize your bookmarks through a keyword system called tags that are more flexible than folders. You can also use del.icio.us to see other people’s bookmarks
- Furl.net – Furl.net allows you to bookmark any site and share your bookmarks with others. You can also annotate the bookmarks and more.
- WebCite – An archiving system for web references (cited web pages and web sites), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited web material will remain available to readers in the future.
- BackPackIt - A web-based service that allows you to make pages with to-do lists, notes, files, and images. Backpack also features a Calendar and Reminders that can be sent via email or to your cell phone at predefined times.
- Carmun – Carmum makes building a bibliography a social act. The service allows you to bookmark URLs and save citations you find online and create bibliographies. An interesting feature is the ability to rate and review sources.
- Diigo – This is a social annotation service that allows you to highlight or put an online sticky-note annotation on any webpage and share your notes with others.
- Google Docs & Spreadsheets – A web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that facilitates sharing documents as well as live editing and revision by multiple users simultaneously.
- Google Notebook – A web-based tools that allows you to clip and collect online information such as text, images and links as well as take notes as you browse.
- Stickis – Allows you to put virtual sticky notes with comments on web pages and others Stickis users can read your comments and you can read theirs.
- GW on ITunes University – You can listen to podcasts of select GW courses.
- Flickr - A photo management and sharing service with millions of creative commons licensed photographs.
Specialty Search Sites
Tracking and Delivering Information
- Bloglines – Online service that allows you to make a personalized news paper with information you choose from news feed, blogs, web sites. You also can share your bloglines.
- Google Alerts – Notifies user on new Google results based on query or topic. Good for monitoring a developing news story or any topic.
- Google Reader – Monitors all your favorite web sites and blogs and then aggregates the new content into one reader page. This page can be shared with other users.
- Pipes – Interactive feed aggregator.
- Suprglu – Allows you to gather content from del.icio.us, flickr, blogger, typepad to one place.
Community Driven Content:
- Digg - A user-driven social content website where community members submit content and if the more popular the content with the community, the more prominently displaced the content
- Technorati – This service searches and organizes blogs, blog links, and other forms of independent, user-generated content (photos, videos, etc.)
- Wikipedia - The online social networking encyclopedia. Wikipedia has sparked much controversy with its user-generated content approach to information gathering. Below are links to examples of the challenges presented with user-generated and free access content.
- Nature versus Britannica over Wikipedia Accuracy -In 2005, an article was published in Nature that claimed that information found on Wikipedia was as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Britannica printed a 20 page rebuttal on its corporate web site. Nature responded with its own press release rebuttal.
- Wikiality -This segment from a July 30, 2006 “Colbert Report” from Comedy Central brings a humorous look at the benefits and liabilities of audience-generated content. This segment of the Cobert Report’s The Word titled “Wikiality“