A description of plagiarism as something very common in higher education

Some ideas are ready to be executed immediately, others to be contemplated for future action, some are brand new, others leavened with forgotten wisdom, but as a whole they offer incontrovertible proof of the enormous vitality among those who wish to see improvement and reform in higher education today. We thank all the contributors for their efforts, and many thanks also to Ashley Thorne, who helped the editors track and coordinate this ambitious project.

A description of plagiarism as something very common in higher education

In the internet era, cheating has become an epidemic on college campuses By Don Campbell Atlanta, Georgia The problem of cheating in academia hit Tom Lancaster in a very personal way more than a decade ago: The Emory University political science professor found his own research being plagiarized by one of his students.

Lancaster, now senior associate dean for undergraduate studies, had learned while researching elections in Greece that women and men use different polling booths and that their votes are recorded by gender.

He subsequently had his students enter the polling data from each precinct and do papers comparing gender voting patterns in different sections of Greece. Two years later, in a similar class on southern European politics, a student wrote a paper about gender differences in voting in Greece—even though that topic was not assigned—using data that could only have been obtained from students in the previous class.

Understand what constitutes plagiarism.

Photo by Robin Nelson, Black Star, for CrossTalk "The student," said Lancaster, "had clearly in my mind simply plagiarized a previous paper—not necessarily the words—but had simply pulled out the data.

The student admitted finding it in a fraternity file. To add insult to injury, after Lancaster gave the student an F in the course, he found out a year later that the grade was changed without his being notified. Today, in the era of the internet and other high-tech gadgetry, Lancaster's story seems almost quaint.

Fraternity and sorority files are antiques when students can use computers, cellphones, calculators and iPods to cheat and plagiarize their way to better grades.

And the response among college administrators, faculty and students on honor councils has been inadequate, uneven and at times confused.

Is It Plagiarism Yet?

Those who would fight fire with fire, or technology with technology, are squared off against those who want to change a culture that—beginning in high school—spawns the attitude that cheating is no big deal.

What's not debatable, according to ongoing research, is that cheating and plagiarism in the country have reached epidemic proportions on college campuses.

The Center for Academic Integrity, based at Duke University, calls the latest findings from the research by Donald McCabe, a Rutgers University professor, "disturbing, provocative and challenging.

A description of plagiarism as something very common in higher education

Among his major findings, released last summer: On most campuses, 70 percent of students admit to some cheating, with half admitting to one or more instances of serious cheating on written assignments.

Internet plagiarism is exploding because students are uncertain about how to properly use content from the internet, with 77 percent of those surveyed saying it is not a serious issue.

Faculty are reluctant to take action. Some 44 percent of faculty members surveyed over the past three years who were aware of cheating in their classes did not report it.

Academic honor codes do reduce cheating: The incidence of serious test cheating is one-third to one-half lower on campuses that have honor codes. A study by Rutgers University Professor Donald McCabe found that on most campuses 70 percent of students admit to some cheating. In surveys of 18, high school students over the last four years, more than 70 percent of those in public or parochial schools admitted to having cheated on a test.

McCabe has been churning these figures out for many years, but is anyone taking them seriously? At the high school level, said McCabe, "I'd say they are, but boy that's not based on a lot of data.

Some are staying away from it because of the negative publicity that can be associated with it. Some schools I've surveyed have not had great results and they've gone public with it. I give them a lot of credit for that. The University of Maryland ran a sting operation that netted cheaters in its graduate business school.

Louisiana State University's medical school suspended one student and reprimanded four others after they were accused of cheating on a pharmacology exam. At Utah Valley State College, David Keller, a philosophy professor and director of the college's Center for the Study of Ethics, had a teaching assistant randomly check student papers and found that one-third of them were taken from the internet.

You plagiarized this paper and here's the original website it came from and you're caught, and I'm giving you an F. UVA, which has one of the toughest honor codes in the country, was embarrassed in when widespread cheating was found in an introductory physics class, and 48 students subsequently quit or were dismissed from the university.

The big culprit is the internet, according to researchers, higher education officials and students alike. Other kinds of technology-driven cheating occur, of course. Students may use text messaging on their cellphones to exchange test answers, or enter them on graphics calculators, or download answers or lectures on their iPods, but those methods can be dealt with by banning those devices from the classroom during tests.

The internet, however, is ubiquitous. It is a tempting venue for students looking for ideas and essays that closely parallel their assignments. In fact, online services now exist that will sell a student an essay on practically any subject imaginable.

And there are also online services for faculty that will run essay excerpts through a search engine to see if they match anything available on the internet. The intense competition to gain admission to certain colleges, and to do well once there, leads many students to cheat, Timothy Dodd, executive director of the Center for Academic Integrity, at Duke University, believes.

But now it's so tempting to go to that one website and get that one idea and not cite it, or just read the website and formulate the ideas as your own. It's more accessible to people because they're more pressed for time.

The technology simply facilitates it.The Plagiarism Plague In the internet era, cheating has become an epidemic on college campuses. By Don Campbell Atlanta, Georgia.

The problem of cheating in academia hit Tom Lancaster in a very personal way more than a decade ago: The Emory University political science professor found his own research being plagiarized by one of his students. It is very likely that another — and possible most important — value in using any of the last three strategies is that students develop an awareness of their instructors’ concerns about plagiarism.

The key to avoiding plagiarism is to make sure you give credit where it is due. This may be credit for something somebody said, wrote, emailed, drew, or implied.

Many professional organizations, including the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA), have lengthy guidelines for citing sources. A good start toward higher education reform can begin by (1) transferring Title IV loan programs to private commercial credit markets, (2) decoupling access to Title IV programs from “accreditation,” and (3) killing the U.S.

Department of Education. Dec 31,  · Plagiarism undermines the integrity of education and occurs at all levels of scholarship.

Research indicates that both undergraduate and postgraduate students require training to avoid plagiarism. Established researchers are not immune to allegations of plagiarism. Educational institutions need to.

Plagiarism is stealing; it is the act of passing off another person's intellectual property as your own and taking credit for another person's work. Colleges and universities take academic dishonesty very seriously and are very hard on students who commit plagiarism.

National CrossTalk -- Vol. 14 / No. 1 -- Winter