PLAGIARISM AND THE INTERNET
Influenceof internet on plagiarism and research methods
Baruchson,Yaari. (2004). Printed versus internet plagiarism: a study ofstudents` perception.
InternationalJournal of Information Ethics1(6): 29-35
Theinternet is a public domain accessible to all with the right devices.Some students have wrongly perceived that internet content beingfreely available to all does not have rightful owners. This claimthus encourages some students to perceive relying on internet sourcesan dialing to attribute such use as being justifiable on the believethe content is not owned by anybody. To them, plagiarizing frominternet sources is less of a crime compared to plagiarizing fromcopyrighted printed sources with clearly identified authors. Forreason, content without authors name was perceived to have “noofficial owner” hence students can utilize such resources itwithout attributing it to anyone.
Thissource will provide a very important area in plagiarism studies onusing sources with no authors. This is a topic well covered in mostwriting skills studies but students are yet to fully embrace the useof author-free resources on the belief that the work cannot bedetected as another person’s without his/her identify to accompanythe work.
Comas-Forgas,R. & Sureda-Negre, J. (2010). Academic plagiarism: explanatoryfactors
fromstudents’ perspective. Journalof Academic Ethics8:217–232.
Thearticle present findings from a primary research among students in aSpanish university. The study used both qualitative and quantitativemethods to analyze the self reported factors that encourage studentsto plagiarize. The convenience of copy pasting provided by theinternet and digital content featured strongly in two main ways. Oneof them is that the internet provides content that is easy to copypaste and because doing research on the internet provided very manydistractions to their studies leading to time wastage hence lastminute assignment completion efforts might encourage plagiarism.Internet convenience was viewed to have high relevance to plagiarismby 52% of the students while 56% were not convinced enough that theirbeliefs that plagiarism cannot be detected contributed towardsplagiarism. Another issue that students cited was the study contentnoting that repetitiveness of most theoretical content as opposed topractical learning results to unintentional plagiarism.
Iwill use the article to argue for the reasons that promoteplagiarism. The fact that the article provides both qualitative andquantitative data to support the arguments makes the article moreappealing as most of the studies identified in this assignment aredescriptive.
Eret,E. & Gokmenoglu (2010). Plagiarism in higher education: A casestudy with prospective
academicians.Procedia- Social and Behavioral Sciences2(2): 3303–3307
Theresearch offers a similar take on plagiarism as Gilmore et al.(2010). Through a case study approach, the article demonstrates thatfew students would choose to plagiarize intentionally. The authorsshow that many students are aware about the consequences ofplagiarism but many stand accused of plagiarism due to poor methodsand skills in research and avoiding plagiarism. The authors alsocontend that ESL learners are at a higher risk of plagiarism thannative speakers. The authors also identify dishonesty especiallythrough ghost writing which they note the internet has made itpossible through anonymity it offers students and they seek servicesof websites that sell papers to students. They therefore call foracademic honesty to be given the same level of attention asplagiarism debates.
Thepaper addresses an important issue on vulnerability of ESL studentsto plagiarism. They note that poor knowledge and poor language skillslimit their research capabilities over the internet which results inunintentional plagiarism. I will link this article with anotherargument presented in Gilmore, et al. (2010) which identifies cultureas a factor in determining plagiarism and also the argument by Klein(2011) which identifies cultural values as important indicators onthe perception towards academic dishonesty and plagiarism.
Fish,R. & Hura, G. (2013). Students’ perceptions of plagiarism.Journalof the Scholarship of
Teachingand Learning 13(5):33-45.
Thearticle is also a primary research report that involved a sample of626 students from an urban comprehensive college. The study showedthat students believed that other students were more likely to commitplagiarism than them. The study revealed that plagiarism was a verysensitive issue among students and even emotionally draining for manyowing to the stiff punishments meted by the institutions. However,training and publicizing the nature of plagiarism was a verysignificant deterrent than actual detection. The authors propose animportant area of study that is to assess whether sharing storiesabout plagiarism with students has any deterrence effect.
Iwill use the article to suggest new possible approaches to addressingplagiarism among students. The proposed approach of sharing storiessuch as the recent case of actor Shia LaBeouf who was accused ofplagiarism will be suggested.
Gilmore,J., Strickland, D., Timmerman, B., Maher, M., & Feldon, D.(2010). Weeds in the
flowergarden: An exploration of plagiarism in graduate students’ researchproposals and its connection to enculturation, ESL, and contextualfactors. InternationalJournal for Educational Integrity6(1) 13-28.
Convenience,availability and ease of use of the internet are touted as factorsthat encourage plagiarism. However this paper goes beyond that andexplores other causal factors. The authors highlight enculturation,poor research and poor referencing skills as other key causes ofplagiarism. This particular research adapted a different approachfrom the self report approach commonly used and investigated researchproposals from students in master’s and doctoral programs inscience, technology, engineering, mathematics, and science ormathematics education in various institutions. Plagiarism wasdetected in all levels and it was revealed that ESL learners weremore prone to plagiarism while experience in research reducedplagiarism cases.
Iwill use the paper to argue that foreign students are moral prone toplagiarism because they have a different moral background on theissue of plagiarism and their language skills may disadvantage them.The article will also support the concept that most plagiarism isunintentional as experience in research and knowledge in referencingstyles reduces cases of plagiarism. An important question that willbe raised here is whether institutions should be forgiving ofunintentional plagiarism.
Gullifer,J. & Tyson, G. (2013). Who has read the policy on plagiarism?Unpacking students`
understandingof plagiarism. Studiesin Higher Education.39(7) 1202-1218.
Majorityof institution of learning especially higher education have clearpolicies on plagiarism and cheating. These policies are usually meantfor students to learn about plagiarism, the methods to use to avoidand also most important advice students in how to best utilize theinternet for research purposes. One key area addressed by thesepolicies involves indentifying reliable sources or scholarlymaterials on the internet that contain reliable information. However,this article through an empirical study reveals that few studentsread these policies. They propose that issues on plagiarism be taughtas a unit to all higher learning students as the only way to achievedesired results. They compare some university policies to terms andconditions of many transactions where very few people pay attentionto then due to the tedious intricate details.
Iwill thus use the paper to support the claim that the internet hasled to increased cases of plagiarism as many students do notunderstand well how to utilize the internet for research purposes andattribute ideas and other peoples work in their works.
Head,A. (2008). Information literacy from the trenches: how do humanitiesand social
sciencemajors conduct academic research? College& Research Libraries69(5): 427-
Oneof the main reasons that students plagiarize is failure to conductadequate research. This article involves an empirical study thatshows the internet has on the other hand provided “too much”information that can overwhelm students in their research. The studyrevealed that 60% of the students were overwhelmed by information inthe internet, 73% procrastinated and thus affected time available foradequate research. Another issue highlighted was the high tendency at88% to use the internet for research though 87% of all assignmenthandouts did not mention how to use internet resources. Nonetheless,majority of the students were aware of the sensitivity of internetresearch and thus used sites such as Wikipedia for backgroundinformation only and not research.
Thepaper is very helpful as it provides vital statistics on internetresearch and its effect on research methods and plagiarism amongstudents.
Jocoy,C. & DiBiase, D. (2008). Plagiarism by adult learners online: acase study in detection
andremediation. TheInternational Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning.7(1) 1-12
Inthis article carry out a study among adult online learners and assesstheir likelihood to plagiarize. The sample comprised of Penn State’sWorld Campus Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate programadult students. The study revealed that the same issues facing younglearners in plagiarism also affect adult learners. In the samemanner, awareness on plagiarism and training on methods ofreferencing and how to avoid violating the rules decreased theplagiarism score in many students’ assignments. The study alsoreveals that students who use the internet for their research aremore likely to plagiarize with some self reporting copy pasting wholeassignments before editing and paraphrasing them thoroughly.
Thearticle will contribute to the current research in two major ways.One will be to argue that plagiarism is not an age related issue thatmaybe linked to the more risk taking youths as oppose to adultlearners. It will also cement the argument that internet use inresearch encourages plagiarism.
Klein,D. (2011). Why learners choose plagiarism: a review of literature.Interdisciplinary
Journalof E-Learning and Learning Objects.7(2):97-110.
Thearticle is a literature review that seeks to establish a theoreticalfoundation on why students commit plagiarism. The author exploresseveral theories namely ethical theory, cultural relativism,utilitarian theories, Kantian theories and social desirability theoryand how they impact on the students perceptions towards committingplagiarism. The author takes a standpoint that students are driven bya number of factors to commit this crime same as contemporary crime.Therefore, same way as contemporary crime, sensitization andpunishment to offenders will have a deterrence impact. However,deeper underlying issues such as culture, environment, personal,family, religious, and societal values should be considered.
Iwill use this article to argue that plagiarism should not beaddressed through a blanket approach. By establishing a theoreticalfoundation, I will argue that addressing this issue will requireinstructors and learning institution to address the root causesrather than treat the issue from the top.
Ledwith,A. & Risquez, A. (2008). Using anti-plagiarism software topromote academic honesty
inthe context of peer reviewed assignments. Studiesin Higher Education33(4): 371–384
Thoughthe internet is seen as core factor that promotes plagiarism andshallow research by students, it also promotes academic honestythrough plagiarism detection software. Some of these programs arefree while learning institution may choose to seek these services fortheir students where students can check their assignments similarityscore or plagiarism and rectify before handling in assignments. Thisapproach seeks to correct students and funnel their research methodsinto appropriate ways instead of using the plagiarism detectionprograms to detect and punish students. The authors also make a claimthat these softwares cannot detect dishonesty and thus are not100%effect. They thus say that instructors’ knowledge of their studentsand capabilities can also detect any form of dishonesty and evenplagiarism.
Sikes,P. (2009). Will the real author come forward? Questions of ethics,plagiarism, theft and
collusionin academic research writing. InternationalJournal of Research & Method in Education. 32(1)13-24.
Thepaper addresses the issue of collusion and plagiarism in medicalsciences and social sciences. The authors argue that plagiarism ismore of a lesser crime when compared to collusion in writing papers.The article argues that majority of the plagiarism being reportedamong students emanates from poor referencing due to poor referencingskills. This differs from the approach taken by other authors towardsplagiarism as outright cheating where students seek to present otherpeoples’ work as their own or even directly copy paste works fromthe internet in whole or in part without citing the source or placingsuch directly quoted texts in quotations. To the author, collusion ismore offensive and harmful to the learning process than justplagiarism resulting from poor writing skills.
Iwill use this article to argue that plagiarism issue among studentshave been given undue attention and in the process failed to addressother pressing issue in education and learning. For instance, someinstructors do not mind who the actual author but only check forplagiarism.
Walker,M. &Townley, C. (2013). Contract cheating: a new challenge foracademic honesty?
Journalof Academic Ethics.10(1)27-44.
Thearticle discusses the issue of ghost writing or what they callcontract writing. They argue that though this approach does notpertain to students presenting copyrighted work as their own, theypay to present other peoples work as their own. However, they notethat this kind of writing is very hard to detect as current softwareprograms in the market cannot detect it. They therefore compelinstructors to instill moral and ethical standards in their studentsto shun such approaches and instead study and write their ownassignments for their own academic development.
Thearticle is very important to the current study. It highlights a newarea of concern in education circles that many students do notperceive as cheating or plagiarism. It is also very helpful as itintroduces a new form of addressing plagiarism through highlightingthe moral and ethical need to present original papers and not thosebought online or written by their colleagues/friends/family members.