Two passages in an article in The Australian caught my eye recently.
The article carries the headline “Tracey Bretag says schools must teach how to reference information from the internet” and the story, written by The Australian’s Education Editor Sheradyn Holderhead, opens:
TELL US: Should proper referencing be taught at schools?
UNIVERSITY students do not understand plagiarism and cheating rules because cutting and pasting from the internet has become common practice in schools, a leading academic warns. Continue reading
A recent iThenticate press release carried the headline, “Survey Shows Plagiarism a Regular Problem in Scholarly Research” (iThenticate Press Release, 2012 December 5).
I’m not sure what to make of it. The logic, the argument, the statistics, the interpretation. There’s something not quite right. Several things. I have already noted some of my disquiet in Flattering Flaws, wondered if there might be vested interest in sensationalising the survey results? But those are not my only concerns.
To be more sure, I went to the actual survey report, available as “2012 Survey Highlights: Scholarly Plagiarism” (iThenticate, 2012). I wanted to check the statements, and to think again about the logic of statements made in the press release. Continue reading
Every so often, in workshop and in forums, someone asks, “What percentage of plagiarism is allowed?”
The short answer is, of course, zero per-cent.
The question is usually asked by someone who has received an originality report from Turnitin or other online text-matching software,
and it has come back with passages and paragraphs brightly coloured. The highlighted sections indicate text for which the software has found matches, on the internet or within its own databases.
Highlighted text does NOT indicate plagiarism. Continue reading
It’s ironic that I have to thank Turnitin for bringing Retraction Watch to my attention.
Retraction Watch is a blog written by Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky. It aims to report on retractions made in science journals. Scientific knowledge is not static, but it does tend to develop slowly. New knowledge is gained as connections are made, Continue reading
Two of the many disturbing findings coming out of a survey conducted in 2009 by the Josephson Institute, as reported in their press release, were
High school character matters – Regardless of current age, people who cheated on exams in high school two or more times are considerably more likely to be dishonest later in life
Attitude matters – Regardless of age, people who believe lying and cheating are a necessary part of success (the report calls them cynics) are more likely to lie and cheat. In fact, this belief is one of the most significant and reliable predictors of dishonest behavior in the adult world.
This is based on responses to an online survey of nearly 7,000 adults. The report notes that this cannot be viewed as a random survey since Continue reading