Confusion, not cheating, behind academic plagiarism

March 23rd, 2009 - 4:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 23 (ANI): Confusion over what constitutes plagiarism is a leading cause of unauthorized use of written material at graduate school level, says an expert.

“There is something happening at the undergraduate level. We don”t require enough writing and we do not do careful editing of what students write and, therefore, within the context of their own education, students are not properly educated and are more likely to fall into traps,” said Dr. George M. Bodner, who serves on the Ethics Committee of the ACS.

He said that the lack of metrics to measure plagiarism cases has made it impossible to tell how widespread the problem is.

Moreover, the Internet has also given students access to vast amounts of text, and other material that could be plagiarized.

“I usually tell students if it’’s more than four words you better be quoting them,” said Dr. Thomas Holme, a professor at Iowa State University.

He said that the problem of unauthorized use of written material goes beyond students and plagiarism. Teachers sometimes unknowingly cross the line with unauthorized use of copyrighted standardized test questions, including those from ACS’’s widely used standardized tests in chemistry.

“When someone puts a copyrighted test up on the Internet or incorporates questions from a copyrighted test into one of their own exams, that’’s a violation of copyright law and a serious matter,” Holme added. (ANI)

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