Academic Integrity has been defined ‘as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals to action’ (ICAI, 2013).
Academic integrity focuses on positive student and staff behaviours, rather than the more negative behaviour that are emerging in higher education assessment practices, such as plagiarism and contract cheating.
Education, prevention and detection have been identified as key to addressing, in particular, plagiarism.
UCD’s Academic regulation (4.13) also highlights that a ‘student is responsible for the academic integrity of an assessment that they submit’. Assessment tasks should generate clear evidence that the work has been produced by the candidate (Bloxham & Boyd, 2008).
‘The presentation of work, which contains the ideas, or work of others without appropriate attribution and citation, (other than information that can be generally accepted to be common knowledge1) is an act of plagiarism’ (UCD Plagiarism Policy 2005).
Plagiarism has begun to receive extensive attention in the last number of years in higher education, in terms of its occurrence, the underlying reasons which may motivate students to plagiarise either knowingly or unknowingly and institutional approaches to dealing with plagiarism. This section will focus on what you as a faculty member can do to help educate students on plagiarism and hopefully prevent students engaging in instances of plagiarism. This section also addresses the question of detection and provides links to external resources relating to plagiarism.
Most published advice on preventing plagiarism emphasises education and prevention, over detection. It makes more sense to develop students’ sense of academic integrity in order to deter them from engaging in plagiarism.
You should educate your students about plagiarism and copyright issues and how to use information ethically.
Plagiarism is a serious academic offence. As good referencing is integral to the study of any subject UCD encourages students to understand that plagiarism is both a form of academic dishonesty and poor academic writing practice. While plagiarism may be committed unintentionally by the student, it is defined by the act, not the intention.
While Plagiarism is using someone else's work without crediting the original author, copyright infringement is using someone else's “... original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works”, or computer programs, databases and websites without authorisation. UCD Library has compiled a Copyright FAQ page to provide information on key questions that arise in regard to the Copyright and Related Rights Act.
UCD Library, as part of the work on information literacy skills, offers a range of supports and resources in this area:
UCD Library Plagiarism Tutorial is another short tutorial available in English and Irish.
In early stage modules, prior to issuing the first assessment to students, and as part of clarifying the assessment task and criteria, provide students with guidance on the correct approaches to citation in your discipline including conventions for paraphrasing.
Self-plagiarism occurs when an author, usually an academic, reuses or recycles portions of their own previously published work without any reference or attribution to the original publication. This includes re-presenting material at conferences, or publishing very similar or identical work without acknowledging the original work. Many academic journals have codes of ethics which specifically refer to self-plagiarism, while others use a more standard reference to plagiarism. Self-plagiarism is detrimental to the research community; it wastes financial resources through journal subscriptions, inter-library loans, and results in a cluttering of the pool of research.
‘Essay mills’ and similar organisations have assisted in the increase in contract cheating in students’ assessments. In a recent study in Australia (Bretag, et al, 2018), students’ perceptions of cheating likelihood were highest amongst students who:
Plagiarism can be detected from some of the following indicators:
Plagiarism detection software has become increasingly popular in higher education as a means of dealing with and preventing plagiarism. UCD uses Urkund/Originality Checker which is available through Brightspace. Using software to detect plagiarism has a number of advantages for both students and staff. These include:
UCD has a Plagiarism Policy Document which you can find in the UCD Governance Document Library. The implementation of this policy can vary from school to school, therefore check to see if your school has a plagiarism protocol.