Michele Ostrow, Meghan Sitar, and Cindy Fisher Library Instruction Services



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In Our Own Words: Plagiarism Interventions @ The University of Texas Libraries

  • Michele Ostrow, Meghan Sitar, and Cindy Fisher Library Instruction Services

Goals for Today

  • 1. Learn about the nature
  • and extent of plagiarism.
  • 2. Learn about approaches
  • to programs for plagiarism
  • prevention that can be modified and adapted for other libraries.
  • 3. Learn about ways to support teachers/faculty to create “plagiarism proof” assignments
  • Dalton, K. (2009). Goal Posts.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/katiedee/3644929496/

Defining Our Problem and Our Environment

  • Grayson, D. (2006). Problems are Opportunities.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnagrayson/195244498/

Defining Our Problem and Our Environment

  • Obstacle #1
  • Faculty expected students to enter college with an understanding of how and when to cite their sources
  • Coles, S. (2008). Interrobang.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/stewf/2886229996/

Defining Our Problem and Our Environment

  • Obstacle #2
  • Students were expected to uphold the university honor code, which claims academic integrity (and thus plagiarism) as part of it.
  • Coles, S. (2008). Interrobang.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/stewf/2886229996/

Defining Our Problem and Our Environment

  • Obstacle #3
  • No one on campus was providing training to help either of our constituents demystify academic integrity generally and plagiarism specifically.
  • Coles, S. (2008). Interrobang.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/stewf/2886229996/

A Little Bit of Background

  • J, M. (2008). History (80/366).
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/chealion/2349587639/

Resulting Programs and Initiatives

  • Peer-led Freshman Interest Group (FIG) Plagiarism Training
  • Drop-in Library Workshops
  • Online Plagiarism and Citation Tutorials
  • College, C. L. B. (2011). Hands shooting sparks.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/11303774@N08/5390215267/

Potential Partners

  • Teaching faculty and graduate students
  • Undergraduates
    • One-on-one
    • Student organizations
  • Campus departments
  • Student-focused help centers
  • fountain, gem. (2007). holding hands.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/23236076@N06/2226398871/

Size Doesn’t Matter

  • Abraham, S. (2007) Size doesn’t matter.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/shimrit/1479655102/

Potential Stakeholders

  • Who values your work?
  • Who has a stake in student success?
  • How can you engage them?
  • Ahlefeldt-Laurvig, F. (2010). Statistics about statistics about...
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/hikingartist/4769199272/

Possibilities for Outreach

  • Professional development seminars
  • Teacher in-service trainings
  • Student groups, such as student government
  • New teacher or faculty orientations
  • Thorn, J. (2005). reaching.
  • Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethorn/290760357/

Think about the situation at your own institution, including potential stakeholders and partners. Then discuss your situation with your neighbor for additional insights.

Working with students

  • McNally, S. (n.d.). “Plagiarism: Getting in Trouble for Something You Didn’t Do.” - Threadless.com. Retrieved April 13, 2011, from http://www.threadless.com/product/2351/Plagiarism_Getting_in_Trouble_for_Something_You_Didn_t_Do
  • Training Peer Mentors for
  • First-Year Interest Groups (FIGS)
  • Online Tutorial
  • Drop-in Workshops
  • Defining the problem
  • “One of the problems as written was ‘Captain Kirk was sitting on the bridge of the USS Enterprise…’”
  • Plagiarism of the Week featuring Patton Oswalt & Barack Obama. (2010). . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OqBMTMb3dE&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Deja vu: Medline duplicate publication database. (n.d.). . Retrieved April 11, 2011, from http://dejavu.vbi.vt.edu/dejavu/

What is the multiple submission policy?

  • Reusing your own papers without permission is considered scholastic dishonesty
  • “You may not submit a substantially similar paper or project for credit in two (or more) courses unless expressly authorized to do so by your instructor(s).”
  • Section 11-802(b) of the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities,
  • http://registrar.utexas.edu/catalogs/gi07-08/app/appc03.html
  • Why is it a problem?
  • Callahan, D. (2004). The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead (1st ed.). Orlando: Harcourt.
  • Image from Amazon.com
  • 2008/09 @ UT
  • 421 Academic Cases Referred
  • 145 Cases of Plagiarism
  • http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/downloads/discproc_academic.pdf
  • 2008/09 @ UT
  • 44.9% of academic violators had a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/downloads/discproc_academic.pdf
  • 2008/09 @ UT
  • International students represented as ethnicity
  • U of Minnesota: 85% of cases involve international students
  • Holt, S. (2010, December 17). Responding to Non-Native Speakers of English. Teaching with Writing: University of Minnesota. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from http://writing.umn.edu/tww/responding_grading/nonnative/nn_speakers.html
  • Storytelling: Young writers
  • Kulish, N. (2010, February 11). Author, 17, Says It’s “Mixing,” Not Plagiarism. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/world/europe/12germany.html
  • Image from Jezebel.com
  • In 2010, 17 year-old author Helene Hegemann was accused of lifting an entire page from a lesser-known author’s work.
  • She claims it’s “mixing,” not plagiarism.
  • Storytelling: Professional writers
  • In February 2010, Gerald Posner
  • resigned from his position at The
  • Daily Beast after Slate identified
  • several instances of plagiarism in
  • his work. Posner claimed that the
  • “warp speed” of publishing on the
  • web and mistakes in identifying
  • the words of others in his
  • electronic notes led to
  • “inadvertent” plagiarism.
  • .
  • Image from Posner.com
  • Posner, Gerald. “My Resignation from The Daily Beast.” The Posner File 10 Feb 2010. Web. 15 Feb 2010.
  • Shafer, Jack. “Plagiarism at the Daily Beast: Gerald Posner concedes lifting from the Miami Herald.” Slate Magazine 5 Feb 2010. Web. 15 Feb 2010
  • In 2005, a former Ohio University graduate student uncovered 55 master’s theses from the engineering department that appeared to include plagiarism. In 2007, the University revoked the master’s degree of one of the accused. It was recommended that 12 other of the theses be rewritten.
  • Wasley, P. (2006, August 11). The Plagiarism Hunter. The Chronicle of Higher Education, A8.
  • Wasley, P. (2007, April 6). Ohio U. Revokes Degree for Plagiarism. The Chronicle of Higher Education, A15.
  • Storytelling: Academics
  • Storytelling: Popular images
  • 2008: The Associated Press contacted HOPE poster artist Shepard Fairey, demanding payment for uncredited and unlicensed use of the AP photo used as the basis of the poster image and threatening a copyright infringement suit.
  • 2009: Fairey filed a suit against the AP requesting a declarative judgment that he was protected under fair use guidelines.
  • The AP and Fairey settled in January 2011.
  • Italie, Hillel. “AP Accuses Obama Artist Shepard Fairey Of Copyright Infringement.” The Huffington Post 4 Feb 2009. Web. 15 Feb 2010.
  • Kennedy, Randy. “Shepard Fairey and The A.P. Settle Legal Dispute.” The New York Times 12 Jan. 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2011.
  • Pogrebin, Robin. “Artist Is Facing Criminal Probe Over His Use of Obama Photo.” The New York Times 27 Jan 2010. NYTimes.com. Web. 15 Feb 2010.
  • AP Photo/Mannie Garcia/ Shepard Fairey
  • Storytelling: Sources for Discussion Starters
  • Wikipedia: List of Plagiarism Controversies
  • Cheating Culture Blog: Plagiarism
  • Regret the Error Blog: Plagiarism
  • Design examples from
  • You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice
  • Music examples from Gelf Magazine
  • Storytelling Activity:
  • Discussion Starters
  • Review the handout of potential discussion starters
  • Which stories would resonate with your students or patrons? Why?
  • Do you have other stories we should add to this list?
  • Turn to the person next to you and share your thoughts.
  • Sharing Strategies & Expertise
  • Strategies: Tutorial
  • Strategies: Tutorial
  • Strategies: FIGs and Drop-ins
  • Harris, R. A. (2001). The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing With Plagiarism (1st ed.). Pyrczak Publishing.
  • Image from Amazon.com
  • Cite It? Game
  • Source for dry-erase table tents - $14.99 for 50
  • YES
  • on one side
  • NO
  • on the other

Cite it?

  • During a lecture in your RTF class, your professor mentions the results of a study she is about to publish about the impact of television on toddlers. You use the information in your paper for that class.
  • Harris, Robert A. "Using Sources Quiz." The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles:      Pyrczak Publishing, 2001. 143-144.

Cite it?

  • During a lecture in your RTF class, your professor mentions the results of a study she is about to publish about the impact of television on toddlers. You use the information in your paper for that class.
  • Cite it! Even though the professor knows what
  • you are talking about because it is her study, you
  • still need to cite it because it isn’t your work or
  • your idea.
  • Harris, Robert A. "Using Sources Quiz." The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles:      Pyrczak Publishing, 2001. 143-144.

Cite it?

  • You quote from an interview you conducted
  • with your grandmother.
  • Harris, Robert A. "Using Sources Quiz." The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles:      Pyrczak Publishing, 2001. 143-144.

Cite it?

  • You quote from an interview you conducted
  • with your grandmother.
  • Cite it! Whenever you quote someone else’s
  • words, you must cite them, regardless of your
  • relationship to that person.
  • Harris, Robert A. "Using Sources Quiz." The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles:      Pyrczak Publishing, 2001. 143-144.

Cite it?

  • You are writing a paper for your History class about World War II and mention that the US entered the war after Pearl Harbor was bombed.
  • Harris, Robert A. "Using Sources Quiz." The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles:      Pyrczak Publishing, 2001. 143-144.

Cite it?

  • You are writing a paper for your History class about World War II and mention that the US entered the war after Pearl Harbor was bombed.
  • Do not have to cite it. This is considered
  • common knowledge that can be found in many
  • sources.
  • Harris, Robert A. "Using Sources Quiz." The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles:      Pyrczak Publishing, 2001. 143-144.

Cite it?

  • You do a survey of students on campus, asking
  • about their favorite Austin restaurants. You
  • report on your findings in your paper.
  • Harris, Robert A. "Using Sources Quiz." The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles:      Pyrczak Publishing, 2001. 143-144.

Cite it?

  • You do a survey of students on campus, asking
  • about their favorite Austin restaurants. You
  • report on your findings in your paper.
  • Do not have to cite it. When you do original
  • research, you do not cite yourself if the research
  • is conducted for the paper. (If you already
  • published the research elsewhere, you would
  • need to provide a citation to that publication.)
  • Harris, Robert A. "Using Sources Quiz." The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles:      Pyrczak Publishing, 2001. 143-144.
  • You be the judge: Is this plagiarism?
  • You receive your assignment for a class, and realize that you can write your paper on the same topic that you wrote on for another class last semester. Because of the requirements of the assignment, the focus of the paper will be different, but you can use many of the same sources you already read just two months ago.
  • You be the judge: Is this plagiarism?
  • No, this is not plagiarism. Using the same sources to support or inform your arguments in the new paper does not constitute plagiarism. If you were to incorporate sections of your old paper into your new paper without citing the previous paper, you would be committing self-plagiarism by not acknowledging your own earlier work, regardless of whether or not that work was published.
  • Sources for Instructional Content
  • FIG Plagiarism Activity from the UT Libraries
  • All About Plagiarism Tutorial from the UT Libraries
  • Understanding Citations Tutorial from the UT Libraries
  • Handouts from the UT Undergraduate Writing Center
  • Sources for Instructional Content
  • ACRL Instruction Section’s Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online Database (PRIMO)
  • Plagiarism in the Digital Age: Voices from the Front Lines: What’s Happening in High Schools Today? from Plagiarism.org (makers of TurnItIn)
  • Harris, R. A. (2001). The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing With Plagiarism (1st ed.). Pyrczak Publishing.
  • Dow, M. (2008). Teaching Ethical Behavior in the Global World of Information and the New AASL Standards. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 25(4), 49-52.
  • Plagiarism Proofing:
  • The Faculty/Instructor Connection
  • jobadge. (2010). #4IPC2010_wordle_tweets. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/24612276@N05/4732885512/

Who In Your Class Might Plagiarize?

  • miyagusku, renata. (2010). the intellectual thief. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmiya/4357139416/

Why Do Students Plagiarize?

  • Whittaker, L. (2009). It’s Arguable Whether I Had Any in the First Place. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/angelic0devil6/3997705041/

Definition of Plagiarism

  • Gao, B. ("call me D. (2009). Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/gaobo/3956142890/

UT-Austin’s Definition of Plagiarism

  • “Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the appropriation of, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means material that is attributable in whole or in part to another source, including words, ideas, illustrations, structure, computer code, and other expression or media, and presenting that material as one’s own academic work being offered for credit.”
  • Section 11-802(d) of the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities,
  • http://registrar.utexas.edu/catalogs/gi07-08/app/appc03.html
  • What constitutes plagiarism?
  • Bartel, T. (2011). Copy-Paste. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/avatar-1/5499235063/

What Instructors & Faculty Can Do

  • Rebel, D. (2004). PlaGiaRisM. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ad4evr/2128607/

What Instructors & Faculty Can Do

  • Model good behavior
  • Include a statement/policy for your course, with clear expectations and consequences
  • Talk about it in class
  • Don’t assume knowledge of how to research, write or cite
  • Create good assignments

Original Assignment

  • Write a 5-7 page paper arguing either for or against gun control.
  • What you know:
  • There is currently a hotly debated bill in the Texas legislature about whether or not to allow students to carry concealed handguns on campus.

Ideas to Improve Assignment

  • Localize: make it about Texas or your campus. You may want to ask them to take a certain perspective (student, campus administrator, Texas legislator).
  • Sources: require a certain number and type of sources and specify citation style
  • Rubric: include a rubric that explains what an A paper, B paper, C paper looks like

Ideas to Improve Assignment

  • Scaffold:
  • Have students explore all sides of the controversy and turn in an annotated bibliography using sources representing different sides of the issue
  • Have students turn in a brief proposal stating the argument they plan to make and the evidence they plan to use
  • Have students turn in an outline, draft and then final paper

Assignment Design

  • Paper Topics
  • Narrow, specific topics
  • Current events
  • Personal experience
  • Assign compare/contrast papers
  • Localize the topic

Assignment Design

  • Process:
  • Pre-approval of research topics
  • No last minute changes
  • Create a research plan
  • Scaffold the assignment
  • Research log/portfolio
  • Post-assignment reflection
  •         

Assignment Design

  • Sources:
  • Variety of types
  • Recent
  • Assign some sources
  • Citation style     

Assignment Design

  • Additional tips:
  • Change assignments every year
  • Make sure the assignment is meaningful and students know why it matters
  • Explain your assessment procedures
  • Questions?
  • Contact us at
  • lib-instruction@utlists.utexas.edu


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