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1 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle What is Plagiarism? http://www.netskills.ac.uk/ © Netskills, Quality Internet Training University of Newcastle Netskills is a trademark of Netskills, University of Newcastle.
2 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Topics Definitions Why do people plagiarise? Infamous examples
3 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Definitions Plagiarise: "To take and use as one’s own, the thoughts, writings or inventions of another" (OED) Some definitions also include the element of 'advantage gain' Collude: To work together for mutual benefit, but with the intention to deceive a third party Does not necessarily refer to plagiarism
4 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Types of Plagiarism Intra-corpal plagiarism – e.g. copying from other students on same course Extra-corpal – copying from an external source, such as a book or web site Autoplagiarism – citing one’s own work without acknowledgement (Culwin and Lancaster 2001)
5 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Features of Plagiarism Fairly new notion Originality and individual authorship have not always been highly valued Not a legal term Plagiarism is not necessarily illegal Intellectual property law emerged from property law – does not easily cope with ideas, words, art etc. Can be intentional or unintentional Covers paraphrasing as well as verbatim copying Does not just apply to copyrighted works You can plagiarise without breaching copyright, and you can breach copyright without plagiarising
6 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Why Do People Plagiarise? Genuine lack of understanding about what constitutes plagiarism Belief that one’s own work is inadequate Poor writing and research practice e.g. referencing, citations, quoting To get higher marks To save time and effort Because everyone else does it Cultural factors
7 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle What’s Wrong With It? Penalises honest students Degrades academic standards, degrees, and institutions Future negative impact on professional standards if students are not learning required topics properly It’s cheating!
8 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle But…. A key component of academic research is reading and using other people’s work What is common knowledge? Backlash and postmodernism Questioning/subversion of intellectual property e.g. Creative Commons, Copyleft, OpenCola, detritus.net Copying/pastiche now viewed more positively Beat the Witch Hunt www.study-skills.net/plagiarism.pdf Does plagiarism necessarily involve intention to cheat?
9 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Plagiarism in Text Authors who have been accused of plagiarism include: Yann Martel, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Graham Swift, Helen Keller Claims are often malicious – Stephen King, JK Rowling Shakespeare "So all my best is dressing old words new" (Sonnet 76) "There are, after all, only so many plots in the world" (McCrum, Guardian 28/4/02)
10 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Plagiarism in Music Robbie Williams (Jesus in a Camper Van) V Loudon Wainwright III/Woody Guthrie – ordered to remove song from future copies of album George Harrison (My Sweet Lord) V The Chiffons (He’s So Fine ) – 'unconscious copying', Harrison had to pay royalties Solomon Linda (Wimoweh) – tune used by at least 170 artists The Verve (Bittersweet Symphony) V Rolling Stones (The Last Time) – slight altering of song. Album distribution halted Silence – Mike Batt V John Cage
11 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Plagiarism in Other Fields Advertising Revels, Guinness Film and Television The Sting – producers sued by author of The Big Con Barbara Taylor Bradford V Sahara Television Journalism New York Times (Jayson Blair) n.b. also invented stories – the opposite of plagiarism? Politics Iraq dossier Senator Joe Biden
12 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Excuses "I had internalised your musings" VN Narayan, to Brian Appleyard "The important thing is that it’s accurate" HM Government "There are only so many notes in a scale" Tim Rice "Originality is nothing more than judicious imitation" Voltaire "To copy from one work is plagiarism, to copy from two is research" (Miscellaneous writers)
13 © Netskills Quality Internet Training, University of Newcastle Summary Any discussion of plagiarism must be informed by a clear definition of what it is Plagiarism can occur in all fields of endeavour, including academia
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