Plagiarism: Bringing Economics and Education Together (With a Little Help from IT)
Plagiarism has been acknowledged to be a growing problem for Higher Education Institutions, and indeed in other areas of society. Various reasons have been advanced to explain the growth of this problem, including improvements in IT in general and the Internet in particular, along with changed attitudes towards study amongst some of todayâ€™s students. Improved access to the Internet, combined with the development of simple-to-use search tools such as Google, have enabled students quickly and easily to locate relevant material, while improvements in IT training have meant that a greater number of students possess the skills for copying, pasting and reformatting text. In addition a number websites have sprung up offering for sale essays and dissertations to order. Universities have sought to combat plagiarism by making use of text matching tools linked to databases of essays and other content to track down plagiarists. They have also sought to educate both students and staff about what is meant by plagiarism and how to avoid it. This paper describes the experience of one department in a university that has been running a pilot project using the Turnitin software available via JISCiPAS (the JISC Internet Plagiarism Advisory Service) as part of an anti-plagiarism initiative. The discussion also reports on a research project that is underway in the department which seeks to set the problem of plagiarism in an economic context.
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