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Advance Online Version Volume 2, 2007

Papers and Perspectives

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Song From Myself: An Anatomy of Self-Plagiarism

Patrick M. Scanlon

Plagiary 2007 2 (1): 1-11 (30 January 2021)


Self-plagiarism raises knotty conceptual, legal, ethical, and theoretical questions. This essay provides an extended definition of self-plagiarism, reviews the case law regarding self-plagiarism in copyright infringement, examines the ethics of self-plagiarism, considers self-plagiarism relative to postmodern critiques of authorship and originality, and concludes, finally, that we do and should give writers legal and ethical latitude for limited self-copying, although certainly not for egregious duplication. This leeway for authors fits well within a more general ambivalence toward plagiarism, an uneasiness born of definitional, moral, and theoretical uncertainty.


Academic Misconduct by University Students: Faculty
Perceptions and Responses

Sandra Nadelson

Plagiary 2007 2(2): 1-10 (23 February 2021)


A number of factors influence student behavior including the moral development of students, student-faculty interactions, and academic codes of conduct. Previous investigations on classroom misconduct have focused on student characteristics. Little research has focused on faculty members’ perceptions of student misconduct and what they do when confronted with suspicions of wrongdoing. As a result, the purpose of this research study was to determine what types of academic misbehavior faculty members’ suspect occur in their classrooms, how they deter cheating, and how administrators affect instructors’ decisions to act on suspected cheating. Data was collected using surveys from faculty members. Findings suggest that academic dishonesty is a serious problem in university classrooms. Faculty members indicate that they use a variety of measures to deter cheating. However, some teachers did not act on suspected cheating due in part to worry that revealing circumstances of cheating would reflect negatively on their performance. Drawing from these findings, this researcher provides suggestions to faculty and administrators to improve practice and student behavior.


Gender Differences in Student Ethics: Are Females Really More Ethical?

D'Arcy A. Becker and Ingrid Ulstad

Plagiary 2007 2(3): 1-19 (30 March 2020)


Investigations of gender differences in student ethics have yielded conflicting results. This study seeks to determine whether gender effects persist when a student's major, psychological gender and impression management are included in the analysis. Prior research has considered these variables individually as they relate to ethics, and each one would theoretically cause gender differences to disappear. Students at three universities participated in our research. Results from 515 students reveal significant gender differences that do not fade as the three additional variables are included in the analysis.



Paradise of Plagiarism: The Internet, Copyright, and the
Mystery of Al-Sha'ar Al-Ghushash

Ronnie Pontiac

Plagiary 2007 2(4): 1-6 (19 April 2020)


In spring 2005 a plagiarism scandal cast a shadow over the online poetry world. Wild theories sprouted quickly. Who was this Algerian poet named Al-Sha'ar Al-Ghushash who apparently had worked hard to build a reputation as an up and coming talent by mixing stolen poems with his own? What motivation could he have had? Certainly he realized he would be caught one day. Why devote so much effort to a fraud doomed to fail? Many of the answers to these questions dreamed up by denizens of the Internet were gloriously inventive.



A Preliminary Study to Identify the Extent of Self-Plagiarism in
Australian Academic Research

Tracey Bretag and Saadia Carapiet

Plagiary 2007 2(5): 1-12 (25 May 2020)


This paper reports on the preliminary findings from a pilot project which sought to identify self plagiarism in Australian academic publications. Ten Australian authors were selected at random from top published authors on the Web of Science (Social Science and Humanities) database. Evidence of textual re-use was collected from 269 electronically available published journal articles using the text-matching software program, Turnitin. Self-plagiarism was defined for this study as “10% or more textual re-use of any one previous publication by the author without attribution”. The preliminary findings suggest that textual re-use is widespread in academic research, with 60% of the authors in the sample having committed self-plagiarism in at least one of their published papers in the period 2003-2006.



Personalizing the Anti-Plagiarism Campaign

Geraldine DeLuca and Micha Tomkiewicz

Plagiary 2007 2(6): 1-15 (18 June 2020)


In response to a pamphlet on ways to avoid plagiarism published by their university, a science professor and an English professor reflect on their own writing practices. They also explore such topics as electronic plagiarism detectors, the history of “imitation” in literature, the Popperian formulation of the scientific method, the postmodern notion that “everything is already written,” the problem of “unconscious plagiarism,” Foucault’s “author function,” and the different assumptions about truth made in the “objective” work of science and the “subjective” work of the humanities. They reflect on some reasons why teachers’ guidelines may foster plagiarism among students, and they suggest ways to frame assignments that help students to do their own work.

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Ward Churchill's Twelve Excuses for Plagiarism

Thomas Brown

Plagiary 2007 2(7): 1-12 (30 August 2020)


This article observes that Ward Churchill and his defenders have offered twelve different excuses for the plagiarism charges against Churchill. The excuses are contrasted with the established ethical standards governing American scholars. Each excuse is also compared against the available evidence in Churchill's case specifically. It is found that several of Churchill's excuses highlight ambiguities in the established ethical standards, indicating the need for further debate in the scholarly community in order to more precisely delineate the boundary between ethical scholarship and unethical scholarship. It is also found that the evidence of Churchill's plagiarism overwhelms any ambiguities, and that each of his twelve excuses fails to justify his plagiarism.

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Chick Lit's Re-Packaging of Plagiarism: The Debate Over Chick Lit's Influence on Authorship and Publishing

Rachel Smydra

Plagiary 2007 2(8): 1-8 (26 October 2020)


A public charge of plagiarism involving Harvard undergraduate Kaavya Viswanathan ignited a discussion about the creative process of “chick lit” books, and as a result, the validity of the “chick lit” genre itself. Viswanathan’s case involves much more than plagiarism by a first-time author; the case has made many take a closer look at the publishing industry--how it operates, the pressures that may lead to plagiarism for “chick lit” writers, and behaviors that ignore the use of authors’ intellectual property in the pursuit of revenues and profits. Because of the influential role of book packagers, the rehashing of plots, and collaborative authorship, the value and place of the genre on bookshelves and in the classroom are in question. “Chick lit” supporters contend that the genre allows writers to construct texts with contemporary plots that further engage readers to rethink and contribute to feminist discourse. Critics contend, however, that book packagers are manipulating authors, editors, publishers, and even the stories themselves. Consequently, the genre is altering not only readers’ expectations, but also the cultural framework of what constitutes acceptable behavior by those involved in publishing.

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Fighting Plagiarism With Humor

Jerry Bornstein

Plagiary 2007 2(9): 1-7 (4 December 2020)


The case for using humor as a tactic in combating plagiarism among college students is described. A web site parodying term paper mill sites,, was developed to help students understand what plagiarism is and warn them against the consequences of academic dishonesty. The site uses non-academic language as well as humor to convey its message, and is intended to supplement existing, traditional instructional plagiarism avoidance tools. Results of a student in-class survey indicate that the use of humor does not trivialize the seriousness of plagiarism in students’ eyes.

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The full text of all papers and perspectives articles will be made available through the University of Michigan's Scholarly Publishing Office in structured electronic text format. Links to advance online versions of these articles appear after the abstracts above. Hardcopy annual version will be published at the end of each calendar year. The views, opinions, and research results in these "Papers and Perspectives" articles are those of the respective authors who assume full responsibility for their article content per the Plagiary submissions guidelines. Responses and critiques relating to these "Papers and Perspectives" may be sent to the Editor. Authors will be given an opportunity to reply prior to publication of any responses/critiques.






Paper proposals and manuscripts accepted for publications consideration on an ongoing basis.


Plagiary represents a wide range of research topics which address general and specific issues relating to plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification. Devoted specifically to the scholarly, cross-disciplinary study of plagiary and related behaviors across genres of communication, Plagiary features research articles and reports on discipline-specific misconduct, case studies (historical and modern; inter-/intra-lingual), legal issues, literary traditions and conceptualizations, popular genres of discourse, detection and prevention, pedagogy (cheating & academic integrity), technical reports on related phenomena, and other topics of clear relevance (parody, pastiche, mimicry) along with book reviews and responses to published articles.

See the "Information for Authors" page for further details.

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A publication of the Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan
Copyright 2005-2008

ISSN 1559-3096 .. . . .. . . .