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Advance Online Version Volume 3, 2008

Papers and Perspectives

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Honesty, Integrity, and Plagiarism: The Role of Student Values in Prevention

Jean Liddell and Valerie Fong

Plagiary 2008 3(1): 1-5 (21 January 2021)


Campus plagiarism policies often focus on detection and punishment. One alternative is to foster student-centered cultures of honesty, for example through honor codes. Such an approach requires a shift in perceptions with respect to the problem, the institution, and students' own responsibilities within the learning environment.


Curing the Cold but Killing the Patient?, Online Paper Mills, and the Outsourcing of Academic Work

John Regan

Plagiary 2008 3(2): 1-11 (25 February 2021)


During the last decade, has become the most prominent text matching service and the first choice of most colleges and universities who seek a technological approach to detecting student plagiarism. Turnitin’s rise parallels a significant shift in a business that would seem to be one of its primary targets —the online term paper mill industry. Online paper mills have significantly changed in the last few years, evolving into professionally designed sites touting custom writing services. This evolution reflects the industry’s reaction to the pervasive use of Turnitin and its perceived effectiveness in detecting student plagiarism; moreover, the industry’s new rhetorical focus on outsourcing positions custom writing services as a potentially powerful temptation to student learners. Custom writing services simultaneously extol the virtues of outsourcing one’s academic work while warning against outsourcing that same work to foreign entities, a powerful rhetorical combination that both plays into the benefits of outsourcing for consumers and also targets--in pejorative tone--the mainstream fears of overseas outsourcing in general. While the submission of custom essays may never amount to more than a fraction of academic misconduct cases, we may also be at the beginning of a powerful trend towards the outsourcing of academic work.

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Electronic Plagiarism Detection Services: A Learning Tool or a Quick Fix?

E. Joel Heikes and John Kucsera

Plagiary 2008 3(3): 1-18 (29 April 2020)


With the advent of nearly universal Internet access and the upsurge of paper mills, universities and colleges are scrambling to find effective solutions to the rise of plagiary on campus. Some colleges and universities are implementing electronic plagiarism detection services. The two main rationales for using these devices are to deter and detect plagiarism as well as teach students proper writing and citation techniques (Martin, 2004). However, research has yet to determine if the student learning function of these tools is present. The purpose of the study was to assess if one electronic plagiarism prevention device, Turnitin, is being used to teach students proper writing and citation techniques or solely to deter and detect plagiarism. Our results showed that although instructors and students found the tool easy to use and believed it reduced plagiarism, students reported receiving little instructional value related to their writing. As a result, it appears that when detection services are introduced within college classrooms, instructors may use these tools mainly to detect and deter plagiarism rather than to teach students how to avoid plagiarism. We believe this challenge can be addressed by teaching instructors and students how to incorporate detection services into the writing process.

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A Pilot Study Examining Rational Choice and Techniques of Neutralization as Explanatory Theories for the Crime of FEMA Benefit Fraud

Kelly Frailing

Plagiary 2008 3(4): 1-9 (21 May 2020)


This pilot study examines the reliability of a Likert scale survey designed to determine the strengths of rational choice (RC) and techniques of neutralization (TN) theories in explaining FEMA benefit fraud following Hurricane Katrina. The reliability of RC and TN items were analyzed for all participants, for those who had received FEMA money and those who had not. It was hypothesized that whichever theory had more reliable items was the better explanatory theory for the crime of FEMA fraud after Katrina. Rational choice items were generally more reliable than techniques of neutralization items, allowing the tentative conclusion that rational choice shows greater utility in explaining FEMA benefit fraud. As a theory, it provides useful tools for fraud prevention.

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Analyzing Alleged Plagiarism in Nineteenth-Century Literature: A Case Study of Ellen G. White’s The Desire of Ages

David J. Conklin, Jerry Moon, and Kevin Morgan

Plagiary 2008 3(5): 1-29 (25 July 2020)


This paper proposes a method of determining whether the literary practice of a nineteenth-century author exceeded the generally accepted norms of literary borrowing for that same period of writing. The method takes as its case study one chapter from Ellen G. White’s Desire of Ages which, of all her works, has received the most extensive investigation regarding alleged plagiarism, and compares it to the corresponding chapters of 47 other works of the same genre and century, using the computerized literary tool WCopyfind to locate parallel phrases between the various works. These parallels are then evaluated for strength and frequency. Study results indicate that un-attributed borrowing of phraseology was rather common, and even considered to be more acceptable among the nineteenth-century authors of this genre than would be acceptable in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The minimal borrowing by Ellen G. White in this chapter was within the acceptable standards of that era.

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Why My Students Don't Plagiarise: A Case Study

George MacDonald Ross

Plagiary 2008 3(6): 1-11 (25 August 2020)


I teach the history of philosophy, and over the years I have evolved methods of teaching and assessment which mean that my students do not plagiarise. Although this case study describes methods specific to a module on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, most of what I do is generalisable to other disciplines, especially those in which knowledge claims are contestable. . .

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At a Crossroads from Shallow to Sophisticated Knowledge: Online Instructional Design Facilitating ESL Students' Conceptuatlizations of Plagiarism

Sangkyung Kim

Plagiary 2008 3(7): 1-17 (17 September 2020)


Plagiarism has hardly disappeared in the dialogue throughout higher education in the Western academic community. The inherent complexity of plagiarism, the inadequacy of instruction, and the intimidating punitive policies of teachers are all obstacles preventing students from understanding plagiarism. Inexperienced English as a Second Language (ESL) students perceive the concept of plagiarism as an abstract and ambiguous aspect, and it interferes with their education as writers. To facilitate students’ conceptualizations of plagiarism, this action research explored the effectiveness of an online instructional module consisting of problem-based learning, group chat, awareness raising, and metacognitive reflection. Using a quantified qualitative data analysis of citations in students’ papers, and transcripts of chat and online posts, this study found that students became more analytical about their own citation practices and were able to determine where they missed sources of citations. Students learned the ethical value of and responsibility for legitimate use of others’ work, and shifted from writer-based to reader-based perspectives while engaging in their tasks. Also discussed are the implications in designing instruction in a supportive online community, and in making abstract knowledge explicit.

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Authorship as Understood by Postgraduates in the University of Hong Kong: An Exploratory Study

Yvonne C. W. Loong

Plagiary 2008 3(8): 1-8 (19 October 2020)


The present research represents an initial attempt at exploring postgraduate students’ views on authorship and plagiarism at the University of Hong Kong. Specifically, the study aimed to explore students’ perceptions of difficulties involved in establishing their authorship in academic writing in English, which is not the first language for most of them. Using both questionnaires and focus-group interviews, factors such as students’ language competence, understanding of plagiarism and prior learning experience were examined. The results provided a better and more holistic understanding regarding the formation of the understanding of authorship in academic writing. Implications for pedagogic practice and provision of further support and guidance for postgraduates by the university are discussed.

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Academic Dishonesty in Online Learning Communities

Andrew S. Borchers, William R. Livingston, and Michael Peters

Plagiary 2008 3(9): 1-9 (5 December 2020)


Legal, professional, and academic communities have noted the problem of academic dishonesty in undergraduate and graduate education for years. Educational leaders and business ethicists are increasingly interested in the interplay between the change in cultural values and the growth of academic dishonesty. This article presents a discussion of the scope of academic dishonesty in business colleges and universities and problems with enforcement of honor code policies, along with proposals for addressing academic dishonesty in an online environment.









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 .. . . .. . . .