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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2006, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Internet plagiarism 'is rife at Oxford'

Internet plagiarism 'is rife at Oxford'
By John Clare, Education Editor
(Filed: 14/03/2006)

Plagiarism at Oxford appears to be rife among both undergraduate and postgraduate students, with most of it passing unnoticed by examiners and tutors, the university admitted for the first time yesterday.

Prof Alan Grafen, the senior proctor, who is the university's chief disciplinary officer, said the number of students copying other people's work without acknowledgment threatened to undermine the worth of an Oxford degree.

He said the problem had become so serious that all students should be required to sign an affidavit for every piece of work they submitted, though he acknowledged that it might not prove much of a deterrent.

Prof Grafen laid much of the blame on schools for encouraging a practice of "submitting work in class that is more or less cobbled together from the internet". He went on: "Rising generations thus arrive at university with an ingrained habit acquired through earlier encouragement and approval."

Although only 10 cases of "intentional or reckless" plagiarism were detected at Oxford last year, Prof Grafen said the evidence suggested that "the incidence exceeds the observed events, perhaps by a considerable margin, perhaps by a considerable multiple".

Writing in Oxford Magazine, the dons' house journal, Prof Grafen said: "Plagiarism can be defined in a variety of ways, but the dominant form that reaches the Proctors' Office is simple copying.

"Hard though it may be to believe, students type word-for-word, and increasingly copy-and-paste from the internet, and submit essays containing whole pages of this verbatim material."

When a case was suspected, it was referred to the proctors, who took it before a disciplinary court. This had the power to reduce a mark, fail the student or permanently expel him or her - all sanctions that had been applied in the past year.

Prof Grafen, a member of the university's zoology department, told dons: "It is essential that any hint of copying or unacknowledged paraphrase is pursued.

"Vigilance is required for the sake of the education our students receive and also in order not to create implicit understandings that plagiarism is acceptable in practice, despite preaching and signing of affidavits."

A number of recent cases had involved students whose first language was not English and who had "unfortunately gained the impression" that copying was tacitly accepted.

Supervisors should be "alert to sudden and unexplained improvements" in the standard of students' English.

Dons should also resist "siren voices" claiming that in a scientific D Phil, for example, it was the science that mattered, not the words.

"An employer is entitled to assume that the holder of an Oxford D Phil can explain in his or her own words, in English, the background to the research carried out," he said.

Prof Grafen called for all new students to receive a lecture on plagiarism in which they were told that "any six consecutive words identical with a source need to be acknowledged, and an unacknowledged string of 10 consecutive identical words is pretty watertight evidence of malpractice".

26 February 2006: Essays for sale from £1.50 on internet bring calls to scrap coursework23 November 2005: Students 'buy' their way from A-levels to degrees5 June 2005: Computer says 'fail': now machines mark student essays

Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2006, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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this is rife everywhere....maybe if professors made students use more books and actual magazines in their research they wouldn't have as much of a problem?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2006, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketta
this is rife everywhere....maybe if professors made students use more books and actual magazines in their research they wouldn't have as much of a problem?
The solution is for profs to actually asign thoughtful assigments-- ones that require more analysis/thinking with a limited number of sources, rahter than assigments that reward quantity.

The thought of people using internet sources at Oxford though

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2006, 11:32 PM
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or the dumbass professors could just use turnitin.com


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2006, 11:52 PM
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The funny thing is that if you write an essay entirely from your own ideas, without using any sources, you are punished for not conforming to the expectations of academia.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2006, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketta
Internet plagiarism 'is rife at Oxford'
By John Clare, Education Editor
(Filed: 14/03/2006)

Plagiarism at Oxford appears to be rife among both undergraduate and postgraduate students, with most of it passing unnoticed by examiners and tutors, the university admitted for the first time yesterday.

Prof Alan Grafen, the senior proctor, who is the university's chief disciplinary officer, said the number of students copying other people's work without acknowledgment threatened to undermine the worth of an Oxford degree.

He said the problem had become so serious that all students should be required to sign an affidavit for every piece of work they submitted, though he acknowledged that it might not prove much of a deterrent.

Prof Grafen laid much of the blame on schools for encouraging a practice of "submitting work in class that is more or less cobbled together from the internet". He went on: "Rising generations thus arrive at university with an ingrained habit acquired through earlier encouragement and approval."

Although only 10 cases of "intentional or reckless" plagiarism were detected at Oxford last year, Prof Grafen said the evidence suggested that "the incidence exceeds the observed events, perhaps by a considerable margin, perhaps by a considerable multiple".

Writing in Oxford Magazine, the dons' house journal, Prof Grafen said: "Plagiarism can be defined in a variety of ways, but the dominant form that reaches the Proctors' Office is simple copying.

"Hard though it may be to believe, students type word-for-word, and increasingly copy-and-paste from the internet, and submit essays containing whole pages of this verbatim material."

When a case was suspected, it was referred to the proctors, who took it before a disciplinary court. This had the power to reduce a mark, fail the student or permanently expel him or her - all sanctions that had been applied in the past year.

Prof Grafen, a member of the university's zoology department, told dons: "It is essential that any hint of copying or unacknowledged paraphrase is pursued.

"Vigilance is required for the sake of the education our students receive and also in order not to create implicit understandings that plagiarism is acceptable in practice, despite preaching and signing of affidavits."

A number of recent cases had involved students whose first language was not English and who had "unfortunately gained the impression" that copying was tacitly accepted.

Supervisors should be "alert to sudden and unexplained improvements" in the standard of students' English.

Dons should also resist "siren voices" claiming that in a scientific D Phil, for example, it was the science that mattered, not the words.

"An employer is entitled to assume that the holder of an Oxford D Phil can explain in his or her own words, in English, the background to the research carried out," he said.

Prof Grafen called for all new students to receive a lecture on plagiarism in which they were told that "any six consecutive words identical with a source need to be acknowledged, and an unacknowledged string of 10 consecutive identical words is pretty watertight evidence of malpractice".

26 February 2006: Essays for sale from £1.50 on internet bring calls to scrap coursework23 November 2005: Students 'buy' their way from A-levels to degrees5 June 2005: Computer says 'fail': now machines mark student essays

Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright
This is what I was talking about when I mentioned 'cheating' in that ' 74% of students at Elite colleges...' thread.
But of course there will still be those who will stubbornly maintain that students attending elite colleges are superior, as well as it's instruction.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2006, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeVeeDynasty
This is what I was talking about when I mentioned 'cheating' in that ' 74% of students at Elite colleges...' thread.
But of course there will still be those who will stubbornly maintain that students attending elite colleges are superior, as well as it's instruction.
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Hey, some need to believe that all that hard work was for a reason other than a better paying job.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2006, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by controlfreak
The funny thing is that if you write an essay entirely from your own ideas, without using any sources, you are punished for not conforming to the expectations of academia.
using your ideas without any sources= (makes me wonder just how "original" these ideas would really be...)
Properly citing ideas you take from other sources=
Copying and pasting stuff from the internet=

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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It's rife in every University. Plagerism has always been bad though, it's just the Internet makes it that easier again!
My dad is a University lecturer, he was marking a thesis for his University last year...then by chance he was in another university library and found a similar thesis from 4 years previously...he recognised the writing, and the second guy had basically got this thesis from another university library and *completely* copied it. Dullarse. He nearly got away with it....

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2006, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PamShriverRockz
It's rife in every University. Plagerism has always been bad though, it's just the Internet makes it that easier again!
My dad is a University lecturer, he was marking a thesis for his University last year...then by chance he was in another university library and found a similar thesis from 4 years previously...he recognised the writing, and the second guy had basically got this thesis from another university library and *completely* copied it. Dullarse. He nearly got away with it....
another part of the problem is lazy ass professors (not your dad of course. ) they can't be bothered to require more of their students or to be vigilent in their pursuit of plagerism.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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The culture of cheating is so widespread in high school, it's no wonder that students think little of it when they get to college. I caught several students of mine copying each other's assignments last year. They seemed genuinely shocked when I confronted them and told them they were risking expulsion from the university by doing so. It just hadn't seemed like a big deal to them. It's a shame that we have such a results-driven system. Intellectual honesty and the pursuit of excellence often fall by the wayside.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2006, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketta
another part of the problem is lazy ass professors (not your dad of course. ) they can't be bothered to require more of their students or to be vigilent in their pursuit of plagerism.
Lol

Oh I agree though. My dad thinks he's Columbo when he's marking some of these papers, he gets all suspicious and begins an investigation But I don't think lecturers do enough. Although in my uni last year they are getting a lot more vigilent.

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