Plagiarism dr chris staff chris staff@um edu mt march 2008
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Plagiarism… Dr. Chris Staff [email protected] March 2008. …and how to avoid it. The purpose of research. Why do we do research? To contribute to or extend knowledge… How do we do this? … by building on the work of others. Reporting our research (1).

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Plagiarism… Dr. Chris Staff [email protected] March 2008

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Plagiarism dr chris staff chris staff@um edu mt march 2008

Plagiarism…Dr. Chris [email protected] 2008

…and how to avoid it

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


The purpose of research

The purpose of research

  • Why do we do research?

    • To contribute to or extend knowledge…

  • How do we do this?

    • … by building on the work of others

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Reporting our research 1

Reporting our research (1)

  • We are expected to place our research in the right context…

  • … to show that we are aware of what else is happening

  • … to show that we understand where our work fits

  • So our reports must contain an analysis of similar/relevant work

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Reporting our research 2

Reporting our research (2)

  • It follows that in a report that we write about our own work, we could be reporting on the work of others

  • We have to make clear distinctions between what is our own original work, what is our opinion about the work of others, and what is actually said by others (verbatim)

  • ‘Work’ can be ideas, descriptions, research, data, opinions, pictures, figures, tables, etc.

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Reports and reports and reports

Reports and reports and reports

  • Not every report you write will necessarily be a description of your own, novel, original research

  • Sometimes, you will write reports summarising existing research to solve well understood problems with existing solutions

  • It should still be possible for the reader/examiner to tell difference between your own work, your opinion of the work of others, and the verbatim words of others

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism what is it

Plagiarism: What is it?

“the unacknowledged use, as one’s own, of work of another person, whether or not such work has been published”

University of Malta

Regulations Governing Conduct at Examinations, 1997

Assessment Tests Regulations, 1997

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism so bite me

Plagiarism: So bite me!

  • A student found to have plagiarised may have:

    • reduced marks awarded to the offending work

    • zero marks awarded to the offending work

    • result of study-unit including offending work cancelled

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism bite me some more

Plagiarism: Bite me some more!

  • Results cancelled for all work done at the same session

  • Senate has the power to expel students who plagiarise

  • All cases of plagiarism may be recorded on the offending student’s file

  • Familiarise yourself with Faculty/University regulations/guidelines concerning plagiarism!

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Ehhh so what s plagiarism

Ehhh… so what’s plagiarism?

Avoiding Plagiarism, Purdue University Online Writing Lab,

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_plagiar.html,

10th October 2002

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Deliberate plagiarism

Deliberate Plagiarism

  • Clearly, buying, stealing, or using somebody else’s brain-power to do your work for you are all acts of deliberate plagiarism

  • You can expect the most severe of penalties

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Avoid accidental plagiarism

Avoid accidental plagiarism

  • You probably don’t want to get into trouble for accidental plagiarism

  • “I didn’t mean to” is not an excuse, and may be punished as severely as a deliberate act of plagiarism

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism how to avoid it

Plagiarism: How to avoid it

  • Back up every claim you make

    “Experts state…” must state who the experts are, and state where they make the claim!

    Being able to justify your claims (through your own data or by reference to others) will help you and not hinder you!

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism how to avoid it1

Plagiarism: How to avoid it

  • Acknowledge your sources of inspiration

    “Borrowing” the work of others without acknowledging their contribution is dishonest

    Merely listing the contribution in the bibliography without an in-text reference is seen as an attempt to deceive !

    If you are writing about the work of Staff, and you see that Brown has written a good descriptive piece about Staff’s work, DON’T copy what Brown has said and cite Staff but not Brown!

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism how to avoid it2

Plagiarism: How to avoid it

  • Use original phraseology, or else credit the original author

    Demonstrate that you understand by using “your own words”

    If the original states it better that you can, then quote it!

    If you rely on too many quotations, consider taking English for Academic Purposes

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism how to avoid it3

Plagiarism: How to avoid it

  • Paraphrasing

    Avoid lengthy descriptions of other work

    Try to find common attributes, and list work that has the attribute

    I find it useful to write lit. reviews from systems/model perspective: what are the processing steps in this type of system? What are the different ways of performing each step?

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism how to avoid it4

Plagiarism: How to avoid it

  • Do not “share” work with colleagues

    Collusion is as bad as plagiarism, it’s still a form of cheating

    The information provider/s will be in as much trouble as the information receiver/s!

    Discuss ideas, problems, possible solutions with each other by all means (and remember that lecturers were put on this planet to help you!), but the actual writing/coding/model building should be your own individual work (unless otherwise stated)

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism how to avoid it5

Plagiarism: How to avoid it

  • Common knowledge

    If something is “common knowledge” you don’t need to cite it

    Something is “common knowledge” if generally people know it

    If you’re not sure:

    Cite it anyway

    If at least 10 peer-review papers in your discipline don’t give a citation for the information, then you don’t need to

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism how to avoid it6

Plagiarism: How to Avoid it

  • It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that the work you submit is free from plagiarism!

  • In BSc ICT/IT/BSc Computer Science you must sign a “disclaimer” to successfully submit an assignment

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Plagiarism and groupwork

Plagiarism and Groupwork

  • Some assignments and Assigned Practical Tasks (BSc IT/Computer Science/Informatics) require you to work in groups

  • Sometimes you will submit a single piece of work as a joint report

  • Other times you will work together, but submit separate reports

  • Remember to give credit where it is due

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Online links

Online links

  • How to Avoid Plagiarism (By Really Trying), Barbara L. Brown, 20th October, 2004

  • Avoiding Plagiarism, Purdue University Online Writing Lab, 20th October 2004

  • Plagiarism: What it is and how to recognize it and avoid it, Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, 20th October, 2004

  • How to avoid plagiarism AND write a strong argument, 20th October, 2004

  • Resources on Plagiarism and Cheating, Sara Nixon, 25th January, 2007

  • The Academic Integrity Tutorial, 25th January, 2007

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Citations

Citations

  • You can use any citation/referencing system (Harvard, APA, ACM,…), as long as you use it consistently

  • Lots of on-line papers for examples - see especially www.acm.org, citeseer.ist.psu.edu (for IT/CS)

  • Ideally, use a style that is recommended by your department, or in prevalent use in your

    domain, or required by your conference organisers/ journal

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Citations1

Citations

  • Examples from my own PhD thesis (Staff. C., 2001, HyperContext: A Framework for Adaptive and Adaptable Hypertext. PhD Thesis, University of Sussex.)

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Citing as a summary

Citing as a summary

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Direct quotation

Direct quotation

Although the direct quotation is not in “”, it is indented differently from the rest of the text (in accordance with University of Sussex requirements)

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


Other examples

Other examples…

Department of Artificial Intelligence

University of Malta


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