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Impact of Policies for Plagiarism in HE across Europe. Tomas Foltynek Mendel University in Brno, CZ Irene Glendinning Coventry University, UK. 510321-LLP-1-2010-1-UK-ERASMUS-EMHE. Content. About the IPPHEAE project Anton (SW tool) Case studies Survey results, statistics

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Impact of Policies for Plagiarism in HE across Europe

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Impact of Policies for Plagiarism in HE across Europe

Tomas Foltynek

Mendel University in Brno, CZ

Irene Glendinning

Coventry University, UK



  • About the IPPHEAE project

  • Anton (SW tool)

  • Case studies

  • Survey results, statistics

  • Academic Integrity Maturity Model

  • Students vs. teachers

  • West vs. east

  • Recommendations

  • Further plans

Lead Partner:  

Coventry University, United Kingdom;

AleksandrasStulginskis University, Lithuania

Coordinator: Dr Linas Stabingis email:

Mendel University, Czech Republic

Coordinator: Dr Tomáš Foltýnek


Technical University of Lodz, Poland

Coordinator: Agnieszka Michałowska-Dutkiewiczemail:

University of Nicosia, Cyprus

Coordinator: Dr Catherine Demoliou email:

Project Consultant:

Jude Carroll, Educational Consultant, UK

Project Conference Sponsors:

Turnitin(iParadigms), IS4U

IPPHEAE Aims and Objectives

  • Identify what is being done to combat plagiarism in HE institutions across Europe

  • Develop tools and resources

  • Capture case studies of good practice

  • Support interventions for preventing / detecting plagiarism

  • Recommend ways to discourage, find and deal with plagiarism and academic dishonesty

  • Improve standards and quality in HE institutions across Europe and beyond

Small beginnings…

June 2009

Oct 2009

Feb 2010

June 2011

Oct 2010

July 2010

Oct 2011

Jan 2012

Sept 2012

Sept 2013

June 2013

Jan 2013

Research and Development

  • ANTON – software tool development

  • Survey across EU countries

  • Case studies – exploitation

  • Analysis, reporting, dissemination


  • Software tool for plagiarism detection

  • Works within its internal database

    • Methods for populating the database

  • Compares hashes of the documents

    • Plain texts do not have to be stored

  • API for batch upload of documents

  • Prioritization of documents  speed

  • Various input formats (DOCX, PDF,…)

  • Customizable

  • Output: Similarity report for each document, overall statistics

  • Available at


Survey Outputs

  • Institutions: 3 questionnaires, 14 languages

  • National/senior management Interviews

  • Student focus groups

  • Almost 5,000 anonymous responses

  • Separate reports for all 27 EU countries

    • Executive summary

    • Details of research

    • Analysis of results

    • Recommendations

  • Comparison across the EU

  • Academic Integrity Maturity Model

  • Tested survey questions – for reuse

Case studies

  • Holistic Institutional Policy review

  • Good Academic Practice Quiz

  • Policies for distance learning

  • Critique of anti-plagiarism software

  • Comparison of 2 Estonian HEIs

  • Evaluation of plagiarism workshops

  • Student views of plagiarism

  • Case study Slovakia

  • Case study Latvia

  • Case study Lithuania

  • Code plagiarism

  • Comparison of 2 Polish Universities

Some student voices…

  • “If both people agree, you can plagiarise your friend” (Polish)

  • “Stealing from book is more a crime than stealing from Wikipedia” (French)

  • “When you put something on the Internet, anyone can take it”(French)

  • “If we change a few words, then it’s alright” (Polish)

  • “When we paraphrase, why should we reference?” (Polish)

  • “[Is plagiarism immoral?] Moral? Today?” (German)

  • “…for teaching purposes it’s ok!” (German)

  • “It’s wrong, because I could be caught” (German)


  • Great differences between countries and institutions

    • Approaches to quality assurance

    • Perceptions, awareness – eg. what is plagiarism

    • Policies and procedures

  • Differences in maturity of systems

    • Nationally, regionally, institutionally

  • Inconsistency in

    • Understanding

    • Accountability for decisions

    • Processes

    • Decisions

  • Good practice – lots of it (workshop)

  • Head in the sand – lots of it

  • Acceptance of the need for change – variable

I have received training in techniques for scholarly academic writing and anti-plagiarism issues

This institution has policies and procedures for dealing with plagiarism

Policies for plagiarism exist, are known and effective(3 questions together, max. 15)

I believe I may have plagiarized (accidentally or deliberately)

I have come across a case of plagiarism committed by a student

I believe my teachers may have used plagiarized or unattributed materials in class notes

40% of student’s work copied word for word with no quotation, references or citations

40% of student’s work copiedsome words changed, no quotations, references or citations

Academic Integrity Maturity Model

  • Measuring Academic Integrity Maturity of countries

    • Transparency

    • Policies

    • Sanctions

    • Software

    • Prevention

    • Communication

    • Knowledge

    • Training

    • Research

AIMM National Scores (max. 36)

  • Positive correlation with

  • Gross National Product

  • Corruption Perception Index (Transparency Int.)

Students vs. teachers

  • How students get to know about plagiarism?

    • Teachers: Class/workshop

    • Students: Web pages

  • What is difficult on academic writing?

    • Teachers: Referencing formats, citing and referencing

    • Students: Finding good sources, paraphrasing

  • Teachers know more abut policies and procedures

Students vs. teachers: Why do students plagiarize?

  • Teachers

    • it’s easy to cut and paste

    • plagiarism is not wrong

    • lecturer will not care

  • Students

    • run out of time

    • unable to cope with the workload

    • their own work is not good enough

Students vs. teachers:40% copied, some words changed. Is it plagiarism?

“West” vs. “East”

  • Heritage of former communist government?

  • Western countries

    • More training

    • More cases of uncovered plag.

    • Better students’ understanding

  • Eastern countries

    • Plagiarism is normal

    • Reconciliation

    • Shoot the whistleblower


Varies across countries and institutions, examples:

  • National support for institution-wide strategies

    • Incl. licenses for digital tools

  • Accountability and consistency in QA

    • Incl. assessment grading and academic integrity

  • Clear and transparent policies and systems

    • More agreement on what constitutes plagiarism

    • Fairness and proportionality of sanctions

  • Education and training, staff and students

  • Comparability of statistics to monitor impact

  • Funding for developments

  • Strengthen pre-university understanding and practices

Challenges to future progress

  • What could change, what would be possible?

    • Scale of change needed in some places

    • Fear of identification, exposure

    • Fear of change

  • Reaching the right people to kick-start change

    • Complacency, lack of interest

    • Not viewed as a priority

    • Costs in current economic climate

    • Lack of agreement about how to proceed

  • Gaps: low participation, institutions and countries

  • Lack of time and effort

    • Overworked, underpaid academics, second jobs

    • Large class sizes, under-investment

  • Shoot the whistle-blower mentality

What’s next?

  • Disseminate information to people of influence

    • and try to get buy-in

  • Interventions, workshops, seminars

  • More funding

    • further projects

  • More research and analysis

    • of existing data

Would you like to be involved?

  • IPPHEAE is a small step on a long journey

  • Are you interested in participating in further research?

  • Devising strategies to bring about changes?

  • Please let the IPPHEAE team know

Thank you!


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