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Plagiarism

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  1. February 2005 Plagiarism As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a “high seminary of learning.” Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form. - Clemson University’s official statement on academic integrity

  2. Example I suspect the problem was more widespread than these two identified examples.

  3. Do three identical words constitute plagiarism? • Probably not • “In point of fact” • “Intelligent transportation systems” • “Travel demand modeling” • … • Even if completely different words say exactly the same thing, the idea needs to be cited, or the discussion constitutes plagiarism.

  4. Who are the victims? • The author (intellectual property) • Credit and professional reputation as a primary source for this information • Related financial rewards

  5. Who are the victims? • Your classmates • Competition against published professionals for grades • Time spent discussing plagiarism instead of transportation planning • Alienation of honest students treated with stricter discipline

  6. Who are the victims? • Your instructor • Spending hours learning the appropriate way to handle an infraction against the academic code • Loss of time on course material • See classmates as victims • Agonizing over balancing justice with benevolence for students (a teaching career is motivated by a desire to help students and encourage them to find ways to improve their careers and lives) • Wondering the extent of the problem • Spending extra time policing and checking text instead of teaching and pushing the growth of the class

  7. Who are the victims? • The program and university • Reputation as a high-quality program • See classmates as victims • Attractiveness of the program for students with honest drive to learn • See classmates as victims • Ability to present relevant transportation education limited by need to focus on discipline of misbehaving adults • See classmates as victims

  8. Who are the victims? • You • Education on assimilating information about your chosen profession • Opportunity to learn and refine technical-writing skills • Habits learned and engrained that future employers will not appreciate • Reputation among peers… who will soon choose group project teammates and will later choose professional colleagues for collaboration on projects worth hundreds of thousands of dollars • Ability to obtain professional references from professors for future employment

  9. Mitigating Factors • Culture: some cultures accept a “more collaborative” form of student work • The Clemson statement on academic integrity which has appeared under Course Information on Blackboard since the start of the semester defines our university community standard. • You have now been given your second and final notice. • Inexperience with writing and paraphrasing in your own words • Yes, engineers work with numbers, which is why this course is a learning experience for engineers. • If planners downloaded and submitted a traffic model from the Internet after engineers spent three days creating their own model based on the directions of an assignment, would you consider the work comparable and fair?

  10. At the first infraction, The faculty member notifies the dean of the graduate school. The dean invites the students to discuss the incident. The students either Admit guilt and accept responsibility or Go before a hearing to determine the merit of the accusation The dean keeps a record of the infraction, which does not appear on external transcripts. The faculty member determines the extent of the punishment with a maximum penalty of an “F” as a course grade. At the second infraction, The faculty member notifies the dean of the graduate school and has no further say in the matter The student faces a maximum penalty of expulsion from the university at the pleasure of the university president. What is Clemson University’s process for academic integrity infractions?

  11. Assignment one Initial standing as a zero (assignment one represents 15% of the final grade) A rewritten assignment could be handed in for a maximum grade of “C” A five-page discussion of plagiarism had to be submitted Definition University policy summarized in your own words Victims and consequences in a general sense Major case studies cited Spacing 1.5 University action All professors in the transportation systems group were shown the evidence and knew which students are involved The dean of the graduate school would not be contacted unless The 5-page plagiarism discussion was not submitted on time and written satisfactorily or A second incident, even to a lesser degree, occurred If a second incident occurred, all evidence of the first and second infractions, as well as this notification of consequence, would go to the graduate dean. What was the punishment for the specific case shown earlier?

  12. How do you cite work? • Several systems exist. • Transportation Research Board (TRB) http://www.trb.org/meeting/info_for_author.pdf • The Journal of the American Planning Association uses the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition (American Psychological Association, 2001). www.apastyle.org/pubmanual.html • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) http://www.pubs.asce.org/authors/index.html • Clemson University offers courses in technical writing through the English department and provides services to help people with their writing.