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  1. QMU’s Approach to Plagiarism(including using TurnitinUK) Jim Sharp - Centre for Academic Practice Hotline - plagiarism@qmu.ac.uk

  2. Overview • Avoiding plagiarism • How to cite/reference • QMU approach to plagiarism • Using TurnitinUK • Originality reports • Support web sites

  3. Definition of plagiarism at QMU “The presentation by an individual of another person’s ideas or work (in any medium, published or unpublished) as though they were his or her own.” Academic Handbook, QMU

  4. Plagiarism – Stealing of ideas • ‘Da Vinci Code’ v ‘The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail’ • Dan Brown v Michael Baigent & Richard Leigh (actually the publisher) • Baigent & Leigh lost their case • Ordered to pay 85% of costs (estimated at £1.3m) • Currently under appeal • Brown had acknowledged the source in his Research Notes • See also J K Rowling (Harry Potter) v N K Stouffer (The Muggles) • This type of plagiarism =the stealing of ideas 

  5. Plagiarism – Stealing of Labour • “Chick Lit” • Kaavya Viswanathan v Megan F McCafferty • It was alleged that she “borrowed” at least 29 bits and pieces from two novels by Megan F McCafferty • She claimed it was accidental and apologised but her publishers withdrew the contract and cancelled all publicity and a film deal • Popular Fiction • Ian Fleming v Kevin McClory • Novel v Screenplay of “Thunderball” (written by Jack Whittingham) • Settled out of court http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3099637.ece http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article754520.ece • This type of plagiarism = stealing of labour 

  6. The Academic Context • In academia we are more concerned about stealing of labour than about the stealing of ideas • i.e. the student who cuts and pastes from a web site has used someone else’s work to gain an advantage over their fellow students. • The word plagiarism derives from the Latin “plagiarus” meaning kidnapper • “The ancients who gave us the notion of plagiarism, didn't object to creative imitation; on the contrary they encouraged it, knowing there are only a limited number of good ideas in the world” (Reynolds & Morgan 2002). 

  7. Good practice involves: • using books and articles as a source of information and citing all materials. (If you need to copy someone else’s words, put them into quotation marks and provide a reference*) • explaining the main points, comparing and contrasting the views of different authors • adding your own comments and opinions. * This will ensure that you are not perceived as copying anyone’s work and will gain you better marks

  8. How to cite – an overview • citation is an acknowledgement of the work or the ideas of someone else • the most common way to cite is by putting the name of the author, and the date in the text of your work (a reference) • at the end of your work, you generate a list of these references.

  9. Paraphrasing – a quick overview • Paraphrasing is putting someone else’s work and ideas into your own words • Sometimes students only change one or two words and this is considered as plagiarism, even if there is a reference to the original work • One of the best ways is to read a paragraph and then close the book and write the paragraph in your own words. (Don’t forget to cite the original work!)

  10. The QMU Approach • Using workshops where appropriate, we are operating what Carroll & Appleton (2001) describe as a “balanced institutional response” including: • Creating a climate that discourages plagiarism • Ensuring that students know what plagiarism is • Teaching students paraphrasing/referencing skills to avoid plagiarism • Encouraging tutors to ‘design out’ opportunities for plagiarism • Introducing the judicious use of electronic aids ie TurnitinUK. (Note that these steps should not be confused with the need for a well defined disciplinary procedure for when serious plagiarism is detected. This procedure should be clearly separated from the assessment process.) 

  11. TurnitinUK – An introduction • QMU is a registered user of the TurnitinUK service available via WebCT (also available at www.submit.ac.uk) • This web-based service compares submitted assignments against • a database of over 800 million web pages • plus a range of electronic sources (eg Emerald, Gale InfoTrac) • The CrossRef database • plus thousands of previously submitted assignments. • It then produces an “originality report” that identifies sections of matching text within a submission and providing links to the original sources. • The intention is that students will routinely submit their assignments to the service and use the originality reports generated as re-assurance that they have referenced appropriately. 

  12. How it works • John Baillie and some colleagues at Berkeley designed a method of analysing sound patterns which produced an n-dimensioned space “footprint” or “dot diagram” • If this process was repeated on other patterns a clear % match could be established between the footprints • John used this research to develop the software that became TurnitinUK • Note that the pattern cannot be reverse engineered into a student submission.

  13. Dot Diagram Submitted Work Pattern for matching – and cannot be reverse engineered into the submitted work

  14. TurnitinUK – the process • For any assessed piece of work, the Tutor uses “Build” mode in a WebCT module to create a TurnitinUk “assignment”, this appears as a “Content Link” • When ready, you submit work via the relevant assignment link in the WebCT module. The TurnitinUK service then matches the work against the various databases, generating an “originality report” for your work • You then check the “matches” in the originality report and makes any necessary changes to the work. You can then resubmit for a further check.

  15. Getting Started • Logon to WebCT and select the module where you wish submit • locate the TurnitinUK link (look for the TurnitinUK logo) • ( or ) • Click on this link, you will see a screen similar to the following: or • To submit a piece of work for checking by TurnitinUK click on the “submit” icon

  16. Submitting work - 1 The “submit” icon brings up: Click on “Browse” button to access your file space

  17. Submitting work - 2 • Use this screen to navigate your way to the piece of work that you want to submit and then click on “Open”.

  18. Submitting work - 3 • Once the browse window contains a file name, click on the “submit” button to start the TurnitinUk process.

  19. Check page On the following page, look over all the information to double-check that it is correct. If everything is okay, click the “Submit" button.

  20. Digital receipt • The next screen that appears is a “digital receipt”. • When this appears, it means that the work has been successfully submitted. You should now click on the “go to portfolio” icon to return to your inbox and await your Originality Report:

  21. Inbox after Submission Now click here

  22. Accessing the Report Until the report is generated, the icon in the “Originality” column will be greyed out. Generally it takes two or three minutes for the report on a short piece of work to be generated although it can take considerably longer for larger pieces of work eg dissertations. Clicking on the assignment inbox link will refresh the screen while you wait.

  23. Warning !!! • Please note that while your first submission will come through rapidly, second and subsequent submissions will each be delayed by 24 hours. • This is deliberate and was introduced to prevent the occasional student repeatedly trying to “wash” their assignment of TiiuK matches by changing odd words and resubmitting • In other words do not wait until near the deadline to start using TiiUK

  24. Submitting ppt • If your ppt contains notes then saving as rich text or pdf will not show them. • For notes in ppt 7: • Click on the “Office” button • Select “Publish” then • “Create Handouts” • Click on the radio button for “Notes below slides” • Then click on “OK” • A Word document will be built containing your notes • You can submit this to TiiUK

  25. Sample Report

  26. This is OK – it’s referenced This is OK – it’s seven words, the minimum match This is referenced but the paraphrasing could be improved This is OK – it’s referenced but might be improved with quotes

  27. Problem area – no reference, no paraphrasing. This is plagiarism.

  28. Please remember … • Some judgement is essential when interpreting the report • % scores can be misleading • try including/excluding reference list/quotations via the links at the top of the report • always check matches for referencing and quality of paraphrasing • look to see if TurnitinUk has found sources that yopu may have missed • Remember that TurnitinUK matches on as little as seven consecutive words • The TurnitinUK service is only one tool in the QMU “plagiarism toolbox”

  29. Summary - General • TurnitinUK is a tool to help you avoid plagiarism and to help the lecturer help you • It provides an originality report which you can refer to and check that you are citing and paraphrasing correctly

  30. Support Websites Plagiarism http://mcs.qmu.ac.uk/plagiarism Study Skills www.qmu.ac.uk/studyskills (old) www.qmu.ac.uk/futurefocus (new)