Classic plagiarism involves students copying text (paragraphs, sentences, a single sentence or significant parts of a sentence), tables, graphs, diagrams and / or images from printed sources without using correct referencing to acknowledge the creator.
Sally is copying text from a published source directly into her report without acknowledging the author or using correct citation methods.
How can I detect classic plagiarism?
In the past, staff have suspected classic plagiarism in student submissions with:
- Inadequate paraphrasing, where students have tried to explain an author’s ideas in their own words, but their wording remains too close to the original text.
- Incomplete reference lists with in-text citations missing.
- Older (more than three months) access dates for online resources.
- Online resources (webpages) that cannot be accessed via the link provided.
Submissions with very low similarity scores in Turnitin can signal that students are employing strategies to deliberately avoid detection. Such strategies include:
- Replacing words in the author’s original text with synonyms.
- Replacing all the spaces in the text with invisible (white) text.
- Inserting an image of the text.
- Swapping common characters with foreign language characters that look similar.
- Cycling the author’s original text through Google translation.
What steps should I take?
- If you are a Tutor, advise the Senior Tutor or Subject Coordinator of your suspicions about the authenticity of a submission.
- Collect evidence of the suspected misconduct, without accusing the student of engaging in misconduct. This should include:
- A copy of the student’s submission that highlights the suspicious content, and
- The original source* and / or
- Notes from a meeting with the student where they were asked to explain the formation of ideas and/or conclusions.
- The Senior Tutor or Subject Coordinator should contact ABP Academic Service Office, with evidence, for advice on next steps.
*Via Google search / reverse image search