What is Plagiarism?

“What is Plagiarism?” is the first post in a Plagiarism Series. I aim to produce a series of posts about plagiarism; what it is, why it occurs, and how to avoid it etc.

All of this information is sourced directly from the Open UP Study Skills Book entitled “The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism”, and I am simply adapting this information to produce this series of blog posts. A full reference can be found at the end of this post.

The first thing to consider is “What is plagiarism?” This can actually be a difficult question, as there is no single definition. Every academic institution develops their own definition and associated code of conduct. There are a range of interpretations, however, “Intentional decision not to acknowledge the work of others (within an assignment)” is a rather reliable definition. Plagiarism can also be considered as a practice which is described as cheating. Examples include:

  • Collusion without official approval between two or more students, resulting in the production of identical, or almost identical, work being presented by said students.
  • Falsification: where content of assignments, e.g. statistics, has been manufactured or falsely presented by a student as their own work.
  • Replication: where a student submits the same, or a very similar, piece of work on more than one occasion.
  • Taking unauthorised notes into an examination.
  • Obtaining an unauthorised copy of an examination paper.
  • Communication with another student in an examination in order to help, or be helped, with answers.
  • Impersonation of another person in an examination.

Bangor University has its own Code of Practice on Plagiarism which also covers issues such as computer fraud, commissioning work and bribery. The full Bangor University Code of Practice on Plagiarism can be accessed here: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/regulations/BUCode13-v201101b.pdf.

You can also find more information on plagiarism from the Bangor University Study Skills Department. Students can book a consultation with a Study Adviser or Peer Writing Mentor, where they have the opportunity to meet individually for up to 50 minutes to discuss academic writing, including referencing and plagiarism. You can book an appointment here: http://studyskills.bangor.ac.uk/writing-appointment-form.php.en.

References:

Neville, C. (2010). The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. Second Edition. Berkshire, England: Open University Press.

Bangor University Code of Practice on Plagiarism can be accessed here: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/regulations/BUCode13-v201101b.pdf.

Bangor University, Code of Practice on Plagiarism, Code 13, 2011 Version 01, Latest version 2011, Effective 01/02/11.

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