EasyBib’s Library Corner: New Plagiarism Report

Emily Gover is an information literacy specialist and in-house librarian for EasyBib. Her professional interests lie in web services and design, usability, information literacy, instructional services and reference work. She continues to work part-time at the Hendrick Hudson Free Library, and has previous work experience at Berry College, Reader’s Digest and the University at Albany.

Plagiarism detection service Turnitin released a new report this week–and, of course, an infographic to go along with it. Rather than determining what users were plagiarizing, they assessed how they were plagiarizing it. Over 850 schools instructors (thank you to Ray from Turnitin on this clarification!) participated in the survey.

The methods of plagiarism were broken into ten different types, and gave each one a nickname. I won’t go into great detail about all ten of them here, but I was intrigued by the three most common results:

  1. Clone: This type of plagiarism is when a person copies another work verbatim. Not only was it ranked the most problematic in the report, it was also ranked highest in terms of frequency–a dangerous double-whammy!
  2. CTRL+C: Referring to the keyboard shortcut used to copy text, this is when a bunch of text is copied from one source and is scattered throughout a paragraph or paper. CTRL+C is very similar to the Clone style of plagiarizing, but the plagiarized text is broken up into pieces. This is the second most problematic form of plagiarism found in the study, and the third most frequent.
  3. Mashup: This form of plagiarism is when information from two or more sources is all mixed up into an assignment. Similar to CTRL+C, but from several sources, not just one. In terms of frequency, Mashup plagiarism is the second most frequent form in the study, and the third most problematic.

The study also reports that over 70% of instructors inform their students of plagiarism or academic integrity policies at their institutions. Let’s hope some students listen a bit closer next year… 😉

You can find a thorough, visual overview in their infographic, “Tagging 10 Types of Unoriginal Work.” The full report is available by request, just provide some contact information and they’ll e-mail it to you.

On a totally different note, for all you Facebook librarians out there, we have a new page for you! The EasyBib Librarians page is up and running. Though a bit bare at the moment, we’ll continually be adding content and improving its appearance in the coming weeks. Feel free to give us a “Like”!

Sources:
Plagiarism Today
Turnitin infographic

One Comment

  1. Posted May 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the write up. As a correction though, the survey was taken by over 850 instructors worldwide, some will may be from the schools. Minor distinction, but a lot of people none the less.

    Keep up the great work!

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