What should universities do about organised cheating?

Posted in Teaching on September 16th, 2019 by steve

International“Every so often the world of higher education is swept by a big panic about systemic and widespread cheating. The latest instance is concern about contract cheating or essay mills that provide bespoke essays or papers for students …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 16 September]

Tags: ,

Former Trinity lecturer accused of plagiarism by student

Posted in Legal issues, Research on September 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Adebola Adedimeji, a former Trinity lecturer, failed to defend his work in court after being accused of plagiarism by his former thesis supervisee, Annette Rochford. Rochford, a clinical nurse specialist, has accused Adedimeji of presenting her research as his own on two separate occasions …” (more)

[Jessica Hobbs Pifer, Trinity News, 8 September]

Tags: , ,

Cheating on the rise in Irish universities

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Cheating is on the rise in Irish universities and colleges with business studies students most likely to be accused of ‘academic dishonesty’. Since 2010, there have been at least 2,300 cases of students cheating at universities and institutes of technology, according to information compiled by The Irish Times based on Freedom of Information requests …” (more)

[Peter McGuire and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 November]

Tags: , ,

Who are the biggest cheaters in Irish universities?

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There’s always been a temptation to cheat, and sneaking phones into exam halls or plagiarising from the internet has made it easier than ever before. Technology has also made it much easier to be caught, however, with higher education institutions increasingly using sophisticated plagiarism-detection tools such as TurnItIn and SafeAssign …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 20 November]

Tags: ,

College Records a Significant Increase in Plagiarism

Posted in Teaching on November 2nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Trinity recorded a significant increase in the number of students reported for plagiarism between 2015/16 and 2016/17, The University Times has learned. The increase, which was reported to University Council by former Senior Lecturer Dr Gillian Martin, was attributed to the implementation by the College of a plagiarism policy in 2015 …” (more)

[Aisling Marren, University Times, 2 November]

Tags: , ,

‘Graduate students’ experiences of plagiarism by their professors’

Posted in Legal issues, Research on October 29th, 2018 by steve

Abstract: This study expands the inquiry about an egregious form of academic misconduct. Participants consist of graduate students who reported a violation of academic integrity because a professor plagiarised their academic work. Based on data collected through interviews and documents, interpretative phenomenological analysis is used to examine participants’ experiences. A key research finding of relevance to Higher Education policy is: individuals in positions of authority failed to resolve the reports. This study calls for more education about authorship. Equally important, universities need clear reporting procedures and protections for students when they report academic violations.

Kimberly D Becker, Graduate students’ experiences of plagiarism by their professors, Higher Education Quarterly. First published: 29 October 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12179.

Tags: , ,

‘A legal approach to tackling contract cheating?’

Posted in Legal issues on December 6th, 2017 by steve

Abstract: The phenomenon of contract cheating presents, potentially, a serious threat to the quality and standards of Higher Education around the world. There have been suggestions, cited below, to tackle the problem using legal means, but we find that current laws are not fit for this purpose. In this article we present a proposal for a specific new law to target contract cheating, which could be enacted in most jurisdictions. We test our proposed new law against a number of issues that would need to be considered before any legal approach could be successful; would changing the legal status of contract cheating make it less likely to happen? Could this be achieved in a specific way? If so, who should actually be prosecuted and what offence are they committing? Would it actually address the causes of contract cheating? We suggest some answers to these questions, but then also identify a number of unintended potential consequences. We therefore additionally consider whether a legal approach is possible or even desirable. We conclude that a legal approach to contract cheating is possible, and, on balance, appropriate. Using UK law as an example, we offer a specific suggestion to lawmakers, around the world, for how this might be achieved, and conclude that the most successful approach would be to focus largely on a law targeting the providers of contract cheating, in particular commercial services.

Michael J Draper and Philip M Newton, A legal approach to tackling contract cheating?, International Journal for Educational Integrity (December 2017).

Tags: , ,

Word Mixing to Defeat Plagiarism

Posted in Teaching on June 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Recently I heard about a website called Spinbot.com that will ‘rewrite human readable text into additional, readable text’ – it is an ‘automatic article spinner’ tool. The site is designed for ‘bloggers, twitter users and online marketers’, and is described as a ‘dream come true’ to help rework content to help with SEO …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 15 June]

Tags:

Written work and essay mills

Posted in Teaching on May 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I agree with Colum Kenny’s assessment that legislation is unlikely to be of any great value in tackling the problem of plagiarism but I do not agree that only written exams can stop the problem (‘Written exams would stump internet cheats’, Opinion & Analysis, May 19th) …” (more)

[Gránne Madden, Irish Times, 14 May]

Tags:

Plan to prosecute firms who offer paid-for essays to students

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education is planning to introduce laws to prosecute ‘essay mill’ companies who offer to write students’ assignments in exchange for money. The move is a response to mounting concern over the practice which allows students to circumvent their college’s plagiarism detection systems …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 12 March]

Tags: , , ,

Now a degree is a commodity, no wonder more students are cheating

Posted in Legal issues on February 22nd, 2017 by steve

“It was reported this week that the Department for Education is considering new penalties for students who plagiarise essays. This comes after an investigation by the Times in 2016 found that 50,000 students had been caught cheating on their university degrees in the three years before. Students were paying anywhere between £100 and £6,750 for an essay, and this widespread cheating has led to suggestions that criminal records could be dished out to offenders …” (more)

[Poppy Noor, Guardian, 22 February]

Tags: , ,

University students could be fined or handed criminal records for plagiarised essays, new proposals suggest

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on February 21st, 2017 by steve

“University students who buy essays online face fines and a criminal record under plans to punish plagiarism being considered by the government. For the first time, students caught cheating could be criminalised amid fears that a burgeoning ‘essay mills’ industry is threatening the quality of a British university degree …” (more)

[Harry Yorke, Telegraph, 21 February]

Tags: , ,

UCD deputy registrar Bairbre Redmond paid 1.5K a day in €436,000 ‘Runaway’ Plagiarism Report

Posted in Legal issues on October 1st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Bairbre Redmond, the deputy Registrar in UCD was paid €1,500 a day for a plagiarism report she undertook for GMIT it can be revealed. The report, commissioned by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology ran on for over three years, and racked up a final cost of €430,000 by 2013 …” (more)

[College Tribune, 30 September]

Tags: , , ,

Have 1 in 5 UK academics fabricated data?

Posted in Legal issues, Research on July 1st, 2016 by steve

UK“A small survey of UK academics suggests misconduct such as faking data and plagiarism is occurring surprisingly often. The survey — of 215 UK academics — estimated that 1 in 7 had plagiarized from someone else’s work, and nearly 1 in 5 had fabricated data …” (more)

[Retraction Watch, 1 July]

Tags: , , ,

Essays for sale: a new wave of plagiarism

Posted in Legal issues on May 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students who use online essay-writing services face sanction if caught. As for the final product, our experiment suggests such work is far from guaranteed to pass …” (more)

[Ronan Smyth, Irish Times, 17 May]

Tags: , ,

Sci-Hub Will Increase Academic Plagiarism

Posted in Legal issues, Research on May 13th, 2016 by steve

USA“The over 50 million scholarly articles stolen by the pirates at Sci-Hub will significantly increase the occurrence of academic plagiarism. In some cases, Sci-Hub is able to download and re-publish content before it’s been crawled by plagiarism-detection companies — that is, before they can add newly-published content to their central indexes …” (more)

[Scholarly Open Access, 12 May]

Tags: ,

Eight technologies that are changing education

Posted in Teaching on February 2nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“From real-time tracking systems that enable parents to follow their children’s progress in school to plagiarism alerts in universities, technology is changing how people learn and are taught …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 February]

Tags: ,

Universities catch almost 50,000 student cheats

Posted in Legal issues on January 2nd, 2016 by steve

UK“Nearly 50,000 university students have been caught cheating in the last three years, according to figures which also suggest non-EU scholars are the most likely to commit the offence …” (more)

[Guardian, 2 January]

Tags: , ,

Angelica Risquez, ‘Anti-plagiarism software in an Irish University: three years later’

Posted in Teaching on December 24th, 2015 by steve

IrelandAbstract: A variety of anti-plagiarism software applications have appeared in recent years, but the pedagogical and institutional practices underpinning their use remains largely unexplored. It is essential to increase the amount of evidence-based literature that investigates the use of anti-plagiarism software in higher education. In the light of this, this chapter explores the integration of anti-plagiarism software in an Irish university since early 2006 and the progress made to date. We use data gathered from our own context to show how instructors are using this software to date, what trends emerge and what can be deduced about the adoption of the system to guide future research questions. Best practices are suggested for educators in order to help them to use anti-plagiarism software in proactive, positive, and pedagogically sound ways.

Risquez, Angelica, Anti-plagiarism software in an Irish University: three years later in Critical Design and Effective Tools for E-Learning in Higher Education: Theory into Practice, Donnelly, Roisin, Harvey, Jen and O’Rourke, Kevin (eds) (2010).

Tags:

GMIT boss sorry over plagiarism probe cost

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on September 25th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The head of a third-level college has apologised to staff and students after more than €436,000 was spent on an investigation into plagiarism by a student. Jim Fennell, the acting president of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), said the probe ended up being more complex and therefore more expensive than initially envisaged …” (more)

[Shane Phelan, Independent, 25 September]

Tags: , , , , ,