Plagiarism, in the academic sector is considered to be a severe breach of acceptable academic behaviour. One of the main reasons for occurrences of plagiarism is the increasing overload of information available on the internet and student access to such information. Academic related journals, articles, discourses and already solved assignments are available on the internet and can be viewed free of cost. Students can easily download the educational material available on the web, modify it and present it to the university, as their own unaided work. Utilising the words or ideas of other individuals and presenting it without appropriate acknowledgment is an unacceptable behaviour.
The universities expect that a student exhibits appropriate levels of academic attainment and capability by carefully going through coursework and assessments. Hence students need to submit work that aligns with the assignment requirements, and then evaluated by the tutor to make sure that the work reaches the desirable standards. In majority of the institutions the students also need to confirm that the submitted work is as a result of their own work and unaided efforts. However, a percentage of students falsely giving such affirmation are contributing towards decreasing the value of their qualification awarded by the institution.
Presently academic institutions are struggling to strengthen their policies regarding plagiarism control. Current policies are in the form of reactive policies which treats acts of plagiarism as a serious offence, when identified, but such issues are not sought out actively. The pro-active policies direct the institutions to make an attempt to track and control plagiarism through the implementation of technology and strict measures. Increasingly, academic institutions are looking forward to replace the reactive policy with the pro-active policy of plagiarism and curb the growing culture of such act.
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has organized workshops and invested its time and efforts in anti-plagiarism efforts. Investigation by the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principles (CPVP) is also effective in identifying the extent and impact of plagiarism. It is extremely important to implement technologically backed plagiarism detection program, supported with web based plagiarism detection services, with the use of pro-active policies. However, the implementation of pro-active policy is subject to the analysis of the underlying costs, resource availability and the best benefits that could be derived.
Stunited.org supports the drive towards having an anti-plagiarism culture where honesty and transparency can be maintained in a students’ journey towards achieving higher education. Let’s join hands to maintain a plagiarism free academic world where students can share best practices in completing their assignments by utilising their own efforts, own learning and ideas, and coming up with flying colors.
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