Friday, 17 January 2020

Different types of Plagiarism

Ah: plagiarism! Shakespeare, in Hamlet from Act II Scene III (Craig, 1966, p. 854), Malcolm says, with a clarifier from me:
"There's [no] warrant in that theft 
Which steals itself"
Why does that resonate with me? Because plagiarism is - in my view - stealing from ourselves. We steal our own knowledge, growth and development by trying to shortcut learning; by being focused on the ends over the means (Daft, 2007). Not only does it diminish the utility of the education we are undertaking, but it undermines the results of the others who have put in the time and effort to learn. Malcom's speech above ends with "there's no mercy left" which is the approach I take with students who have been cautioned to undertake their work honestly, but have chosen not to heed my warning.

Plagiarism has been defined as "Taking over the ideas, methods, or written words of another, without
acknowledgment and with the intention that they be taken as the work of the deceiver." (Roig, 2006, p. 3, citing the American Association of University Professors, September/October,1989). A key phrase that: the intent to deceive.

Every semester there appears to be a new way to plagiarise. We don't often stop to consider that plagiarism takes many forms. Below is a list of 'types': a rough taxonomy, if you will, drawn from a number of authors.
  1. Copy & Paste Plagiarism: copying the words of another verbatim without indicating - with quotes - they are the words of the author. This may or may not be cited, and some words may perhaps be changed in an attempt to disguise the theft (Naik, Landge, & Mahender, 2015). This is also known as "Ctrl-C" and "Find-Replace" plagiarism (TurnItin, 2015) and "verbatim" plagiarism (Bouarara, Hamou, & Rahmani, 2017). Where cited, this can also be known as "Re-Tweet" plagiarism,  and sometimes "Aggregator" plagiarism where it includes almost no original content (TurnItin, 2015)
  2. Spinbot plagiarism: putting the work of another through a translation spinbot and translating it both into and out of another language, or simply translating it from the base language. Work may be used verbatim from the spinbot (where it will be well-nigh incomprehensible) or edited. Also known as "Plagiarism by translation" (Bouarara et al, 2017) or "Plagiarism with translation" (Naik et al, 2015)
  3. Remix plagiarism: taking elements from multiple authors and working it up into a new piece of writing. Small elements and order will be changed. The work may or may not be cited (TurnItin, 2015). Also known as "Mashup" (TurnItin, 2015), "Shake & Paste", and "Mosaic" plagiarism (Naik et al, 2015)
  4. Fake authorship plagiarism: where expert views are cited as coming from an entirely fictitious source. This is also known as "404 Error" plagiarism (TurnItin, 2015)
  5. False claim plagiarism: where the writer cites an author as saying something that they did not say. This is also known as "404 Error" plagiarism (TurnItin, 2015)
  6. Self-Plagiarism: where an author recycles part or most of a previously written paper without acknowledging it (Roig, 2006). Also known as "Text Recycling" (Bouarara et al, 2017) or "Auto" plagiarism (Enago Academy, 27 September 2018)
  7. Ghost Writing plagiarism: getting another to write an entire paper (Roig, 2006). Also known as "complete" plagiarism (Enago Academy, 27 September 2018) and "blunt" plagiarism (Bouarara et al, 2017). 
A fascinating area. And so silly of students to do this. But we appear to still be making silly students.



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