Monday, March 26, 2012

Plagiarism, a much larger problem then you though

I bookmarked this email a while ago and just got around to watching it today (1 hour duration).
"I gave a lecture on plagiarism in professional writing and research that some of you might find interesting. The lecture was taped and is available at"
The lecture is titled Plagiarism Detection Software by Professor Cem Kaner, 2008. I don't have access to the citations he handed out before the lecture. (Please add a comment to this post if you have a link.)

The following is what I took away and want to be able to refer back to (so I am blogging it).

  • Plagiarism = using someone else's words or ideas.
  • Copyright = using someone else's words.
  • Citation = acknowledgment of someone else's ideas.
  • Citation is done to provide the reader with a way to follow up on an idea, dive deeper.
  • I find it unbelievable how much plagiarism there it, especially in "professional" venues.
  • Plagiarism detection software marketing claims didn't stand up (in 2008), profession/private publications not included.
  • Deans tend to think that if the software didn't flag a paper then plagiarism didn't occur.

Plagiarism detection software are tools used by self respecting plagiarist to double check that their cheating will not be routinely caught. The same tool will be used by a university or publisher to check for plagiarism. Sounds like a university tells you which software will be used to do the plagiarism checking so you can fix the paper before submitting. [This was my idea but I give credit to Cem has I think his lecture was designed to lead us to this conclusion.]

I will use citations to show that I know what I am talking about, that I am familiar with current technology/thinking and that I didn't pull these ideas out of my *.