DQ1 – Academic Integrity in a Cultural Context
Plagiarism is the act of taking and using the whole or any part of another person’s work and presenting it as your own without proper acknowledgement. Examples of ‘work’ include text, writings, computer program, web page, on-line discussions, video, music, sound recording, image, photograph, technical drawing, invention, research findings, diagram, chart, artwork or design.
The student’s educational background and cultural beliefs have very little influence on plagiarism. More often than not, plagiarism occurs among students are due to the lack of time and difficult of the task given. In 2005, The NUS Computer Science department conducted a survey on awareness and attitudes towards plagiarism among Computer Science students. (http://www.cdtl.nus.edu.sg/Link/Nov2005/li.htm accessed 20/11/2009) The results of the survey indicated that time and difficulty as the two main reasons why student plagiarize.
In an article published by Dr Annett Schirmer (Notes on Plagiarism: Did I Do It?) (http://www.cdtl.nus.edu.sg/brief/v11n2/sec4.asp , May 2008.Vol.11 No. 2, accessed on 20/11/2009) revealed that a number of students are unsure if their assignments are plagiarized. They had, after learning that Dr Annett had identified and suspected a case of plagiarism during a seminar, had texted the lecturer to ask if they had plagiarize unknowingly or paraphrase insufficiently. It is evident that although students are aware of the consequences of plagiarism, they are unclear of the different types of plagiarism.
Hence, time span required to complete the assignment, difficulty level of the assignment and little knowledge of the various types of plagiarism are problems faced by the students. Schools, apart from stepping up efforts in explaining and illustrating the various types of plagiarism, have to study in detail the timeline of the projects and assignments allocated to the students is sufficient to complete in time.