Having a conversation about plagiarism

Belinda Bantham -- Thu, 11/01/2018 - 10:02

Having a conversation about plagiarism

Falsification, misrepresentation of another’s work as your own and knowingly helping others cheat or plagiarise are all forms of academic dishonesty.

In the university environment this is a very serious offense and may very well result in expulsion or academic disbarment.

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) recently offered academics an opportunity to engage in a conversation about plagiarism.

They discussed what plagiarism is, and how lecturers are currently dealing with it.

According to Mariette Fourie, a senior academic developer from CTL, these academics indicated that they needed support, guidance and strategies on how to manage, prevent and empower students not to commit plagiarism.

“Managing plagiarism should be perceived as a culture change and not as just a campaign,” says Mariette. ”You need a holistic approach to bring across the importance of the protection of academic work. The real worth of learning is creating your own work and not to fake it.”

The NWU, just as many other institutions of higher learning, has a zero tolerance policy towards plagiarism or any form of academic dishonesty.

If any such conduct is reported or detected, the perpetrator will, upon being found guilty, be punishable in terms of the university’s disciplinary policies, rules and procedures. 

Since the university has the responsibility to instill and maintain integrity of the highest standards, the NWU is also using the internet-based plagiarism detection service, Turnitin.

According to Thami Ndlovu from CTL this handy tool checks submitted documents against its database and the content of other websites to identify plagiarism.

“Academic staff and students are strongly encouraged to make use of this,” says Thami.