At a Glance Guide to Plagiarism What is Plagiarism? During your time at University Centre at Blackburn College you should avoid Plagiarism at all times. Plagiarism includes the following: • Collusion – this is where a piece of work prepared by a group is represented as if it were your own • Commission - this is where a piece of work that is not your own is represented as if it were your own work • Purchasing work from a commercial service, including internet sites, whether pre-written or specially prepared for you • Submitting work written by another person, either by a fellow student or a person who is not a member of the College • Duplication of the same or almost identical work for more than one module • Copying or paraphrasing a paper from a source text, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, without appropriate acknowledgement • Submitting another student’s work as your own, whether that be with or without that student’s knowledge or consent.
All forms of Plagiarism are regarded as cheating the repercussions for the student involved are severe. This could ultimately lead to your dismissal from Blackburn College and also the failure of your course. You should also be aware of the following: Fabrication of results: This could occur if you claim to have carried out tests, experiments or observations that have not taken place, or you present results that are not supported by the evidence gained. This is usually done with the object of obtaining an unfair advantage; please do not do this. It will be counted as cheating.
Deliberate plagiarism: Some students who plagiarise do so deliberately, with intent to deceive. This conscious, pre-mediated form of cheating is regarded as a particularly serious breach of the core values of academic integrity and one of the worst forms of cheating, for which the College has zero tolerance. Accidental plagiarism: Many students who plagiarise probably do so inadvertently, without realising it – because of inexperienced study skills, including note taking, referencing and citations. Many students (particularly those from different cultures and educational systems) find UK academic referencing/acknowledgement systems and conventions awkward, and proof-reading is not always easy for dyslexic students and some visually-impaired students. Please ensure you speak to a member of the course team or the Student Engagement Officers should you be concerned about Accidental plagiarism.
Visual Plagiarism: If you are doing a course that involves working with images you still need to acknowledge where your ideas originated from.
Avoiding Plagiarism It is really important that you develop good working practices to ensure that you don’t fall into the plagiarism ‘trap’. These include: • Time-management and organisational skills – so you do not feel the need to use somebody else’s work inappropriately due to a last minute deadline • Effective Note-taking • Effective Paraphrasing The Student Engagement Officers will be available to help you with all of the above.
Benefits of not plagiarising By not plagiarising you will: • feel more confident when tackling exams • feel confident during seminar discussions • know how to express an academic opinion, backed up by strong information sources • be better able to answer questions at your project viva or presentation • be competent in handling literature searches for major coursework projects • develop your subject knowledge • gain academic credibility (and thus gain credibility with future employers) • have pride in your work because it’s all yours • apply for jobs with confidence, knowing that you won’t be discovered as incompetent in basic information-handling skills. (adapted from www.jiscpas.ac.uk/)
How does UCBC detect Plagiarism? In order to more accurately detect plagiarism, UCBC subscribes to Turnitin, which is an online plagiarism detection software system. Turnitin works by making a digital fingerprint of any submitted document using specially developed software. This software cross-references the document’s fingerprint against their database containing hundreds of thousands of other submitted assignments. At the same time, Turnitin scours the rest of the Internet for possible matches. Finally, the software creates a custom, colour-coded report, complete with source links, for each assignment. This can then be downloaded by subject tutors and course leaders and the results carefully analysed to ensure that plagiarism doesn’t exist within the document. For further information regarding plagiarism please see the Good Referencing Guide which can be found on Moodle or by referring to our At a Glance Guide to Referencing.