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What is plagiarism? Do academic teachers and librarians agree?: how can we help students to better academic practice
Linköping University, University Library.
2019 (English)In: QQML 2019 Book of abstracts. 11th qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries / [ed] Anthi Katsirikou, Athens, 2019, p. 177-178Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many studies (e.g. Hult & Hult 2003, McCabe 2005, Babic 2005, Amsberry 2009, Bohlin & Widén 2016) have been carried out on students and academic teachers’ views on plagiarism. A common conclusion is that teachers and students have different opinions on what constitutes plagiarism as well as on the seriousness of the act. University librarians also play a part in the antiplagiarism work of universities through their teaching and lecturing on referencing and academic writing and by providing different kinds of guides and tutorials. There are fewer studies around their views, but librarians also seem to be divided (see e.g. Bartlett & Casselden 2011, Gibson & Chester-Fangman 2011, Shäfer & Trevisiol 2016) in how to act, some wanting to be neutral and not judging in their contacts with students. Many articles with a library/librarian focus are case studies describing the roles of librarians I different anti-plagiarism projects.  But what are the librarians’ views on plagiarism and do they differ from faculty’s? In our study librarians take a stricter view than is presented in earlier research. 

This study was carried out in the hopes of being able to encourage further discussions between librarians and faculty and other stakeholders at Linköping University (LiU) on how we together can support students’ introduction to good academic practice and awareness of academic integrity. Based partly on an earlier LiU-report (Hult & Hult 2003) a web-based survey was constructed to investigate librarians and faculty’s views on plagiarism and how it can be prevented and detected. 64 members of faculty from the four faculties of LiU of Campus Norrköping Linköping University and 24 university librarians answered the 12 questions of the survey. Our results showed that librarians at Linköping university had a stricter and more unanimous view on what constitutes plagiarism. However more teachers than in the earlier Hult & Hult (2003) survey expressed a firm view in the present study. On the question how, plagiarism could be prevented the two staff categories agree that information is the best way but only a few persons made suggestions specifying how. Only a small part (11,3%) of faculty members and half of the librarians suggested directing students towards the anti-plagiarism guides and web sites that the university library provides. When it comes to discovering plagiarism the larger part of both groups shows awareness of the antiplagiarism software (Urkund) subscribed to by the university and chiefly teachers also suggest other measures.

The study indicates that lack of common guide lines and a pronounced policy and different views among librarians and faculty could be an obstacle in both groups efforts to support students in anti-plagiarism work. It also makes it clear that the library has a way to go in promoting its guides and support services. Performing this study has given the university library a good incentive and background material for taking up discussions with faculty and other stakeholders, such as department heads, Disciplinary board and Academic writing support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Athens, 2019. p. 177-178
Keywords [en]
plagiarism, information literacy, teacher-librarian collaboration
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-157315OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-157315DiVA, id: diva2:1320793
Conference
QQML2019 11th qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries, European Uiniversity Institute, Florence, Italy: May 28-31 2019
Available from: 2019-06-05 Created: 2019-06-05 Last updated: 2019-06-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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