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Issue Brief: Plagiarism

Rebecca Moore Howard

Syracuse University    


Plagiarism has long been a concern of educators, but that concern has exponentially heightened in the environment of networked text. Some have responded by appealing to students' sense of personal integrity and community ethics; others, by using technology to police students' use of sources. Still others have perceived shifts in textuality itself, occasioned by new literacies; these educators search for revised ways of understanding the production and circulation of text--and thus new ways of mentoring students' relationship with sources. By these means plagiarism has become not just a "concern" of educators, but a topic for critical scholarship connecting pedagogy, technology studies, and authorship studies.

Leading Journals

Journal of Academic Ethics

International Journal for Educational Integrity

Ethics and Behavior

Note: CCC and College English regularly publish some of the best critical discussions of plagiarism. The three journals listed above publish a wide range of perspectives on the topic, and some of them very juridical, others very critical of traditional definitions and approaches.

Relevant Organizations

The Center for Academic Integrity and its annual conferences promote the use of honor codes can be reached at In the United Kingdom, the Joint Information Systems Committee, available at,  promotes the use of I wouldn't endorse either, but scholars in the area need to be familiar with their work.

Relevant Web Sites                                      

Citation Project (disclaimer: it's *my* research!)

Association of College & Research Libraries. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. 

Center for Academic Integrity

Council of Writing Program Administrators. "Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: WPA Statement on Best Policies." Jan. 2003.

"Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future." The British Library, 11 Jan. 2008.

The LILAC Project: Learning Information Literacy across the Curriculum

Project Information Literacy: A Large-Scale Study About Early Adults and their Research Habits."

To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence." National Endowment for the Arts, Nov. 2007.

"Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy." National Endowment for the Arts, Jan. 2009.

The Stanford Study of Writing

Sociocultural Theory

Relevant Email Discussion Lists

 XMCA Discussion Forum

Document and Site Resources

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Most Recent Comments (1 Total Posts)

Posted By: Anonymous User on 8/25/2012 12:21:25 PM

How about appealing to the student's curiosity, the "need to know"?

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