Plagiarism has become a ‘hot topic’ in the media but whilst many academics agree that it is increasing(Park, 2003), some writers state that this may be a perception more than a reality (McKeever, 2006). This is indicative of the confusion surrounding the term ‘plagiarism’ amongst tutors and students and has resulted in, for example, an unevenness in institutions in their treatment of suspected cases of plagiarism and students avoiding certain kinds of work because of fear of plagiarism (Ashworth, Bannister and Thorne, 1997). In some cases, this has led to a ‘battle’ or conflict situation between institutions and their students (Leask, 2006) with a focus on detecting and punishing rather than instilling a culture of good scholarship amongst the student population. Against this background, we present the results of a small research project into staff and students’ perceptions of plagiarism that has been part of our trial of the JISC Detection Service. This research has informed the development of a staff development programme on plagiarism which seeks to:\ud · provide a forum for an institutional debate about definitions of plagiarism;\ud · support students to develop a clearer understanding of good scholarship;\ud · help tutors in planning out plagiarism through alternative approaches to assessment and\ud improve their understanding of institutional policies
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