Topics: Copyright infringement, Copyright, Copyright law Pages: 13 (3677 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Running Head: Increasing Academic Dishonesty

This article reviews a range of resources relating to issues surrounding academic dishonesty and copyright infringement cases on university campuses. Traditional thought has placed considerable blame for an increase in these cases over the last ten years on the evolution of technology. Close examination of the literature shows that technology has helped to ease a student’s ability to commit acts of academic dishonesty and infringe copyright laws but has not been the sole reason behind acts. Instead a lack of understanding and education has resulted in a student’s inability to successfully write essays using proper citations. In order to effectively combat these issues, academic librarians need to develop education based plans for raising awareness about academic dishonesty, copyright laws and university policies relating to both. Keywords: plagiarism, academic dishonesty, copyright, information literacy


Running Head: Increasing Academic Dishonesty


Academic librarians face numerous responsibilities every day, ranging from simple decisions over which books to order to more complex reference questions asked by students and faculty. Over the last ten years, the advent and evolution of technology has made those same commonly encountered tasks much easier and exponentially faster. However, technology and the internet have also increased a user’s ability to access information in the quantitative sense. Whereas students champion this boost in information access, academic librarians are beginning to see the negative effects of scholarly information made available electronically. Scholars are aware of the extensive amounts of incorrect and unscholarly information that exists in the digital realm and on the internet. Although this has always been a concern for members of the academic realm, the concern is shifting towards academic dishonesty, plagiarism and copyright infringement.1 Social scientists agree that plagiarism is not a new phenomenon, instead they argue over technology’s role in increasing cases of academic dishonesty and copyright infringement. As discussion over open access continues, the world moves closer towards easier access to digital information. With this in mind, the rates of academic dishonesty and copyright infringement are bound to increase.

This literature review will first encounter the task of establishing a definition for plagiarism as well as copyright infringement. Establishing a set understanding of these terms and laws surrounding them will set the context for the remaining portions. Secondly, the literature review will examine the current arguments relating technology and other elements to the increasing number of academic dishonesty and copyright infringement cases. The final two sections will explore the remedies and prevention strategies that are currently used as well as


Academic dishonesty can refer to any form of cheating that occurs in the academy. These forms include plagiarism, fabrication, deception, cheating, bribery, sabotage and professional misconduct. For the purpose of this literature review, academic dishonesty will be used to refer to plagiarism and fabrication, where the act involves utilizing the thoughts and scholarly works of others to cheat.

Running Head: Increasing Academic Dishonesty


those strategies which are currently being developed. These final portions shall also highlight the role of academic librarians in the prevention process.
Defining Plagiarism
Establishing an exact definition of plagiarism has raised just as many problems for administrators, faculty and librarians as the act of plagiarism itself. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines plagiarism as, “to take (ideas, writings, etc.) from another and pass them off as one’s own” (Neufeldt, 1995, p.449). This “standard” definition of plagiarism is generally accepted by most universities -- though elongated in some cases --...
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