Student plagiarism study finds consensus

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Although universities differ in how they deal with student plagiarism, there are also 'clusters of consensus’. This is the finding of the second phase of the Academic Misconduct Benchmarking Research Project (AMBeR) conducted by the UK's Academy JISC Academic Integrity Service (AJAIS).

The report found that while all universities manage the issue of student plagiarism on an individual basis, the most common ways of dealing with the issue were the resubmission of assessments, where the resulting mark would be capped and a formal warning given. Over 50 per cent of the recorded instances of plagiarism were dealt with in one of these ways. The report also indicated that the vast majority of offences are first offences which suggests that current measures being taken are successfully reducing repeat offenders.

The first phase of the AMBeR report released in 2007 supported the view put forward by Baroness Deech of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) that research into penalties for plagiarism was needed in order to take a step closer to greater consistency within the sector. The new research should help institutions to look at their existing procedures with a view to bringing about a greater consensus within the sector.