Monday, April 30, 2007

Teaching Students abour Plagiarism

An article about a course for students on avoiding plagiarism: Teaching Students about Plagiarism: An Internet Solution to an Internet Problem by Eleanour Snow. Unfortunately, you need a password to get in to read the article; fortunately, it is free.

The tutorial is available online - turn your speakers off before heading out, or you will wake your neighbors. There is some interesting material here, and I suppose all the multi-media-music-multi-click-and-quiz stuff does appeal to students of today. I am just a bit concerned that if the students need this kind of teaching, that college might be the wrong option for them. Or is this being an arrogant European?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Ghostwriters

I recieved a letter today telling me about the German company ACAD Write. This is a ghostwriting company that charges you about 30 Euros/page (minimum paper 5 pages) for writing your term paper or doing other work for you, up to and including dissertations and German habilitations.

They write in their FAQ: "Yes, ghost writing is allowed. There are no laws or norms that ban ghost writing. Therefore ACAD WRITE is allowed to create or edit academic texts by order of clients. ACAD WRITE hereby states, however, that you are not allowed to declare as your own a paper that you order with us."

Okay, I don't want them doing an English translation for me. But I believe they are sadly mistaken about ghost writing [sic] being allowed. We specifically state in our examination regulations that the student themselves must do the work. Only on the final thesis do we require a sworn oath that they did the work themselves.

But how do we stop outfits like this? Even if there is no law banning ghostwriting, it is highly unethical and not acceptable scientific practice. Does anyone have some good ideas about what we can do about this?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Industrial Product Plagiarism Museum Opens

Today, April 1, 2007, a new museum is opening in Solingen in Germany, home of many makers of fine German knives and tablewares, Museum Plagiarius (Bahnhofstr. 11, 42651 Solingen, - in German, open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm).

The yearly plagiarism award for the "best" industrial produce plagiarism is given by the Plagiarius group here. They decided to put their rather large collection on general display.

No, this is not an April Fool's joke - it is a serious problem, combatting product plagiarism. This seems to be the first museum of its kind - hopefully this will be an additional venue for the group to call attention to the problem. Good luck!