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Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition


James Ottavio Castagnera

The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition is a practical tool, intended for administrators dealing with students in higher education, focusing principally on four-year institutions. Addressing the ever-evolving relationship between higher education and the law, the book will provide the academic administrator with the means to knowledgably and confidently navigate the many legal threats and challenges facing colleges today. Focused on the "hot" issues in higher education today, and using examples from real cases and scenarios from many institutions, the handbook provides sample policies, checklists, and advice that administrators can apply to a wide variety of situations, both preventatively and proactively. The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators, Third Edition is a compendium of practical knowledge and guidance, useful to all administrators dealing with the legal minefield that is higher education.

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Chapter 5: Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Cheating


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The satiric singer-songwriter and sometime Harvard professor Tom Lehrer once wrote the following logic: “Plagiarize, plagiarize. Let no one else’s work evade your eyes.” As this suggests, plagiarism and other forms of cheating are by no means confined to the student body.

Plagiarism plagues not only the academy but also the world of mass-market entertainment. In that realm, plagiarism may cross the line into actionable copyright and trademark infringement. When enough money is at stake, a courtroom confrontation may be the result. Such was the case in 2016, when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin defended their iconic “Stairway to Heaven” against a claim of copyright infringement. In June a jury ruled that the band’s most famous tune was not a rip off of a similar song by the lesser-known band Spirit (

If the Zeppelin lads aren’t insulated against accusations of intellectual property theft, our students certainly aren’t attuned to what constitutes plagiarism. Just as they have a difficult time distinguishing between legitimate scholarship and pseudo-scholarship on the Internet, many also harbor the ← 129 | 130 → mistaken notion that cutting and pasting materials from web sites constitutes legitimate research … the scholarly equivalent of a music mash-up, if you please.

This is true even though universities generally go to great lengths to define plagiarism. Following is a typical policy:

1.1 Ghostwriting—Written work submitted...

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