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Towards Consistency and Transparency in Academic Integrity

Edited By Salim Razı, Irene Glendinning and Tomáš Foltýnek

This book is an outcome of the 4th International Conference «Plagiarism across Europe and Beyond» organized by Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Mendel University in Brno, and the European Network for Academic Integrity. The conference is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships Programme of the European Union. It aims to be a forum for sharing best practices and experiences by addressing issues of academic integrity from a wide-scope global perspective. With regards to the crucial role of ethics and honesty in academic work, universities are in need of more effective policies against infringements of academic standards. The papers in this book therefore aim to contribute to the standardization of consistent and transparent approaches to issues of academic integrity from several perspectives.

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Plagiarism in the South African Higher Education System: Discarding a Common-Sense Understanding (Amanda Martha Matee Mphahlele / Sioux McKenna)

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Amanda Martha Matee Mphahlele1 & Sioux McKenna2

University of Johannesburg, South Africa & Rhodes University, South Africa

Plagiarism in the South African Higher Education System: Discarding a Common-Sense Understanding

Abstract: Many universities around the world grapple with ways to manage plagiarism successfully. The approach taken depends on the understanding of plagiarism within institutions. This emerges from a study on the conceptualisations of and responses to plagiarism in the South African Higher Education system. Data was collected from 25 South African public universities primarily in the form of what are known as ‘plagiarism policies’ and other related documents, supplemented by interviews with plagiarism committee members. Data suggest that the approach to plagiarism signifies a common-sense understanding of teaching and learning, and in particular, the acquisition of disciplinary writing practices. These understandings are centred on personal experiences and dominant discourses rather than on theoretically interrogated positions.

Keywords: academic integrity, academic misconduct, common-sense, plagiarism, teaching and learning

Introduction

Global changes including internationalisation, massification, and the rise of the ‘knowledge economy’, have had an enormous impact on higher education (Barnett, 2005; Lee, 2016). These shifts have brought about a highly diversified staff and student body and assumptions about shared literacy practices have been challenged (Angélil-Carter, 2000). Alongside these pressures has emerged a growing concern with incidents of plagiarism (Chauhan, 2018). While plagiarism is indeed a real problem that threatens the credibility of our universities and the knowledge produced...

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