UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on Plagiarism
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UNH Faculty Senate

Motion # IX-M22

Plagiarism software

 

1.  Sponsoring committee:  Student Affairs Committee

2.  Motion presenter:  Liza Finkel

3.  Date of Faculty Senate discussion:  May 2, 2005

4.  Motion:

As a part of a broad effort to address plagiarism on campus, the university should adopt Turnitin for a period of at least one year.  During that year, the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate should continue to explore other strategies for preventing plagiarism.  In addition, CIS should document how many faculty members are using Turnitin and how useful faculty find it is; and CIS should report that information to the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate.

5.  Rationale:

Terri Winters of CIS met with the Student Affairs Committee to review her research into available technologies for detecting and discouraging plagiarism.  She identified a piece of software called “Turnitin” that she feels is most appropriate for our needs.  It is used by a large number of other universities and can be integrated into Blackboard which we already use and for which we already have technical support.  Faculty often indicate that they suspect plagiarism but are not able to find “evidence” that it has taken place.  This software, which searches a large database of e-journals as well as student papers previously submitted to Turnitin, can help provide that evidence.

The cost for the software, for one year, integrated with Blackboard, will be $11,056.25.  For 3 years it would be $27,356.25, including Blackboard integration.  The software can only be purchased for use by the whole faculty; it is not something that we can buy for one or two people to use.

Faculty members could either access the software through Blackboard or through the Turnitin website (if they prefer not to use Blackboard).  Students submit their papers, and the program provides a report to faculty of what percentage of the paper is “original.”  The program highlights plagiarized parts of the paper and provides a link to the website where the material was originally published.  As students add their papers to the website, the database grows.  Terri was not sure how the program distinguishes between a correctly cited quote and plagiarism, but she is going to find out for us.  There is no problem if all faculty do not use the software, as it searches an already established database.

6.  Senate action:  passed, on May 2, 2005

Vote:  a voice vote with one abstention

Senate chair’s signature:  Mimi L. Becker

Forwarded to:  President Ann Hart, on June 8, 2005

Forwarded to:  Bruce Mallory, on June 8, 2005

Forwarded to:  Mark Rubinstein, on June 8, 2005

Forwarded to:  Terry Winters, on June 8, 2005

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