Library holds program on plagiarism for Academic Integrity Week

Dustin Kiggins, Staff Writer

In recognition of Academic Integrity Week on Wednesday, librarians from Ethel K. Library presented students with tips on how to avoid plagiarism when doing research and writing papers for class and future careers.

The presenters showed examples to students on plagiarism in music to see if the students understood the difference between what was and wasn’t plagiarized. This was so they had an idea of what to look for when presented with a written work.

“Music is different because there are only a few beat patterns that are used a lot,” said Amee Odem, a Wingate librarian. “If you are doing a parody of a song that is fine but if you want to use someone else’s song in part or entirely you must ask for permission first and pay royalties.”

The ability to properly cite other works when writing is important because it gives proper credit to the author of the original work.

“You need to treat citations as a conversation that you’re having with others,” said Kevin Winchester, director of the writing center. “When you cite works and then write your own you are joining the conversation and then contributing to it by writing your own  that will one day be cited as a source in another work.”

With citations you can also trace back the history of cited works and find things that you may have never seen before.

“Citation chaining is a neat trick where you can jump from one work to the next just by following their works cited sources,” Winchester said. “I’ve spent hours just going through other works to see all of the other works that someone else already cited.”

In order to emphasize the importance of citing, the presenters told several stories about people who didn’t properly cite their works and it ended their career. Odom told the story of Joseph Netti and Anil Potti who fabricated research data collected during their cancer study.

“The cancer society had funded their project at Duke University and they were fabricating data,” Odom said. “They were conducting studies with data that wasn’t properly verified and cited which was a problem since they were conducting studies on patients.”

This led to Duke University and the researchers to lose all scientific credibility that they once had. “Use this as an example as to what can happen if you don’t use proper citation methods.” Winchester chimed in.

The presenters advised students that changing one word in a portion of a work or using outside sources need to be cited.

“If you use anything from another work that is a direct quote, summary or paraphrase you need to cite it,” Winchester said. “There needs to be a path of search results showing you cited your work properly. The best thing to do is to keep a running citation of all the works you used in a paper,” Winchester said, “along with a bibliography of all the sources that you may have considered to ensure you aren’t plagiarizing.”
A representative of the honor council noted that when it comes to plagiarism, ignorance isn’t bliss.

Photo Source: Al Young

Edited by: Brea Childs

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