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Plagiarism

September 2020

POLICY STATEMENT

MGTS will not condone plagiarism and will take appropriate action if it is detected in students’ work.

MGTS shall take steps to publish its Plagiarism Policy and ensure that students are made aware of copyright law and will endeavour to keep the community updated on such issues.

The Policy outlines MGTS’s approach to issues of plagiarism within Learners’ academic work.  It aims to provide guidelines for staff when dealing with plagiarism.

The Policy is intended to develop the Learners’ academic effectiveness rather than discriminate against individual progress within a specific field.

DEFINITIONS OF PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism can be defined as taking someone else’s work and submitting it as if it were one’s own work.

Plagiarism takes two basic forms:

  1. Work submitted for assessment by a student as his or her own, but which was originally created by another person, or where the work was created by more than one person, but is submitted as if it were the work of that sole individual.
  2. Copying of material from other sources (books, computer files and formats, or other communications media) which is included in any work submitted for assessment, where there is no identification of and no acknowledgement of the original source.

Plagiarism can be present in work submitted in any medium – written essay / report / project, video / film, performance, artifact.

EXAMPLES OF PLAGIARISM

  1. Failing to provide clear and precise references, footnotes or a bibliography for material used in assignments.  Apart from short extracts, with appropriate references to their sources, students must not reproduce text, diagrams, drawings, tables or photos lifted wholly from books, articles, the Internet or other electronic sources produced by other persons.  Where a student has summarised someone else’s ideas or arguments, there must be a full reference to the source of the material. 
  2. Cyber-plagiarism.  This is the wholesale downloading of information from the Internet and its inclusion in assignments without acknowledgement or reference.  It can take three main forms:
    • Unintentional cyber-plagiarism where students fail to reference properly work downloaded from the web
    • Deliberately cutting and pasting web text without reference, which the student then submits as his or her original work
    • Use of “cheat sites” or “essay banks” or “on-line notes sites” and submitting the work as the student’s own original work.
  3. Collusion.  Except where group assignments/work is a specific requirement, any work submitted by individual students must be wholly their own work and must not have been produced as a result of undue collaboration.  Each individual’s work within a group task must be clearly identifiable.
  4. Theft.  The theft of work in published or electronic format by one student from another student (current or past) and the submission of that material as one’s own is plagiarism.

FEATURES OF THE POLICY

Plagiarism has become a growing problem in academic work often due to proliferation of information sources now available to students.  Students will be encouraged to identify the implications of copyright laws within their area of study.

Staff will endeavour to advise students of the responsibilities towards copyright law at induction and at tutorials.

Serious cases of plagiarism by individual students, after advice and warnings have been given, will encounter severe penalties, which may affect the outcome of their studies.  Specific issues of text or visual base plagiarism are often encountered by staff during assignment work.

Confidentiality must be respected during any investigation of plagiarism.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Student Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all students and staff to ensure that students’ work submitted for purpose of assessment, is in fact their own work.

Students must not simply copy materials from other students, past or present, from written sources, from the Internet, or from any other source, whether this is through cutting and pasting, re-writing or by any other means.  Work submitted by students must be their own unless it is specifically indicated within the text through appropriate referencing that this is not the case.

Teaching Staff Responsibilities

Teaching staff are expected to research copyright law within their own area and advise students on the relevant legal requirements when using material related to their subject. 

It is the responsibility of teaching staff:

  • To stress to their students the unethical nature of plagiarism
  • To make clear to students the MGTS policy of plagiarism and the consequences if they fail to comply
  • To ensure that students have the knowledge and skills required to enable them to cite and reference appropriately.

Procedures

  • The policy should be introduced to students at induction
  • Guidance should be given to enrolled students through tutorials/assessment feedback
  • MGTS briefs should contain advice with regard to ‘copying’ where appropriate, and the requirement for students to keep their notes and references from each project, in case further evidence of research is needed at any stage during their course
  • If plagiarism is suspected, the exact nature of the problem should be identified and explained to the student at this stage.  Their response to the allegation should be recorded in writing.  The case will then be referred by the tutor concerned to the Course Leader who will investigate further, in liaison with the designated Internal Verifier.
  • MGTS will inform the awarding body (e.g. EAL,ILM,Pearson,City & Guilds) regarding any suspected or actual incidents of plagiarism.
  • If following the investigation, it is considered that plagiarism has been proven, but is a relatively minor case, then the Course Leader may issue an official warning to the student.  This should be in writing and should be kept on the student’s file until the completion of the course.  The student may also be requested to submit for the project concerned again, as a first attempt.
  • If it is considered that the case of plagiarism is proven, and of a substantive nature, then the following procedures will be followed:
    • The case will be referred to the Internal Verifier.  A report on the case, including the student’s response to the allegations, will be submitted to the Internal Verifier.  The student will be requested to attend a meeting to answer further questions about the alleged plagiarism.  They will be given at least five day’s written notice (a copy being sent to parents/guardians if under 19) stating:
      • The nature of the alleged plagiarism and a summary of the evidence
      • Confirmation of the time and place of the interview
  • At the meeting, the case against the student will be detailed by the Internal Verifier and the student will be asked to explain their view of the case and any circumstances which they wish to also be taken into account
  • If serious plagiarism is proven, the Internal Verifier may impose a penalty from the following scale:
    • Official Warning
    • Formal Warning, plus referral for the assignment
    • Formal Warning and bar from re-submitting the project
    • Exclusion from MGTS Limited

David Bridgens
Chief Executive
Reviewed: September 2020