Last updated on September 23rd, 2021

PLAGIARISM POLICY

OVERVIEW

St. George’s University (SGU) is committed to promoting a culture of scholarship. In doing so, SGU places a high value on adherence to the principles of academic integrity, honesty, respect for, and acknowledgement of, the work of others. The submission of work by students is considered an important part of a continuous process of learning and assessment. It allows for a determination of a student’s achievement of the necessary knowledge and skills related to their respective academic qualifications, which are to be achieved in accordance with the principles of academic integrity and honesty. To this end, students shall not submit or claim the work of others as their own or engage in any academic activity which provides an academic advantage over one’s peers, by cheating. Plagiarism is regarded as a dishonest and cardinal offense in academia. As a form of academic misconduct, plagiarism is considered a breach of the student honour code; therefore, it is not tolerated. Plagiarism brings into disrepute the credibility of the University, its faculty and students.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all St. George’s University students.

DEFINITION

The Oxford Concise Dictionary, 9 ed., (1995: 1043) defines plagiarism as ‘the act or instance of plagiarizing, something plagiarized.’ The dictionary then defines plagiarize as ‘take and use (the thoughts, writings, inventions, and so forth of another person) as one’s own; pass off the thoughts and so forth of (another person) as one’s own.’

Plagiarism can be either intentional or unintentional. (See: https://www.turnitin.com for the spectrum of plagiarism practices).

The presentation of work, written or oral, as one’s own can be done from a plurality of sources.

Such sources include, but are not exclusive of, published or unpublished material, the work and ideas of faculty, students, internet sources, print and digital publications, written and oral opinions and/or presentations, artwork software, websites or other electronic resources.

The following list, while not exclusive, is indicative of the practices that qualify as plagiarism (See https://www.turnitin.com) :

  • Copying verbatim, entire or substantial portions of paragraphs and sentences, written or oral, without the use of quotation marks and indicating the source
  • Paraphrasing entire of substantial portions of paragraphs or sentences of the works of others, without referencing the source of such words/ideas
  • Cutting and pasting paragraphs and/or sentences from various sources and presenting as one’s own work, either in a written or oral format
  • Copying the works of others, using peripheral or minor changes, while at the same time retaining the original idea, without referencing
  • Copying or adapting part, or all, of the work of another student as one’s own, for the purpose of any form of course requirements, including presentations or other scholarly forms of assessment
  • Cooperating or being complicit with other students in the sharing and copying of answers, including during examinations
  • Contract cheating, involving the payment for, or ordering of, essays, software and other material for submission as one’s own work or ideas
  • Self-plagiarism, involving the re-submission of work previously submitted for assessment

PROCEDURES

Unless they have been otherwise authorized by their respective course instructors, students are expected to produce works/ideas that are the product of their own original research/investigations.

Students are provided with protocols/guidelines which inform the styles of referencing for coursework requirements and must familiarize themselves with those acceptable to their respective School/Department. This ensures that every statement that is NOT an original thought is appropriately and accurately cited and referenced. Students must therefore seek clarification from their instructors, if necessary, regarding the University’s plagiarism policy. The University offers means by which a faculty member might seek confirmation of a suspicion that student work is plagiarized.

The University offers services, including software tools such as Turnitin to allow a student to review their submission for an evaluation of plagiarism. It is also valuable to a faculty member seeking confirmation of a suspicion that student work is plagiarized. Students may also seek guidance from the Department of Educational Services (DES) for technical assistance on citing, referencing and writing to avoid plagiarism.

PENALTIES

Penalties are transparent procedures to be followed where plagiarism is confirmed by the faculty member and verified by colleagues. Penalties are intended to protect the integrity of the work of students and faculty of St. George’s University and the reputation of the University. Faculty members reserve the right to take appropriate action, including the award of a ‘penalty grade’ such as an “F”, for confirmed plagiarism, in addition to referring the matter to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action.

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING

The University takes copyright infringement seriously and has taken steps to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials through illegal downloading or peer-to- peer distribution of intellectual property. All students must abide by all applicable laws and University policies when using University computing or network resources.

Refer to IT Computing Policies for further information.