CHALLENGES BEFORE AND AFTER DETECTING PLAGIARISM
Paper presented at EduLearn, Barcelona, July 2016. Abstract. Cheating and plagiarism are possibly the major academic offences. In the past, plagiarism detection systems have been inefficient and University policies underdeveloped or lacking rigour in addressing these issues. Strong integrity policies and efficient processes for dealing with plagiarism are required to assure quality, and promote and maintain academic integrity within Universities. However, it appears that even to this day, not all Universities are using plagiarism detection systems, and that only a portion of them have developed and are indeed enforcing the policies. Students who plagiarise pose two challenges. A first challenge is when the student is not caught. Surprisingly, as we demonstrate, a second challenge arises when a student is caught. This paper presents some of the challenges academia faces in detecting, examining and determining an outcome, reporting, and recording plagiarism cases. We offer recommendations on how academics and administration can address the challenges that follow the identification of an incident, with a particular focus on the last two phases. Incidents can only be processed effortlessly and efficiently when systems are well designed, and the process is carefully mapped and structured. We then outline the steps and present guidelines on how the process can be streamlined efficiently. Flowcharts and decision trees assist the decision makers, while checks and ticks and automated controls can improve consistency among staff. Further debate is required to discuss the necessity of national or indeed international registries to record incidences of academic dishonesty.