The Boards of Examinations and Graduate Studies are joining forces with CUSU and the Graduate Union to run a campaign aimed at raising awareness among students of the pitfalls associated with failing to acknowledge the source of borrowed material and ideas.

The main event this term will be a ‘Plagiarism Awareness Day' on 2 May. Dr Laurie Friday will lead sessions for graduate students at 10:30am in the Faculty of Law (for arts, humanities and social sciences) and at 5pm in the Graduate Union (for sciences and technology). There also will be a demonstration of plagiarism-detection software and a question and answer session for University staff at 2pm in the Faculty of Law.

Full details of the day's activities, together with information, resources and a statement of the University's policy and procedures for dealing with suspected plagiarism can be found on the ‘plagiarism awareness' website at

Examiners and teaching staff are increasingly concerned about the growing tendency of students to include material in their assessments and dissertations without making proper attribution to the sources of the work. At worst, plagiarism may constitute cheating, but at very least it is a sign of poor scholarship. In either case, it is a serious cause for concern, especially since the web offers instant, easy access to information and published work.

Last year, the University published a statement on the nature of plagiarism and how to avoid it, and advice for examiners, which has been widely adopted and adapted for local use by Faculties and Departments. The main weapons in the campaign to reduce plagiarism are clear advice and teaching and, if a deterrent is needed, a reliable means for supervisors and examiners to detect copied text and identify the source.

A poster with the ‘copy-cat' logo drawing attention to the campaign is being distributed to Colleges and Faculties.

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