Research Output

Avoiding plagiarism, developing identities: Responsibility, academic literacies and the curriculum

  The incidence of plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct has become a cause for concern across the higher education sector in recent years. A range of factors have been identified as contributing to the incidence
of plagiarism, and institutions have responded in variety of ways to tackle the issue in terms of education and prevention. Arguably, first year undergraduates represent a section of the student body which should receive
particular attention in this respect, as they enter an unfamiliar educational context, which presents new and complex demands. This report describes a small-scale JISCPAS-funded project which investigated the experiences and perspectives of first year students and key
staff groups at a Scottish post-92 university, focusing on the development of year 1 students‟ academic literacies, their experiences of coursework and their awareness of appropriate academic practice. A variety of data collection
methods were employed including literature review, semi-structured interviews, journals, and focus groups. The study highlighted some key differences between staff in different roles in terms of how they view their own and the institution‟s responsibilities in this area, and in the extent to which
they believe development should be generic or discipline-specific. The data also suggest the presence of an implicit staff model which constructs antiplagiarism strategies as separate and unrelated to other aspects of academic
writing development. The student data documented the central role of confidence, emotion and identity in the student experience, and highlighted a range of issues across the university in terms of how we should support
coursework and develop student academic literacies.
The report concludes with suggestions for development of institutional and individual academic practice in this area, to better support the development of first year student literacies and confidence within the curriculum.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 2006

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    University of Northumbria

  • Library of Congress:

    L1 Education (General)


Gourlay, L. & Greig, J. (2006). Avoiding plagiarism, developing identities: Responsibility, academic literacies and the curriculum


plagiarism; academic misconduct; academic literacy; academic practice;

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