plagiarism and process – and a blog rec

I just started reading this blog – Research as a Second Langauge – and I highly recommend it to anyone who spends their time trying to draw students into the world of scholars and scholarship and the writing that they do.

Today’s post is about what a plagiarism policy should look like and while it starts out focused on student plagiarism like most such discussions do — things like references alone don’t protect you from plagiarism, or the relationship between the punishment and professors’ willingness to call out the crime — it ends up in a different place:

In fact, whenever we discover plagiarism, we should think about the conditions under which the plagiarist is working. What is wrong with the plagiarist’s scholarly practices? If you discover plagiarism in your own work, or if one of your peers draws attention to inadequacies in your referencing (they may be too polite to call it plagiarism), think very seriously about how it happened. Don’t assume it’s a freak accident. Your research practices are supposed to avoid precisely such accidents. The most likely cause is that your research practices are not organized enough.

I just like this, because it doesn’t treat the student researcher/writer as an entirely different and separate thing than the professional or expert researcher/writer.  I like the connection being made here – scholarly processes are scholarly processes.  Good practice is good practice.

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