Seeds of Change: Pruning Perceptions of Plagiarism into Ethical Behavior for STEM Students


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Seeds of Change: Pruning Perceptions of Plagiarism into Ethical Behavior for STEM Students
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Conference Papers
Leonard, Michelle
Bennett, Denise
Johnson, Margeaux
Royster, Melody
Buhler, Amy
ALA Annual Conference 2013- STS Research Program
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ALA Annual Conference - STS Research Program Chicago, IL 2013
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Michelle Foss.
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University of Florida
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Seeds of Change : Pruning Perceptions of Plagiarism into Ethical Behavior for STEM Students INTRODUCTION FINDINGS CONCLUSIONS BIBLIOGRAPHY & ACKNO WLEDGEMENTS Issues of academic integrity are well documented nationally in all disciplines, especially in engineering, which has one of the highest rates of infractions (McCabe, 1997). In collaboration with internationally renowned academic integrity scholar, Dr. Donald McCabe, science librarians at the University of Florida designed a survey to gauge perceptions of academic integrity (including data falsification data, data fabrication, plagiarism, cheating) among the departments they serve. This poster will share the methodology, quantitative results, and qualitative responses to the survey. We will also share the practical outreach efforts created in response to the complex issues raised by this assessment. The impact from this Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) experts, which has forged new partnerships In response to the concerns expressed in the survey, science librarians identified specific needs related to ethics training in STEM disciplines. This assessment laid the groundwork for the development of instructional services, campus wide discussions, and lasting partnerships. A wide range of activities [below left] resulted from our exploration of the perceptions of plagiarism. Furthermore, the environmental scan of our campus helped us to identify collaborative opportunities across campus. [below right] The library has a heightened profile as a campus leader in teaching students about responsible research practices. After analyzing the results of the UF STEM survey and comparing it to his previous survey results, Dr. McCabe concludes that UF STEM students do see plagiarism as a bigger issue than national norm. Furthermore, based on open ended student responses, faculty could be doing more to reduce cheating both through education and security. (McCabe, 2011). The arc of our work began with the survey of graduate students to inform the development of the Gaming Against Plagiarism (GAP) game. The survey exposed underlying issues to address on our campus. Through the survey activities and game development, many campus agencies have recognized our expertise and invited us to form partnerships. We now collaborate with activities such as RCR training and presentations at seminars and orientation events. We recommend launching a survey to open a dialog on other campuses. McCabe, D. L. (1997). Classroom cheating among natural science and engineering majors Science and Engineering Ethics 3(4), 433 445. McCabe, D. L. (2005). Cheating among college and university students: A North American perspective. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 1(1), 2/16/2010. McCabe, D. L. (2011). Frontiers of Ethics in Academia: best practices nationally and University of Florida. Gainesville, FL. September 27, 2011. McCabe, D. L., Trevino, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (2001). Cheating in academic institutions: A decade of research. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 219 232. National Academy of Sciences. (1995). On being a scientist: Responsible conduct in research (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. We would like to acknowledge the work of Dr. Don McCabe on the survey design and analysis. SURVEY DISTRIBUTION Michelle Leonard, Denise Bennett, Margeaux Johnson, Melody Royster, and Amy Buhler University of Florida, Marston Science Library Collaborations or partnerships: Dean of Students Office Graduate Student Organizations I cubed STEM Faculty and Graduate Students Center for Undergraduate Research Honors Department Academic Integrity Taskforce International Center Technical Writing Students Pre collegiate Training Program New approaches/methods to instruction: Educational game Gaming Against Plagiarism Clickers in workshops Case Study discussions Science Librarians surveyed STEM graduate students to gauge their understanding of and experience in ethical conduct of research, especially plagiarism, as part of a campus wide effort to help fulfill the requirements of new federal legislation (America COMPETES Act) on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The support of STEM department chairs, who distributed the survey via graduate student listservs, was invaluable and ensured an excellent response rate of 19%. Over 600 STEM students responded with profound insights. Questions included demographics, identification of misconduct, and qualitative comments reflecting on personal experiences with research integrity. The survey results provided baseline data for a multidisciplinary team of science librarians, faculty and staff to design an online game ( GAP/ ) to teach students about an uncomfortably common problem, plagiarism. Activities and services: RCR workshops RCR and Ethics Libguides Dean of Students Office Remediation Workshops Ethics Week Programs Course Integrated Plagiarism Instruction Presentations at Teaching Symposiums, Research Groups, Graduate Seminars, and Undergraduate Research Days Graduate Student Orientations Semester long Research Ethics Class ARL SPEC Survey (in progress) PERCEPTIONS OF SERIOUS MISCONDUCT learned some or a lot through discussing policies in class, course syllabi, and course outlines. However, 82% stated they learned little or nothing from the library/librarian. ANALYSIS OF OPEN END ED RESPONSES REPOSTIONING OF LIBR ARIANS of students have reported peers for plagiarizing an assignment. Perceptions of U.S. v. International student misconduct 20 20 20 students noted a difference in culture or behavior between U.S. and International students. 12 12 12 implied that International students plagiarize or cheat more. 7 7 7 used a neutral tone, observing that differences exist or stating that International students do not know the guidelines practiced in the U.S. 1 1 1 related that U.S. researchers had plagiarized. Personal encounters with academic integrity violations 8 8 8 graduate students provided anecdotes of researchers plagiarizing, stealing, or condoning stealing. 7 7 7 noted the fine lines between teaching vs. giving answers or problems with helping others until they realized their beneficiaries were simply copying. 37 37 37 reported observing plagiarism or cheating in their roles as TAs. Most also lamented that their instructors were unwilling to pursue violators. to be a workshop for grad students on the different citation methods and examples of how to cite books, journals, magazines, clearly, students might follow foreign professors in terms of plagiarism (some professors think that its fine to put their name on a research paper that STEM graduate students completed the survey. completed their undergraduate degree at a U.S. institution. were aware of the UF Honor Code regarding academic honesty, but few had learned much. used a bibliographic citation management software of students think plagiarism is a serious problem @ UF of students reported that someone had taken credit for or plagiarized their work in the past