Technology and academic virtue: Student plagiarism through the looking glass [Book Review]

Ethics and Information Technology 6 (4):271-277 (2004)
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Plagiarism is the misuse of and failure to acknowledge source materials. This paper questions common responses to the apparent increase in plagiarism by students. Internet plagiarism occurs in a context – using the Internet as an information tool – where the relevant norms are far from obvious and models of virtue are difficult to identify and perhaps impossible to find. Ethical responses to the pervasiveness of Internet-enhanced plagiarism require a reorientation of perspective on both plagiarism and the Internet as a knowledge tool. Technological strategies to “catch the cheats” send a “don’t get caught” message to students and direct the limited resources of academic institutions to a battle that cannot be won. More importantly, it is not the right battleground. Rather than characterising Internet-enabled plagiarism as a problem generated and solvable by emerging technologies, we argue that there is a more urgent need to build the background conditions that enable and sustain ethical relationships and academic virtues: to nurture an intellectual community.



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Author Profiles

Cynthia Townley
Macquarie University
Mitch Parsell
Macquarie University

Citations of this work

Social networking technology and the virtues.Shannon Vallor - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 12 (2):157-170.
Plagiarism: Words and ideas.Mathieu Bouville - 2008 - Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (3):311-322.

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References found in this work

Trust and antitrust.Annette Baier - 1986 - Ethics 96 (2):231-260.
Trust as an affective attitude.Karen Jones - 1996 - Ethics 107 (1):4-25.
On the emotional character of trust.Bernd Lahno - 2001 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (2):171-189.
The use and abuse of metatags.Richard A. Spinello - 2002 - Ethics and Information Technology 4 (1):23-30.
The impact of the internet on our moral lives in academia.Lawrence M. Hinman - 2002 - Ethics and Information Technology 4 (1):31-35.

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