University Guidelines

Section 9. Plagiarism Policy
Effective: May 2009
Replaces:


9.1 Office of the President Plagiarism Policy

I. Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting another existing work, original ideas, or creative expressions as one’s own without proper attribution. Any ideas or materials taken from another source, including one’s own work, must be fully acknowledged unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered “common knowledge” may differ from subject to subject. To avoid plagiarizing, one must not adopt or reproduce material from existing work without acknowledging the original source. Existing work includes but is not limited to ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures. Examples of plagiarism, subject to interpretation, include but are not limited to directly quoting another’s actual words, whether oral or written; using another’s ideas, opinions, or theories; paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written; borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; and offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

II. Applicability

This policy applies to allegations of plagiarism involving administrators and staff assigned to the Office of the President in their normal course of work. The policy also applies to the Chancellors of SIUC and SIUE in the course of their administrative duties. This policy does not apply to former employees, nor is it applicable to allegations of plagiarism that involve academic or disciplinary work. Instances involving the latter shall be referred to the applicable academic unit for further action, if warranted.

III. Procedures and Guidelines

The Office of the President has daily interaction with the campus community and the public at large, and its administrators and staff are expected to perform their work with a high degree of professionalism and honesty. In this environment, the routine use of source material in a legitimate institutionalized context is a common and acceptable occurrence. However, such use must be in balance with the University’s prohibition against the misrepresentation of source material as one’s own in order to fraudulently advance one’s status within or outside the University. Therefore, upon consideration of the circumstances surrounding allegations of plagiarism, those allegations that are deemed to be of substance shall be handled in accordance with the following procedures:

Procedures in Cases of Suspected Plagiarism

1. Complaint Process: An individual who has a good faith belief that plagiarism may have been committed by a member of the Office of the President shall report the allegation to the Office of the President. The President or his/her designee shall initiate a timely review of the allegation in accordance with the procedures set forth herein.

2. Appointment of Inquiry Committee: Within ten (10) working days from the date an allegation is received, the President or his/her designee shall appoint an Inquiry Committee consisting of one senior staff member from the Office of the President, one tenured faculty member from SIUC, and one tenured faculty member from SIUE to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the complaint. The President or his/her designee shall meet with the Inquiry Committee to review the specific allegations and discuss the procedures to be followed in conducting the review. The Office of the General Counsel may be consulted on procedural issues throughout the inquiry process. The President or his/her designee shall then notify the accused in writing of the specific allegations, the names of the Inquiry Committee members, and the procedures to be used during the review and/or investigation.

3. Review of Allegations by Inquiry Committee: The Inquiry Committee shall make an initial determination as to whether the allegations raise a legitimate question of whether a violation of this policy has occurred. If the Inquiry Committee determines that the allegations warrant an investigation, the Inquiry Committee shall recommend such action to the President or his/her designee for further action in accordance with this policy. If the Inquiry Committee determines that the allegations are insufficient to raise a legitimate question of a violation of this policy and/or fall outside of the jurisdiction or scope of this policy, the President shall notify the complainant and the accused of this decision in writing and no further action shall be taken.

4. Investigation:

  1. Upon a finding by the Inquiry Committee and the President that there is sufficient evidence to initiate an investigation, the President or his/her designee shall conduct an investigation in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. The President or his/her designee shall notify the accused in writing of the specific allegations and the investigative process.
  2. The President or his/her designee shall create an Investigation Committee which shall consist of the following individuals appointed by the President or his/her designee: one senior staff member from the Office of the President, one tenured faculty member from SIUC, and one tenured faculty member from SIUE. The Investigative Committee may consist of the same individuals who served on the Inquiry Committee.
  3. The President or his/her designee shall meet with the Investigation Committee and review the specific allegations along with the applicable procedures under which to conduct the investigation. The Office of the General Counsel may be consulted for procedural issues, as necessary to assure that the process is conducted in accordance with substantive and procedural due process.
  4. The accused individual shall be informed in writing of the composition of the committee and the specific allegations stated against the accused. The Investigative Committee shall provide the accused with an opportunity to meet with the Investigative Committee to respond to the allegations, submit any and all relevant and material evidence on behalf of the accused, and provide names of other individuals who may have pertinent information. The Investigative Committee shall notify the accused of the meeting date and time no less than three (3) working days prior to the meeting. At the meeting, the accused shall have the right to bring a university representative or attorney to offer advice and support to the accused during the meeting. However, the representative or attorney shall not present evidence or speak on behalf of the accused during the meeting.
  5. At the conclusion of the investigative process, the Investigation Committee shall meet to review all relevant evidence obtained during the investigative process and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a violation of this policy. The Investigation Committee shall issue its determination and findings in a written report to the President or his/her designee.

5. Finding of Investigation Committee:

  1. If the Investigation Committee determines that the allegations are insufficient to support a violation of plagiarism, the President shall notify the complainant and the accused of the Investigation Committee’s findings and no further action shall be taken.
  2. If the Investigation Committee determines that there is sufficient evidence to support a violation of this policy, the Investigation Committee shall prepare a written report which includes a summary of the procedures used to conduct the investigation, the committee’s findings, and a recommendation(s) for appropriate action. The President or his/her designee shall review the Committee’s report and take action to either affirm, modify or reject the Investigation Committee’s findings and/or recommendation(s) in a separate written decision. The Investigation Committee’s report and the President’s decision shall be provided to the complainant, the accused, and the accused’s appropriate supervisor for further action in accordance with applicable University policies and procedures.

6. Request for Review:

  1. The accused shall have the right to seek a review of the Investigation Committee’s findings and/or the President’s decision by filing a written request for review to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees within five (5) working days from the date of receipt of the Investigation Committee’s report and the President’s decision. The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees shall meet with the Board of Trustees to review the evidentiary record at the next regularly scheduled meeting and either uphold or reverse the decision.
  2. The decision of the Board of Trustees shall be final for purposes of this review process. If a request for review is submitted, no action shall be taken against the accused until the review process is concluded.

7. Confidentiality:

  1. All stages of the review and investigative process shall be treated as entirely confidential to the extent allowable by law.
  2. The release or disclosure of any information obtained during the investigative process (including the inquiry and investigation stage) to anyone except those who are directly involved in an investigation is prohibited.
  3. The Office of the President shall take reasonable steps to ensure confidentiality; however, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
  4. A confidential record of the case shall be maintained by the Office of the President for a period of ten (10) years. The record shall contain any and all documentation and/or evidence relating to the review and investigation of the allegations, the findings of the committees, and the decision of the President or his/her designee. The record may be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel to ensure full compliance with legal requirements and observance of the rights of all parties involved. The record and all documentation therein shall be maintained for a period of no less than ten (10) years.

8. Chairperson Acting on Behalf of President: If an allegation of plagiarism is made against the President of the University, the above procedures shall be followed, except that the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees shall act in place of the President and the committees shall be expanded to include two members of the Board of Trustees.

9. Substantial Compliance: Substantial compliance with all of the procedures set forth in these Procedures shall be deemed full compliance if the party challenging the procedures has suffered no substantial harm caused by the actual procedure used. In any event, the review and/or investigation of an alleged violation of this policy shall be completed in no less than sixty (60) calendar days, unless additional time is required for good cause.

10. Retaliation: Retaliation against an individual who makes allegations or complaints of a violation of this policy, or who participates in an investigation, is prohibited. Retaliation is prohibited by University regulation and state and federal law, and can lead to disciplinary action independent of the allegations.

11. Malicious Claim in Bad Faith: It is a violation of this policy to allege, file, or raise a claim that is malicious in nature and lacks a good faith belief as to its truthfulness against members of the Office of the President or the Chancellors of the SIUC or SIUE campuses. If a violation of this section is committed, the University may initiate any and all appropriate action, including but not limited to disciplinary action against an employee or civil action against a member of the public.

12. Conflicting Provisions: Nothing in this policy should be construed or implemented in a manner which conflicts with contractual or statutory obligations of the University governing possible misconduct under funded research for externally funded research projects and/or applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Acknowledgement

Southern Illinois University hereby credits the following non-exclusive list of materials and resources in the drafting and implementation of the policies, procedures and guidelines within the institutionalized context of the development of institutional policies and related materials:

References and Selected Resources:

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  • Nelms, Gerald. Handouts for “Plagiarism as Educational Opportunity” Workshops, University Core Curriculum, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, October 2006.
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  • Sapp, David Alan. “Towards an International and Intercultural Understanding of Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty in Composition: Reflections from the People’s Republic of China.” Issues in Writing 13.1 (Fall/Winter 2002).
  • Scanlon, Patrick M. “Student Online Plagiarism: How Do We Respond?” College Teaching 51.4 (Fall 2003): 161-165.
  • Scanlon, Patrick.M. & David R. Neumann. “Internet Plagiarism Among College Students.” Journal of College Student Development 43 (May/June 2002): 375-384.
  • Scollon, R. (1995). Plagiarism and ideology: Identity in intercultural discourse. Language in Society, 24(1), 1-28.
  • Shei, Chris. “Chinese Learners and Plagiarism: Westernisation or Easternisation?” Newsletter (Northumberland) 1 (February 2006).
  • Shi, Ling. “Cultural Backgrounds and Textual Appropriation.” Language Awareness 15.4 (2006): 264-282.
  • Sowden, Colin. “Plagiarism and the Culture of Multilingual Students in Higher Education Abroad.” ELT Journal 59.3 (July 2005): 226-233.
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  • Taylor, F.K. “Cryptomnesia and Plagiarism.” British Journal of Psychiatry 111 (1965): 1111-1118.
  • Thompson, Lenora C., and Portia G. Williams. “But I Changed Three Words! Plagiarism in the ESL Classroom.” Clearing House 69.1 (September-October 1995): 27-29.
  • University of Indiana definition of plagiarism from the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, Part II, Student Responsibilities, Academic Misconduct, By action of the University Faculty Council (April 12, 2005) and the trustees of Indiana University (June 24, 2005.)
  • University of Tampere, School of Modern Languages and Translation Studies, Foundations in Area Studies for Translators. Retrieved November 14, 2005, from http://www.uta.fi/FAST/PK6/REF/commknow.html.
  • Whitley, Bernard E. Jr. “Factors Associated with Cheating Among College Students: A Review.” Research in Higher Education 39.3 (1998): 235-274.
  • Yanal, Robert. “Plagiarism” (PowerPoint Presentation). Wayne State University.
Last updated: 9 Sep 2013