Drew professor shares $2M grant to fight plagiarism

Drew University English Professor Sandra Jamieson, Photo courtesy of the professor, June 2021.
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We’re being especially careful to attribute this one properly.  😉

From Drew University:

Drew University Professor Co-Director of $2M Research Grant
Seven-year project will focus on digital literacy and plagiarism

June 2021 – Drew University English Professor Sandra Jamieson is part of a research team that received a $2 million (CA $2.5 million) grant for research on digital literacy and plagiarism.

The grant, awarded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, funds a seven-year project, “Partnership on University Plagiarism Prevention,” focusing on how college students think about, use, and misuse digital sources in academic writing.

The grant specifically targets the integration of students in the research, allowing the bulk of the funds to be used to pay doctoral, masters, undergraduate, and postdoctoral student researchers across the project’s 34 partner institutions, including Drew.

The research team spans seven countries and will conduct research in English and French, allowing the project to explore the impact of linguistic, national, and cultural relationships to plagiarism.

It is led by Dr. Martine Peters at the University of Quebec en Outaouais, the University that received the grant, and includes 59 researchers and three co-directors, one on each continent. Jamieson is the U.S. co-director.

“I’ve been doing this research for more than a decade, but this grant is an affirmation of both the questions we are asking and our research method,” said Jamieson, who has been a part of Drew’s English faculty since 1993.

“Everyone has a story and a theory about plagiarism,” she added. “But there is very little transcontextual data about what students are doing and thinking as they write with sources. We are going to generate that data by studying students engaging with and discussing the use of digital sources in real time.”

Of particular note to Jamieson is the expanded scope and reach of this project compared to her past research, as part of The Citation Project.

The research team will span nine countries and conduct research in English and French, allowing the project to explore the impact of linguistic, national, and cultural relationships on plagiarism.

“The opportunity to learn about how students engage with sources in different countries and contexts is a game changer,” she said.

Once complete, the project’s findings will be used to develop pedagogies designed to reduce plagiarism.

“As a teacher, I want students to be empowered to engage with the ideas of others and have the ability to respond in ways that challenge them to think more deeply,” said Jamieson.

“As a researcher, I want to find out how they develop this skill and how we can teach it more effectively. This engagement is the absolute opposite of plagiarism, which is why this grant is so important.”

This article has been updated with additional details about Canada’s role in this project.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I hope the student population being studied includes a subset of mainland Chinese-born students studying in the United States. Plagiarism is encouraged in China and this spills overs to students and researchers who study / work here in the United States. As a manager in a scientific field I have seen this first hand multiple times and is often easy to identify as perfectly written paragraphs and linked sequentially via poorly written sentences as one example. When challenged on the plagiarism, these workers tend to become very aggressive, very quickly, which is why many managers just tend to not deal with this problem and the grief that goes with it. As a best practice I tend to ignore published scientific papers where the majority of authors are Chinese, as I may as well just go to the primary sources that were plagiarized in the first place. This is a well-known problem and many examples / commentary can be found on the Internet. Good luck to the professor in this work.

  2. Everyone has a story and a theory about plagiarism. But there is very little transcontextual data about what students are doing and thinking as they write with sources.

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