Article published in:Multiple Perspectives on L1 and L2 Academic Literacy in Asia Pacific and Diaspora Contexts
Edited by Xiaoming Li and Christine Pearson Casanave
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 15:1] 2005
► pp. 15–29
The tangled web
Internet plagiarism and international students’ academic writing
This study explores the notion of plagiarism and the Internet from 11 English as Second Language (ESL) teachers and 186 first-year ESL students at South-Coast University in Melbourne, Australia. Data collection was by a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews, and coded using SPSS and N*Vivo software to ascertain trends in response. The most significant difference in response related to the concept of the Internet as copyrightable space. ESL teachers in this study regarded cyberspace as a limitless environment for ‘cut and paste’ plagiarism in students’ academic writing, whereas ESL students considered the Internet a ‘free zone’ and not governed by legal proprietary rights. These conflicting views, it is suggested, relate to differing notions of authorship and attribution: the Romantic notion protected by legal theory and sanctions versus literary theory and techno-literacy notions of authorship. This research highlights the need to reformulate plagiarism policies in light of global and technological perspectives of authorship and attribution of text.
Published online: 30 June 2005
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