Santa Clara University

Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley

Plagiarism Policy

 

Definition of Plagiarism

The presentation in one's own work of another's ideas, methods, research or words without proper acknowledgement constitutes plagiarism. This includes close paraphrasing as well as quoting entire lines of another's work, either verbatim or nearly verbatim of another's work.

The Manual for the Writers of Term Papers, 6th edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996) by Kate Turabian sets forth guidelines for proper acknowledgement in written work.

JST's General Procedure and Policy on the Handling of Incidents of Plagiarism

JST recognizes that plagiarism is a serious matter in the academic community and thus must be addressed when such incidents come to light. Yet, at the same time the faculty recognizes that there are various types and degrees of plagiarism, as well as other factors which come into play, such as the student's own academic background and/or lack of familiarity with American academic research and writing procedures, confusion or lack of precision in note-taking during research, etc. All of these aspects need to be taken into account in the handling of each instance of presumed plagiarism. Therefore, in addressing an instance of presumed or suspected plagiarism the faculty and administration of JST will use the following procedural guidelines:

  1. In an instance of suspected or presumed plagiarism the faculty member of the course involved will contact the student and indicate the nature of the suspected instance of plagiarism, as well as to inform the student of the intended action(s) the faculty member is considering taking.
  2. The student has the right to appeal the handling of the presumed case of plagiarism to the Dean of JST.
  3. If the appeal to the Dean is not satisfactory to the parties involved, the case may be ultimately appealed to a special grievance committee which is constituted and delegated for that purpose. The grievance committee will consist of the members of the Faculty Status Committee plus one faculty member suggested by the student involved and one faculty member suggested by the faculty professor involved.

Practical Guidelines and/or Sanctions

Recognizing the inherent complexity and possible mitigating factors involved in an individual case of plagiarism it is difficult to detail precise guidelines and sanctions for each possible instance. However, because of the seriousness of certain types of plagiarism, the following examples of plagiarism would carry these sanctions:

  1. In the case of a research paper in which significant sections of another's work (e.g., book, article, conference paper, etc.) are incorporated without attribution the faculty member may decide to give a failing grade for the paper and/or the course.
  2. In cases in which a paper is clearly and substantially copied from another source (such as from another student), the normal sanction would be failure in the course.
  3. In cases of a thesis in which significant sections of another's work (e.g., book, article, conference paper, etc.) are incorporated without attribution the normal sanction would be dismissal from the program without recourse to re-application or re-admission.

Other instances of plagiarism may be less serious and/or due to lack of familiarity with the mechanics of proper attribution, a misunderstanding of the nature of a research paper, and the like. In such cases, the faculty member will have to exercise prudential judgment, but may be guided by the following informal general guidelines:

  1. If the suspected instance of plagiarism is both minor and judged to be largely unintentional on the part of the student, the faculty member's action may be giving pedagogical input on the accepted academic protocols for attribution of sources (e.g., footnotes), and requiring a minor revision of the work submitted.
  2. In the case of a larger research paper or thesis chapter in which significant verbatim quotes are incorporated without proper attribution the paper or chapter: would be returned with the insistence that proper footnotes and references be added. In this more serious case the faculty member may want to add a sanction, such as a lower grade.
 
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