Plagiarism Policy

Introduction

This policy is aimed at our customers, including learners, who are delivering/enrolled on or have taken an ABMA approved qualification or unit. It sets out the process you should follow when conducting/undertaking ABMA assessments which includes, but is not limited to, examinations, coursework and portfolios of work.

It is also for use by our staff to ensure they deal with suspected plagiarism cases in a consistent manner.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the ABMA Malpractice and Maladministration Policy.

Centre responsibility

It is important that your learners are aware of the contents of this policy.

It is also important that members of your staff involved in the management, delivery, assessment and quality assurance of our qualifications are aware of the contents of this policy.

Review arrangements

We will review this policy annually as part of our self-evaluation arrangements and revise it as and when necessary, in response to customer and learner feedback or requests from, or good practice guidance issued by, the Regulatory Bodies (e.g. to align with any appeals and complaints process established by the Regulatory Bodies such as Ofqual), or other relevant bodies.

If you would like to feed back any views please contact us via the details provided at the end of this policy.

Definition of Plagiarism

Oxford Dictionaries (n.d.) defines ‘plagiarism’ as: “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own”.[1]

Equally, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to “plagiarise” means:

  • To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  • To use (another’s production) without crediting the source
  • To commit literary theft
  • To present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

Plagiarism, like copying, is cheating and is treated very seriously by ABMA Education. Plagiarism is listed as an example of malpractice under the ABMA Malpractice and Maladministration Policy, and any cases of suspected plagiarism will be treated as malpractice.

However,by accurately citing and referencing external sources, most cases of plagiarism can be avoided. Please see Appendix 1 for more information on citing and reference work.

Examples of Plagiarism

This includes, but is not limited to plagiarising/copying from:

  • the Internet,
  • a book,
  • an article,
  • classroom/teacher handouts, and/or
  • another learner.*

*Note that if one learner plagiaries the work of another, as we may not be able to ascertain who copied from whom, both learners will be investigated.

Plagiarism can be in the form of:

  • Handing in someone else’ work as your own,
  • Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving them due credit,
  • Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks,
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation,
  • Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit,
  • Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not,
  • direct copying from one or more sources,
  • re-ordering of source sections,
  • re-wording/rephrasing/paraphrasing sources,
  • fusing multiple sources together, and/or
  • any combination of the above.

Direct copying

 Direct copying means repeating what someone else has said/written word for word. Even if learners, for example, memorise definitions or sections from books which they have studied and then write down what they have memorised in an examination, this is still classed as plagiarism because they are essentially taking someone else’s work/ideas and passing them off as their own.[2] For example:

Original Source Plagiarised Work Submitted by Learner
Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is a function in organizations designed to maximize employee performance in service of their employer’s strategic objectives.

HR is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, focusing on policies and systems.

HR departments and units in organizations are typically responsible for a number of activities, including employee recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, and rewarding (e.g., managing pay and benefit systems).

HR is also concerned with industrial relations, that is, the balancing of organizational practices with regulations arising from collective bargaining and governmental laws.[3]

Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is a function in organizations designed to maximize employee performance in service of their employer’s strategic objectives.

HR is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, focusing on policies and systems.

HR departments and units in organizations are typically responsible for a number of activities, including employee recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, and rewarding (e.g., managing pay and benefit systems).

HR is also concerned with industrial relations, that is, the balancing of organizational practices with regulations arising from collective bargaining and governmental laws.

Re-ordering sections

Changing the order of sentences and/or paragraphs is still constituted as plagiarism as ultimately the learner is still taking someone else’s work/ideas and passing them off as their own.[4] For example:

Original Source Plagiarised Work Submitted by Learner
Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is a function in organizations designed to maximize employee performance in service of their employer’s strategic objectives.

HR is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, focusing on policies and systems.

HR departments and units in organizations are typically responsible for a number of activities, including employee recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, and rewarding (e.g., managing pay and benefit systems).

HR is also concerned with industrial relations, that is, the balancing of organizational practices with regulations arising from collective bargaining and governmental laws.[5]

Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is a function in organizations designed to maximize employee performance in service of their employer’s strategic objectives.

HR is also concerned with industrial relations, that is, the balancing of organizational practices with regulations arising from collective bargaining and governmental laws.

HR departments and units in organizations are typically responsible for a number of activities, including employee recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, and rewarding (e.g., managing pay and benefit systems).

HR is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, focusing on policies and systems.

Re-wording/rephrasing/paraphrasing sources

Although it may seem that by re-wording, rephrasing or paraphrasing a source material is not the same as copying, it is still plagiarism. Learners that use thesauruses to re-word, or choose to rephrase/paraphrase another body of work, are still taking someone else’s work/ideas and passing them off as their own.[6]

Original Source Plagiarised Work Submitted by Learner
Human resource management (HRM, or simply HR) is a function in organizations designed to maximize employee performance in service of their employer’s strategic objectives.

HR is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, focusing on policies and systems.

HR departments and units in organizations are typically responsible for a number of activities, including employee recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, and rewarding (e.g., managing pay and benefit systems).

HR is also concerned with industrial relations, that is, the balancing of organizational practices with regulations arising from collective bargaining and governmental laws.[7]

Human resource management (HRM, or HR) is a function in businesses designed to make the most of employee performance in terms of their employer’s strategic objectives.

HR is mainly preoccupied with how people are managed within organizations. HR consequently focuses on policies and systems.

HR departments and units in organizations are responsible for different activities, including:

·         performance appraisal,

·         training and development

·         employee recruitment, and

·         rewarding (for example, managing pay and benefit systems).

Human Resource also factors in industrial relations. I.e. HR manages business practices with regulatory guidelines which come from, for example, collective bargaining and the laws associated with country within which the business operates.

Fusing multiple sources together

Some people wrongly believe that copying from several different sources, rather than submitting one source in its entirety as their own work, does not constitute as plagiarism. To reiterate: plagiarism is when someone takes someone else’s work/ideas and passing them off as their own.[8] Even copying one sentence without referencing is classed as plagiarism. Consequently, copying from different source materials is still plagiarism. For example:

Original Source(s) Plagiarised Work Submitted by Learner
Source 1: Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. HRM can also be performed by line managers.[9] Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. HRM can also be performed by line managers.
Source 2: HR is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, focusing on policies and systems.[10] HR is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, focusing on policies and systems.
Source 3: Organizations have started to realize that their success is dependent on their ability to attract, develop, and retain talented employees. […] Long-term, sustained organization success in today’s changing and challenging world of work involves top management’s commitment to designing and implementing HRM programs […].[11] Organizations have started to realize that their success is dependent on their ability to attract, develop, and retain talented employees. Long-term, sustained organization success in today’s changing and challenging world of work involves top management’s commitment to designing and implementing HRM programs.
Source 4: Main aim of all organization should be to have a manageable and sustainable HR scorecard with visible and measurable KPIs. Provided KPIs include all possible aspects – internal and external – to HR strategy with aim to reach higher organization approach. However, continuous improvement in organization development can be supported by high level of organization culture which means better communication and stronger team work.[12] Main aim of all organization should be to have a manageable and sustainable HR scorecard with visible and measurable KPIs. Provided KPIs include all possible aspects – internal and external – to HR strategy with aim to reach higher organization approach. However, continuous improvement in organization development can be supported by high level of organization culture which means better communication and stronger team work.

What is collusion?

“Collusion is the act of collaborating with someone else on an assessment exercise which is intended to be wholly your own work, or the act of assisting someone else to commit plagiarism” (Maguire, 2003).[13]

In other words, if two or more learners submit work that they have done jointly (or in part jointly) when it should be each learner’s individual work, this is considered to be cheating. The same applies if different learners do separate parts of an assignment and put them together.

Collaboration vs. collusion

When learners working in groups are required to submit individual pieces of work they may find the difference between collaboration and collusion confusing.

It is important, therefore, that Centres make the distinction clear. This means supporting learners to collaborate effectively while explaining that submitting a piece of work done jointly as if it has been done individually (whether unintentionally or otherwise) is considered collusion and as such is subject to misconduct procedures.

On many occasions, as part of the learning process, learners will be instructed to work in groups in programmes of research or in the preparation of projects and similar assignments.

This is collaboration, and is a legitimate academic skill that they have to learn.

However:

  • Agreeing to hide someone else’s individual input to such collaboration, to secure a higher mark is collusion
  • Allowing someone to copy work, where learners know that they intend to submit it as though it were their own, is also collusion

Where learners are asked to work in groups and to collaborate in specified activities, centre staff should always make clear how individual input to such joint work is to be assessed and graded. Sometimes, for example, all members of a team may receive the same mark for a joint piece of work, on other occasions team members will receive individual marks, which reflect their individual input. All learners should be given clarification before submitting any assignment.

Tips for avoiding collusion

  • Never allow anyone to do all or part of your work for you
  • Never copy another learner’s work or part of another learner’s work
  • Do not try to disguise this by making some changes
  • Never pretend another person’s data or results are your own
  • Never allow anyone to copy your work or use your data–this is also collusion and you can be penalised for doing so

Group tasks

  •  If you are given a group task, be absolutely clear about what is expected from each person and      the way in which you should do the work for your part
  •  If you are not sure, ask your tutor

Group discussions and talking about topics and assignments

  • Learners are often asked to discuss or work together on things relating to their assignments in tutorials – this generates ideas and helps to deepen understanding
  • If you are unsure about how to relate these activities to your individual work, talk to the person who teaches you or to your tutor
  • Learners often talk about their work in other contexts outside class – again, if you are unsure about how to relate these activities to your individual work, talk to the person who teaches you or to your tutor
  • There may be circumstances where you want to include something said by another learner

How to avoid Plagiarism

Write original pieces of work

The most obvious way to avoid plagiarism is for learners to write original pieces of work. By being original and using their own words, learners will be submitting their own work for assessment.

 Learners must not allow another learner to copy their work

As mentioned above, if a learner has copied the work of another learner and has submitted that for assessment, both learners will be investigated for plagiarism as it is difficult to determine who copied from whom.

Consequently, to avoid this risk, learners should be vigilant and not allow another learner to copy their work.

Do not reproduce revision notes in an examination that more than one learner has had access to

If, when revising, a learner writes original revision notes, this learner is entitled to memorise their own notes.

Should, in an examination, the learner find an appropriate use for some memorised original revision notes and that those notes satisfy an examination question, then the learner can reproduce, from memory, their own notes in the examination.

However, there are instances when more than one learner has access to the same set revision notes. For example:

  • the teacher might supply learners with revision packs,
  • one learner may ask to share the revision notes of another, and/or
  • learners might work together to produce collaborative revision notes.

In this instance, should two or more learners who have had access to the same set of revision notes and have, as part of their revision, memorised these notes, and have reproduced the same notes, producing partly or wholly identical answers in an examination, their submissions will be flagged as suspected cases of plagiarism.

Consequently, to avoid this risk, learners should not reproduce revision notes in an examination which more than one learner has had access to.

 Quoting, referencing and citing sources

Sometimes it is essential to either quote or cite someone else’s work. This is permitted provided that the learner references whom they are quoting/citing. It is best practice to cite:

  • the name of the author,
  • the year of publication (if there is not a publication date then ‘n.d.’ should be used to signify ‘no date’),
  • the title of the body of work,
  • if the body of work is an article or a book chapter:
    • the name of larger body of work (i.e. book/journal title),
    • the name of the book editor(s) (if applicable),
    • the pages where the body of work appears within the larger body,
    • where applicable, the name of the book editor(s),
  • if the body of work is published online:
    • the name of larger body of work (i.e. main website),
    • full web address, and
    • date of access.

We recommend that learners cite using the Harvard Referencing system for consistency (see Appendix 1).

What is important to note, the learner must not cite large excerpts or large bodies of work in their entirety when engaging with another person’s work. They should only cite excerpts of sources to help them to illustrate or support the arguments that the learner themselves put forward.

In order to correctly quote/reference/cite another person’s work, as a minimum, the learner needs to make reference to the original author/theorist. Secondly, if the learner chooses to quote verbatim what the original author has stated/written, the learner should use quotation marks (“”) at the beginning and end of the quoted passage to indicate the full extent of the quoted passage, for example: Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization.[14] If, however, the learner is summarising the points made by the original author, quotation marks are not necessary, but they must still cite the name of the original author.

For example:

Source 1:
Author’s name:           Susan M. Heathfield

Article title:                  What is Human Resource Management?

Date of publication:    n.d. (no date)

Page number:             None (Internet resource)

Excerpt:                       Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. HRM can also be performed by line managers.[15]

Plagiarised/not cited: Correctly cited using quotation marks:
Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. HRM can also be performed by line managers. According to Susan Heathfield (n.d.), the function of HR is that it “focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization”. Heathfield goes on to argue that “HRM can also be performed by line managers”.
Correctly cited without using quotation marks:
Susan Heathfield (n.d.) argues that in terms of the people that organizations employ, Human Resources are expected to recruit, manage and direct these individuals. However, these tasks are not solely the responsibility of the HR function, Heathfield argues that line managers also play an HRM role.

Sometimes it might be appropriate to reference the book/body of work that the original author has written:

Source 2:
Author’s name:           Gabčanová  Iveta

Article title:                  Human Resources Key Performance Indicators

Date of publication:    2012

Page number: 127

Excerpt:                       Main aim of all organization should be to have a manageable and sustainable HR scorecard with visible and measurable KPIs. Provided KPIs include all possible aspects – internal and external – to HR strategy with aim to reach higher organization approach. However, continuous improvement in organization development can be supported by high level of organization culture which means better communication and stronger team work.[16]

Plagiarised/not cited: Correctly cited using quotation marks:
Main aim of all organization should be to have a manageable and sustainable HR scorecard with visible and measurable KPIs. Provided KPIs include all possible aspects – internal and external – to HR strategy with aim to reach higher organization approach. However, continuous improvement in organization development can be supported by high level of organization culture which means better communication and stronger team work. In the article, “Human Resources Key Performance Indicators”, Gabčanová Iveta (2012, p.127), states that the “main aim of all organization[s] should be to have a manageable and sustainable HR scorecard with visible and measurable KPIs”. Iveta claims that “continuous improvement in organization development can be supported by high level[s] of organization culture” resulting in “better communication and stronger team work”.
Correctly cited without using quotation marks:
In “Human Resources Key Performance Indicators”, Gabčanová Iveta (2012, p.127), suggests that organisations should have HR scorecards that are manageable, sustainable and have both visible and measurable KPIs. According to Iveta, high levels of organizational culture, facilitated by improved communications and team work, helps to promote continuous business improvement.

Consequently, to avoid the risk of being suspected of plagiarising published material, learners should always reference and cite their sources.

Avoiding accidental plagiarism

  • Keep track of your sources/print electronic sources
  • Keep sources in correct context
  • Plan ahead
  • Do not cut and paste: file and label your sources
  • Keep your own writing and your sources separate
  • Keep your notes and your draft separate
  • Paraphrase carefully in your notes; acknowledge your sources explicitly when paraphrasing
  • Avoid reading a classmate’s assessments for ‘inspiration’
  • Do not save your citations for later
  • Quote your sources properly
  • Always use quotation marks for directly quoted material, even for short phrases and key terms
  • Keep a source trail

Useful tutorials and exercises

There are exercises and tutorials on plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Useful tutorials include:

Useful exercises include:

Spotting plagiarism

Indication that a piece of work has been plagiarised include:

  • Unusual phrasing
  • Noticeable unevenness of style (some very sophisticated sentences followed by some amateurish ones)
  • Concepts that seem too sophisticated for the level of the individual
  • Unclear or incorrect sources listed in the bibliography
  • A writing style in a particular task or assignment that seems inconsistent with other samples of the learner’s work

There are also free and paid online services that can detect plagiarism from samples of learners’ work:

Investigating Plagiarism

As stated, plagiarism is listed as one of the examples that we will treat as malpractice. Consequently, should any learner be suspected of plagiarism, we will follow the investigations process as outlined in the ABMA Malpractice and Maladministration Policy.

Consequences of Plagiarism

If, following an investigation into a suspected case of plagiarism, learners are found to have plagiarised their work, they will be disqualified from that particular examination and any future ABMA examinations.

Appeals

Learners who have been disqualified as a result of the outcome of a plagiarism investigation can submit an appeal to ABMA. To submit an appeal, learners and/or their representatives must follow the appeals process as outlined in the ABMA Appeals Policy and must pay the appropriate appeals fee.

Contact us

If you have any queries about the contents of the policy, please contact our Regulatory Department at:

ABMA Education

7 Queens Square

Lyndhurst Road

Ascot

Berkshire

SL5 9FE

United Kingdom

 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8733 7000

E-mail: quality@abma.uk.com

Web: www.abma.uk.com

 

Appendix 1: Harvard Reference List Overview

Reference lists are created to allow readers to locate original sources themselves. Each citation in a reference list includes various pieces of information including the:

Name of the author(s) | Year published | Title | City published | Publisher | Pages used

Generally, Harvard Reference List citations follow this format:

  • Last name,
  • First Initial.
  • (Year published).
  • Title.
  • City:
  • Publisher,
  • Page(s).

Citations such as bibliographies are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If there are multiple sources by the same author, then citations are listed in order by the date of publication.

Harvard Reference List Citations:

Journal Articles:

  • Last name,
  • First initial.
  • (Year published).
  • Article title.
  • Journal,
  • Volume
  • (Issue).
  • Page(s).

 

Journal Articles found on a Database or on a Website:

  • Last name,
  • First initial.
  • (Year published).
  • Article Title.
  • Journal,
  • [online]
  • Volume
  • (Issue),
  • Pages.
  • Available at:
  • URL
  • [Accessed Day Mo. Year].
Newspaper Articles:

  • Last name,
  • First initial.
  • (Year published).
  • Article title.
  • Newspaper,
  • Page(s).

 

Newspaper Articles Found on a Database or a Website:

  • Last name,
  • First initial.
  • (Year published).
  • Article title.
  • Newspaper,
  • [online]
  • Page(s).
  • Available at:
  • URL
  • [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

 

 

[1] Oxford Dictionaries, n.d. Plagiarism. [online] Oxford Dictionaries. Available at: <www.oxforddictionaries.com/ definition/english/plagiarism> [Accessed 17 October 2014]. Hereafter: Oxford Dictionaries.

[2] Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.

[3] Wikipedia, n.d. Human Resource Management. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_ resource_ management> [Accessed 17 October 2014]. Hereafter: Wiki HR.

[4] Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.

[5] Wiki HR, n.d.

[6] Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.

[7] Wiki HR, n.d.

[8] Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.

[9] Heathfield, Susan M., n.d. What is Human Resource Management? [online] About.com. Available at: <http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossaryh/f/hr_management.htm> [Accessed 17 October 2014].

[10] Wiki HR, n.d.

[11] Sims, Ronald R., 2007. Effective Human Resource Management: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. In: Ronald R. Sims ed. 2007. Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing, pp. 3-36; p. 4.

[12] Iveta, Gabčanová, 2012. Human Resources Key Performance Indicators. Journal of Competitiveness, 4(1), pp.117-128; p. 127.

[13] Maguire, C. (2003). Guidance for BVC Providers: A Common Approach to Plagiarism and Collusion, London: Bar Council.

[14] Heathfield, n.d.

[15] Heathfield, n.d.

[16] Iveta, 2012, p. 127.

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