Postgraduate researcher plagiarism process

UQAC and APRC have approved a two-pronged approach for dealing with plagiarism in PGR theses. These changes are effective from the 2011/12 academic year onwards. 

Formative process

The supervisory team should play a primary role in educating PGRs about plagiarism, ensuring they have the necessary referencing and academic writing skills to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

Building on the existing progress monitoring system required by University regulations, the University has recommended that PGRs submit at least one ‘interim’ report to Turnitin, the outcome of which is to be discussed with the supervisory team and briefly reported upon in a GRS3 or equivalent.

Compulsory summative process

The Notice of Intention to Submit form (Word - 18KB) has been modified so that both the PGR and lead supervisor’s signatures are required. As University regulations outline that the decision to submit the thesis for examination rests solely with the postgraduate researcher, wording has been included making clear that by signing the form supervisors are not confirming that the thesis is fit for submission. Instead they are merely acknowledging that they are aware of their PGR’s intention to submit. A statement has been added to the form making clear to the PGR that their thesis will be run through Turnitin.

When PGRs register they are asked to agree to the University’s terms and conditions; this includes the right to submit work to reasonable checking such as the use of electronic detection software. However, to make this completely clear we ask that Schools ensure that in the documentation provided to PGRs at the start of each academic year it is stated explicitly their theses may be run through Turnitin by the School at any point in their registration period and that checking through Turnitin of the final exam copy is mandatory.

Useful documents

Any questions regarding Turnitin can also be directed to the TEL Hub (telhub@contacts.bham.ac.uk).

Any questions regarding PGR plagiarism or requests for further guidance should be directed to Claire Evans, Head of Research Student Administration (c.e.evans@bham.ac.uk).