Technology and Plagiarism Issues

Has the Internet caused a rise in plagiarism?  This question turned accusation has grown in interest and intensity since the Internet reached an audience of 10 million users in 1996.  This is about the same time that articles began to appear online warning instructors of how students could use the Internet to plagiarize such as Jane McKenzie’s now classic, “The New Plagiarism: Seven Antidotes to Prevent Highway Robbery in an Electronic Age.” 

While student cheating and plagiarizing has a long and well established history that predates the Internet, there is no denying that writing with technology has impacted access and use of information.  On the one hand, the positive result of writing with technology has been an increase in writing and revision.  The negative consequence has been the explosion of what some call the cut and paste generation faced with the ever present temptation to use the words, images, and ideas of others without proper attribution. 

The resources presented in the WID Studio take the perspective that the merging of technology, writing, and research has brought new opportunities for involvement, collaboration, and distribution and well as new challenges for conducting responsible research.  These challenges require one to understand what is happening online where vast amounts of information are accessible, and the space between users, audience, and authors has merged and blurred.  Consequently, the WID Studio embraces the ideas and technologies of Web 2.0 as we present responsible research resources for the GW community, or what we’re calling “Research 2.0.”

Web 2.0 is a concept coined by Tim O’Reilly to mean the many layers and dimensions of interconnectivity now operating on the Internet.  Some might say that if the early days of the Internet (Web 1.0) was about access to static content, the Internet today (or Web 2.0) is more about collaborative content aided by tools that facilitate social networking and many- to-many content generation.

To help explain the concept, in 2007, Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University made a video titled “Web 2.0, The Machine is Us/ing Us,” that he released on YouTube. 


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