The effect of a penalty tariff on Consistent decision making in cases of student plagiarism

Jude Carroll

Diane Seymour


Consistent penalty decisions once cases have been confirmed are frequently advocated in the literature on institutional management of student plagiarism. This paper looks at a range of actions in one UK University designed to improve consistency. It evaluates the impact of introducing a tariff system where penalties are assigned depending on the level of severity of the breach of academic regulations. The authors consider whether introducing the tariff has improved consistency and interview decision-makers to establish the criteria they use when allocating punishments. Benefits of the tariff are described as well as the need for more discussion between decision-makers as to the way the tariff is applied and the sometimes individual criteria used to choose an appropriate penalty.

This paper was submitted to the International Integrity & Plagiarism Conference which ran between 2004-2014. The paper was peer reviewed by an independent editorial board and features in the conference proceedings.