Learning about plagiarism through information literacy:

a fusion of subject and information management teaching at Imperial College London

Debbi Boden

Sue Holloway


Teaching students about plagiarism is more than teaching them the difference between right and wrong, between collusion and collaboration or between cheating and good academic practice. A really effective anti-plagiarism programme needs to address the main causes of plagiarism by teaching students about information management.

Including anti-plagiarism teaching as a key element in an IL teaching programme, and embedding it within an academic course, empowers students to become independent learners. It encourages them to consider the value of information, the quality of resources, the effectiveness of their search and the importance of good citation practice throughout the production of a piece of work. Acquiring the skills to weave secondary research into the student’s own hypothesis has to be designed into the course. Although it could be argued that the explosion in the amount of information available to students has led to an increase in plagiarism, effective teaching can illustrate how new technologies can be used to help students avoid accidental plagiarism, and to enhance their work. Who then is best placed to deliver IL teaching? The answer is Information Professionals. Ask your Librarian!

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.