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The Partnership on University Plagiarism Prevention (PUPP)

Project funder

Social Sciences and Humanities Research, Council of Canada

Project team

Coventry University team
Dr Dimitar Angelov, Dr Irene Glendinning

Canadian Federation of Students, Cankkale Onsekiz Mart University, Cape Breton University, Corporation des Bibliothecaires Professionels du Quebec, Drew University, Duquesne University, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, European Network for Academic Integrity, European Students Union, First Nations University of Canada, Georgia Southern University, Governors of the University of Alberta, Loyola University, Mendel University in Brno, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, St Johns University, Thompson Rivers University, Universite de Moncton, Universite de Montreal, Universite de Sherbrooke, Universite du Quebec en Outaouais, Universite due Quebec, Universite due Quebec a Montreal, Universite Laval, Universite Toulouse – Jean Jaures, University College of the North, University of Alberta, University of Derby, University of Maribor, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Porto, University of Victoria, Yeshiva University. 

Project value


Project objectives

The advent of technologies, word processing software and the web has transformed the writing process for 21st century university students. They now have access to a wide range of new technologies to write their assignments. The increased use of the web as a source of information is enriching, but poses significant challenges: how to find relevant information in this unprecedented mass of information, how to integrate it properly into written work and, above all, how to reference it according to academic standards? Although plagiarism existed before technology, it has nevertheless increased with the culture of copy and paste, combined with access to the web. In this era of Web 2.0, many students are wrongly convinced that copying what is on the web without noting its source is not unethical. Plagiarism is therefore often a blatant sign of deep deficiencies in students' informational, writing and referencing skills. A real scourge in the world of education, plagiarism is constantly on the rise in universities around the world. In this context, it is essential and urgent that the university community be able to better identify the gaps that lead students to plagiarism.

The Partnership on University Plagiarism Prevention (PUPP) team, composed of 59 researchers and collaborators from various disciplines, and from 34 partners, focuses on an international strategy for the prevention of plagiarism in universities. The PUPP is proposing a unique research project on the use of digital scrapbooking strategies (DSS) by students and professors to determine how teaching and learning these strategies can prevent plagiarism. DSS facilitate searching the web for information, integrating this information into the writing process, and referencing the authors used in producing written assignments at universities.

The multidisciplinary project designed by the PUPP is divided into two phases. First, the team will provide an overview of the use and teaching of DSS at the university level and then examine the effect of teaching DSS on students. The general objectives of the project are as follows:

  1. Identify the DSS used and taught at the
  2. Compare the use and teaching of DSS according to country, culture, program, and knowledge of first and second languages.
  3. Identify Identify which DSS should be prioritized for teaching in order to foster integrity and reduce plagiarism, according to country, culture, program, and knowledge of first and second languages.
  4. Examine the impact of teaching those DSS considered as priorities on reducing plagiarism in students'

In parallel with the proposed research project, the PUPP will lead activities in mobilization, dissemination, and knowledge co-production to train professors in the use and teaching of DSS. A body of innovative practices will be developed and widely disseminated. Webinars, summer institutes, and conferences will be offered during the seven years of the project.

Through its highly innovative approach, the PUPP moves away from punitive plagiarism strategies to focus on preventing this scourge. This research project will therefore be able to enrich the social sciences and humanities with unpublished information on the DSS used and taught at the university. In addition, the PUPP will be able to offer pedagogical solutions that enable students to acquire the skills they need to write effectively and with integrity in a digital environment.

Expected outputs

  • Knowledge creation, intellectual outcomes (Audiences -- academic sector/peers, including scholarly associations) - To our knowledge, no research of this magnitude has yet been conducted on the use of digital scrapbooking strategies in the overall process of writing academic work. The results that will come from the empirical data collected will offer an important scientific contribution regarding the habits of students and professors, from different disciplines, cultures and languages.
  • Enhanced research collaboration (Audiences -- academic sector/peers, including scholarly associations) - The PUPP, this international and interdisciplinary research collaboration will allow the team's researchers to examine different aspects of academic integrity. All researchers and collaborators will be able to share tasks and resources and benefit from constructive discussions on different research techniques and approaches to data analysis.
  • Students will benefit from various types of supervision from an international research community that will lead them to reflect, exchange and learn about conducting rigorous research. As for the young researchers in the team, they will benefit from the expertise of more experienced researchers to hone their skills. In addition, all will have the opportunity to gain a field perspective, thanks to the team's collaborators.
  • New or enhanced partnerships (Audiences -- academic sector/peers, including scholarly associations) - A strong and mutually beneficial partnership for partners and team members will A) address the problem of academic plagiarism and provide tangible solutions for partners, faculty and students across a wide range of universities, cultures, languages, and countries; B) focus on promoting a culture of integrity worldwide; C) foster the sharing of knowledge and expertise and the strengthening of relationships between partners and team members.
  • Social outcomes (Audiences -- students) - The PUPP will provide guidance on the use of digital scrapbooking strategies and the development of information retrieval, writing and document referencing skills in a technological context for university students of all types: Aboriginal, Anglophone, Francophone, Foreign language students, from majority or minority backgrounds, from different cultures and countries. The PUPP team will provide advice to students on best practices to promote when writing their work in order to succeed in their studies with integrity.
  • Enhanced policy (Audiences -- postsecondary institutions) - The PUPP will propose solutions to the shortcomings of students that lead them to plagiarize. Partner universities will be able to improve their programs and enhance their policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Institutions will be able to move from a punitive approach to plagiarism to a preventive, more supportive and educational approach. Finally, they will be able to train their professors to become integrity ambassadors.
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