Australian universities' plagiarism policies: moral gatekeeping or academic initiation?

Louise Kaktiņš

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


This paper provides an overview of plagiarism policies in Australian universities in the early 21st century. The plagiarism issue is addressed by universities in publicly available official policies and procedures, student handbooks, academic skills advice, and other associated peripheral documents. Whilst the extent of plagiarism issues being developed in such policies ranges from the perfunctory, minimalist and formulaic through to the extensive, detailed and in-depth, several particular aspects tend to be given prominence. These include: definitions of plagiarism; differentiated types of plagiarism; criteria assessing the "severity" of the plagiarism; ranges of penalties; and various other issues such as legalese, and cross-cultural concerns. An analysis of the register of the plagiarism policies focusing on the tenor of discourse complements this overview. In general, it appears that a particular academic gaze is operating throughout the discourse – one that is more punitive than educative, stereotyping students as cultural others. Nevertheless, some signs presage the emergence of a more pedagogical approach that supports greater inclusiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom policy to practice – bridging the gap
Subtitle of host publicationa collection of talks presented at the 6APCEI
EditorsAbhaya Nayak, Sonia Saddiqui
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherMacquarie University
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventAsia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (6th : 2013) - Sydney
Duration: 2 Oct 20134 Oct 2013


ConferenceAsia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (6th : 2013)


  • plagiarism
  • history of plagiarism
  • plagiarism definitions
  • Australian university policies
  • register
  • academic gaze


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