Ofqual – the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator – has issued advice to students, parents and teachers on citing information sources appropriately to avoid plagiarism.
Produced in association with PlagiarismAdvice.org this series of guides is aimed at those in schools who are concerned about falling foul of plagiarism within coursework and assessments.
The advice for students – Using sources : a guide for students : find it, check it, credit it – refers them to the Internet Detective and the Internet for Image Searching as key tools for evaluating information online.
The guidance embraces the realities of the Internet age, recognising that students will use Google and Wikipedia, but encourages them to check their facts, be aware of bias and give credit where it is due.
It also refers to the Wikipedia selection for schools – a “free, hand-checked, non-commercial selection from Wikipedia, targeted around the UK National Curriculum” – a good example of how the academic world can engage with Web 2.0 sources.
While this advice is aimed at those in schools, University academics concerned at the rise of a “cut and paste” culture will be grateful that this issue is being tackled and may reflect that this guidance would be of use to many undergraduates as well.