Education/Newsletter/November 2013/Plagiarism study results released
One complaint we've heard from many English Wikipedia experts is that students in the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada often plagiarized in the articles they created or expanded for Wikipedia as part of their class assignments. While plagiarism is certainly a widespread problem throughout academia worldwide, we had heard anecdotally from several professors that the Wikipedia assignment led to less plagiarism than they were used to in their classes. So we investigated by doing a larger plagiarism study comparing our students' work to that of other new editors and experienced editors. While caveats apply, we found that students plagiarize less than other new editors, but more than experienced editors. See the results.
In light of the plagiarism research reported last month, we've updated the guidance we offer students during the online training with a new video. Many students struggle to understand how close is too close when it comes to paraphrasing, or fail to understand how important it is to properly attribute quotations to appropriate sources. This video clearly explains what plagiarism is, why it's bad for Wikipedia, and what happens when editors get caught plagiarizing. Watch the video.