Plagiarism strikes again


The 3rd international plagiarism conference in Newcastle was OK. I am trying to summon up more enthusiasm than that, but can’t quite manage it. I enjoyed it, met some great people, it was well organised and so on (apart from the horrible lack of sockets for my poor eeepc!!) but I wasn’t as inspired as I have been at previous conferences. This could be because the field hasn’t moved on much since last time but I suspect it was mostly to do with web 2.0 discussions.

There were several speakers who tried to address the issue, Jamie O’Connell from Acumen PI ( showed the Micheal Wesch video on hypertext, which admittedly, not everyone had seen, then actually mentioned that communication was changing (yes!) and ‘lots of people’ were using twitter (hurray!!). However, when I shouted out and asked him for his twitter ID, he said it was MrBeaver.


The message about online identity management still has a long way to go then….. Jamie, this stuff isn’t just for you young funky people – I thought that was the point of the presentation?!

Gerry McKiernan, Iowa State university, gave a great presentation about disruptive technologies (re-mix, re-use, re-new), including lots of stuff from horizon 2008, but just as he was getting going, he stopped short of what for me is the real message – will we care about plagiarism when web 2 really takes over? Who should we attribute in the traditional way when 10 people have collaboratively authored a document online? How will students who work collaboratively be assessed individually?

it’s fine to talk about web 2, but I still feel that it is an experiential technology, and I am not sure that either presenter demonstrated that they were under the skin of these things. Garry Allen was closer in many ways. He admitted to finally getting a facebook account when he realised that RMIT Melbourne’s internet traffic bill had doubled in the last academic year and the largest proportion of that traffic was going to facebook. He recognised that experience was key to understanding.


3 thoughts on “Plagiarism strikes again”

  1. That’ll teach me to blurt out my twitter account details huh 🙂
    Until I added you I only used twitter for keeping up with absent friends.

    It’s always a challenge at conferences like this to know what level to pitch things. Some you have to describe what a blog and wiki are whilst at others there are tech savvy folk like yourself.

    How about we collaborate on a presentation next time and pitch it for a more informed deligate?

  2. Perhaps it was the fact it was my first conference, but I came home very much inspired and very enthused about what I had learned. I had a great time, met some wonderful people and learned a lot. I can’t really ask for anything more.

    I’ll grant that some of the talks didn’t go into territory that I thought would be interesting, but time was limited and I am hard pressed to think of any speech I attended that didn’t interest me at the end of the day. I can safely say that I carried something away from all of them.

    Still, you’ve given me some great food for thought when thinking about my talk for the 2010 speech. I’m definitely going to weigh this in.

    Finally, I agree wholeheartedly about the issue with the outlets and, to a lesser degree, the wifi. They were my only complaints and both are minor.

    However, the EeePCs shall rule the day!!!

  3. Jamie: Thanks for your comments. I agree that it is hard to pitch these things right, there is always a great variety of staff in the audience at the plagiarism conference, some are eLearning staff and therefore well ahead of the game, though others may be researchers in a different field, or registry staff. However, there is an important point here that I was trying to make, and I’m glad you got, that online identity management is an issue – don’t talk about anything in public that you aren’t willing to be called on!! You can always set up multiple accounts, I have a twitter account for colleagues, and another for supporting students.Thanks for reading and commenting though, the conversation is what web 2.0 is all about!!

    Jonathan: I’m really glad you enjoyed it, and I think it is a sign that perhaps I’ve been in the field too long and had my day of inspiration!!


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