Using the Plagiarism Reference Tariff


Our project to use Plagiarism Reference Tariff  (link to .pdf) on some real plagiarism case data is now complete and in collaboration with Dr Jon Scott and Margaret Green in Adelaide (UNISA) we have submitted a paper for the 5th Asian Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity based on the results of the study.

‘Investigating the use of the Plagiarism Reference Tariff’


The Benchmark Plagiarism Tariff (Tennant & Rowell, 2010) was developed in response to concerns regarding the variability of treatment meted out in cases of plagiarism in the higher education sector. This Tariff allocates scores to specific factors such as history, level and extent of the plagiarism and establishes a proposed Tariff of penalties based on those scores. This paper reports on a retrospective review of 155 cases of plagiarism from 9 HE institutions from the UK and Australia. Each case was evaluated using the Tariff and the proposed penalty compared with the actual penalty awarded. When penalties were compared in absolute terms, only 54% matched overall and there was significant variation between institutions. The areas of mismatch are discussed and also types of case, such as collusion identified where the Tariff is not effective. Nonetheless, the Tariff does provide a useful benchmark for giving equivalent weight to different cases within and between institutions and offers the potential for application of a consistent range of penalties 

This work will also be discussed at the ASKe 5th annual plagiarism conference on 9th June 2011 at Oxford Brookes University.


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