PLAGIARISM AT THE UNIVERSITIES OF ARMENIA.
UNRAVELING THE TANGLE
Yerevan, 22 September 2011
“Crossroads Debate Club” NGO
CONTRIBUTING FACTOR 1. UNAWARENESS
• There is no institutionalized approach/policy
toward plagiarism on the part of Universities
or the RA Ministry of Education and Science.
• Universities do not have formal procedures for
• As a rule, universities and professors view
instances of plagiarism as a form of minor
• Universities do not have courses of academic
• There are no alternative forms of transferring
information about plagiarism to students. At
best, students learn about plagiarism from
their supervisors, friends, Internet, etc.
• There remain persisting misperceptions about
plagiarism and principles of academic ethics
among students and even professors.
FACTOR 2. TRADITIONS DISCOURAGING
• Low expectations from papers (referat) and
course/diploma theses which are viewed as a
form of simple reproduction of existing
• “Top-down approach” in selection of themes
for course/diploma/master’s theses; lack of
interest in proposed (imposed) themes;
repetition of themes from one year to
• Prevalence of too broad and descriptive (as
opposed to argumentative) themes of papers,
• Ineffective supervision by professors.
• Roots of university plagiarism going back to
the secondary school (school referats/papers).
MEASURES FOR UNRAVELING THE TANGLE
1. Taking measures toward producing internal and
• Organize introductory lectures for first-year students on plagiarism
• Publish and distribute teaching materials with information about
• Organize PR initiatives toward raising awareness about plagiarism.
• Prepare specialists of academic writing; introduce courses of
academic writing at universities (long-term approach!).
• Adopt internal regulations for sanctioning plagiarism.
• Create electronic database of papers,
course/diploma/master’s theses written in the Armenian
• Popularize successful work (student conferences and
2. Making the written assignments student-oriented
• Make papers, course/diploma/master’s theses
argumentative and specific.
• Adopt bottom-up versus top-down approach in designating
• Make supervision and feedback of students’ written work
• Pay attention to the situation in the Secondary school.