SAN ANTONIO — Their goal was an honor code that discouraged cheating and plagiarizing.
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However, the wording in a draft by students at the University of Texas at San Antonio appears to match another school's code — without proper attribution.
The student currently in charge of the honor code project said it was an oversight, but cheating experts say it illustrates a sloppiness among Internet-era students who don't know how to cite sources properly and think of their computers as cut-and-paste machines.
"That's the consequence of the Internet and the availability of things," said Daniel Wueste, director of the Rutland Institute for Ethics at Clemson University. "It doesn't feel like what would be in a book. You Google it and here it comes."
Student Akshay Thusu said that when he took over the project a month ago he inherited a draft by earlier project participants, including a group of students who attended a conference five years ago put on by The Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson.
Materials from the conference, which are used by many universities, were probably the main source of UTSA's proposed code, Thusu said. That's why parts of the Texas draft match word-for-word the online version of Brigham Young University's code.
BYU credited the Center for Academic Integrity, but the San Antonio draft doesn't.
That will change, said Thusu, who plans to include proper citation and attribution when the draft is submitted to the faculty senate.
"We don't want to have an honor code that is stolen," Thusu said.
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