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  #1  
Old 02-03-2006, 12:33 AM
Mysterious Mysterious is offline
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Default Science Fair Rules: Plagiarism

I know that the rules about plagiarism are very strict for science fairs. What counts as plagiarism? If you take a science fair experiment from here or from another website, does that count as plagiarism? I think that it is plagiarism, but everyone does it. Would it still count as plagiarism if you take the experiment, but add more stuff to it and change a few things? Technically if someone does that, he or she can just say that the website "inspired" them to do the project instead of saying that he or she plagiarised because a few changes were made based upon the experiment.

Can someone please clarify the definition of plagiarism for science fairs? There are a ton of other websites on the internet giving suggestions for science fair topics. And of course, students take the topics and follow step by step. Isn't that plagiarism? Or does it not count because students write their own research paper and re-word the experiment on their abstracts?
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:46 PM
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Arrow hm...

i think what plaigarism might mean is that when you take the exact words from a experiment. see, if someone suggests you a project, they might give you a problem and hypothesis, well, you have to put everything in your own words. also if you have instructions fro your project, you should put them in your own words for your procedure.

hope it helped!
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:52 PM
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Wink Plagarism

Hello.
That is correct. You can use someone's idea, and modifying it is always a good thing. If you got your idea from a website, be sure to include the address in your bibliography.

Yours truly,
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:50 AM
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Thumbs up

True, you can look on the internet and finda science fair you like then do it... then after you canlokk on the internet again to see how others results on that same experiment but don't change your results and don't copy the hypothesesis or anything. It is based upon what you know. Now I'm not sayung that you can't do some research but just make sure your doing it by yourself and your thoughts.

PS good luck
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:57 PM
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Also, changing parts of experiments is a great way of getting a new science fair project. People like me dislike using cliched science experiments done many times found 1000000000 times on the web. So my science teachers tell me just look at some good experiments and change the variables, or some part of the procedure. It's done by professional scientists to validate each other's results.
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Old 03-14-2006, 05:11 AM
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I'm a science teacher in California who's had this problem quite often. About a third of my students copied their research reports from the Web in my first year. They don't do that nearly as often now that I use [URL="http://www.plagiarismchecker.com/"]PlagiarismChecker.com[/URL] to see if they are copying from the Web. I just wish I had time to do that as a judge during science fairs!

This [URL="http://www.plagiarismchecker.com/copying-from-internet.php"]article about what does and doesn't count as plagiarism[/URL] might be helpful for the current discussion.
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:38 PM
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plagarismchecker.com? I've never heard of it, but wow! 1/3 of your class was plagarizing! Have you heard about turnitin.com. It think it has a better reputation than plagarismchecker, but as long as it's accurate and it works.
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Old 03-14-2006, 05:01 PM
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Post Plagerism

I think that its ok to get an idea from somewhere else because if you pick "the" idea it probably means you are interested in searching an answer so I think its ok to get an idea from somewhere else but just dont copy word for word or in other words...if you really do the project the right way you will probably fully understand the project so you will not need to copy anything except the idea and abvcoarse the procedure ...how else would you know how to do the project?.....and remember the whole point of the project is so that you learn about something that interests you individually and that you are WILLING to learn about. The reason that teachers dont allow plagerism is because they want you to learn , and plagerism would be a waist of time and you wouldnt gain anything!
I hope this information helped youre question...good luck!
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:43 PM
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Weird -I'm subscribed to this thread but I didn't get an e-mail notification. Oh, well.

Our school would probably use TurnItIn if we were willing to spend the money - and if we could convince all the students to start turning in their work online. I think the second part is harder than the first.

Teachers ultimately don't have much control over school policies, since schools are much larger and have to handle many more problems that individual teachers have to deal with in their jobs.

As a result, we have an English teacher who uses Plagiarism Checker every time students turn in an assignment. Maybe some day in the future, every student will have a broadband Internet connection. That day will probably come soon. Until then, we have to work with the situation the way it is.

By the way, copying someone else's idea and not the words for a science project might not always be considered plagiarism, but someone who did that to a high-tech patented product would probably get lots of lawyers coming after him. Just another good reason to start the right habits early.
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