Research in plagiarism prevention: Prof. Martine Pellerin co-investigator in a $2.5 million international research project

Project funded by the federal government as part of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Center of Canada (SSHRC)

27 January 2022

Professor Martine Pellerin, Vice-Dean for Research and Innovation at the University of Alberta's Faculté Saint-Jean is a co-investigator in the “University Partnership on the Prevention of Plagiarism” (PUPP)  research project. This 7-year project is funded to the tune of $2.5 million by the federal government in the framework of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Center of Canada (SSHRC).

The team, led by Professor Martine Peters (Université du Québec en Outaouais), brings together nearly sixty researchers from some thirty institutions from, among others, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, from France, Turkey, and Israel. Professor Pellerin is also a member of the executive committee, representing Canada.

This innovative research project aims to deepen scientific and pedagogical knowledge on academic plagiarism and to provide tangible solutions. According to Professor Pellerin, this project adopts a partnership approach to multi-sector knowledge co-production, combining research work and knowledge co-production activities. The knowledge and resources that will be co-created will contribute to the learning of future generations of students and ultimately, will participate in the ethical orientation of the development of a knowledge society in the digital age.

Professor Pellerin underlines that the project aims at moving away from the punitive measures of plagiarism implemented in most academic institutions and emphasizes the prevention of this phenomenon which continues to increase in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the switch of face-to-face teaching to online modalities. The researchers will propose pedagogical solutions that will enable students to acquire the information skills to write works with integrity in the digital context.

Professor Pellerin adds that Faculté Saint-Jean has already put in place a proactive strategy to promote the development of informational skills in the digital age, such as the BIBLIO 101 online micro-program that students must complete at the start of their university studies, in all programs and disciplines. Once BIBLIO 101 has been completed, students get a digital badge that appears throughout their academic journey in eClass, the University of Alberta's centrally supported learning management system. Collaboration with professors also allows for better monitoring of students and helps them adhere to academic integrity throughout their university education.

The PUPP project and the innovative work such as BIBLIO 101 that will emerge from it will enable Canadian institutions such as the University of Alberta and Faculté Saint-Jean to forge a solid international reputation regarding the problem of plagiarism in university contexts at the digital era and the pandemic/endemic.