Self-plagiarism?

  1. Good afternoon,
    I'm turning to this forum to get advice on a scary situation that I'm currently facing. This term I'm repeating a clinical due to receiving a failing grade on the previous clinical care plan. I submitted my care plan two days late due to an emergency family issue, the day it was due we had to move and I literally found out that morning. I didn't communicate the issue with my professor and I take responsibility for that but I just didn't feel comfortable with telling her my situation. When I submitted the care plan, there was a technical difficulty and our techs took responsibility for the issue and I had to fight (literally for a month) to get my care pan graded. Once graded, I received an 88 but with the late deduction it was a 68 and I needed a minimum of 69 or 70 to pass.

    Two weeks ago, I submitted my new care plan and received an email from my professor stating I got a zero because I "plagiarized" my old care plan. I let her know that I did use the same resources but she had already escalated the situation to the dean and the academia committee. When I took a look at my care plan, it matched things such as my name, the subheadings in the assignment (pertinent labs, HPI, PIH panel and these are subheadings provided by the program). And other things matched were cited. My professor stated I should've "switched up my words" and used different resources but in my opinion I took this course previously and know exactly what the professors are looking for, clear statements and getting right to the point.

    I've met with the dean and she let me know that me using the same resources isn't the issue, the issue is the percentage. Next I meet with the committee. I just feel like the best way to say the sky is blue is saying,"the sky is blue". If there's anyone who had been through this, please comment and let me know how did it work out for you.
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    About SoCalSN

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 10; Likes: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    24 Comments

  3. by   Pixie.RN
    What does your student handbook say about it?

    Where I teach, students who repeat classes are only allowed to reuse certain things and they have to discuss it with the professor well in advance. Otherwise yes, it is considered self-plagiarism and students can be "charged" with an academic integrity violation.
  4. by   SoCalSN
    Hey Trixie,
    For the course repeat, in my opinion its very vague, "when the student repeats a class for which they initially earned a failing grade and receives a passing grade, that grade will replace the failing grade and the new grade will be used to calculate the final cumulative grade point average (CGPA). All attempted coursework will be reflected on the official transcript. All credits resulting from repeated courses are included in determining student's satisfactory academic progress standing for rate of progress."

    For plagiarism, it is listed in our academic honor code as, "Representing the ideas, expressions, or materials of another without providing the author with due credit, paraphrasing or condensing ideas from another person's work without proper citation, falling to document direct quotations and paraphrases with proper citation."

    The only thing I feel that the professor felt applied is, "submitting work created for another course without instructor approval." Which is listed under academic dishonesty. However, when she gave us instruction on how she wants the care plan, she stated she wanted us to keep it simple by using our textbook, drug book, lab manual, and care plan book. These are the same books I have been using since fundamentals.


    Quote from Pixie.RN
    What does your student handbook say about it?

    Where I teach, students who repeat classes are only allowed to reuse certain things and they have to discuss it with the professor well in advance. Otherwise yes, it is considered self-plagiarism and students can be "charged" with an academic integrity violation.
  5. by   Pixie.RN
    As you said, using the same resources wasn't the issue - it was reusing your work without discussing it with your instructor first. I suppose you'll have to see how it plays out. Good luck!
  6. by   SoCalSN
    Lol that's the thing, I didn't reuse my work. That care plan traumatized me and I deleted it from my laptop. The issue is me using the same resources and not wording it differently. Thanks for your input!

    Quote from Pixie.RN
    As you said, using the same resources wasn't the issue - it was reusing your work without discussing it with your instructor first. I suppose you'll have to see how it plays out. Good luck!
  7. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from SoCalSN
    Lol that's the thing, I didn't reuse my work. That care plan traumatized me and I deleted it from my laptop. The issue is me using the same resources and not wording it differently. Thanks for your input!
    You said the dean didn't care about the same resources, that is what I was referencing. If you used the same resources and didn't word it differently, then your percentage match is going to be high. Did they tell you the percentage?
  8. by   SoCalSN
    The percentage was 72%. I asked about the percentage of the actual content that's exactly the same as the previous care plan and the professor stated it was just the way I put my assessment. So for example, the course is OB. For my post labor patient, my professor only required for us to do cardio, respiratory, and BUBBLE-HE. On my old care plan it's listed cardio before respiratory and because it's listed the same way it's considered "self plagiarism". But in my mind that makes sense and it's also how i do any assessment, neuro first, auscultate heart sounds and cap refill while the patient is still relaxed then I'll assess respiratory.

    The percentage is so high because of the "matching" it did. The subheadings, my name, the word patient, RBC, WBC, HCT, etc. not the lab values but the name. It sounds so crazy that I'm stressed out over this.
  9. by   idkmybffjill
    So you just ended up wording sentences like the previous care plan you made due to using the same sources/it just being that you write consistently the same way?

    I mean, if you have a copy of the report, I'd look to see how many passages were the same/similar and how similar they were. If there are too many actual passages, and at 72% I could see it being a chunk of passages outside of headings being the same, then it might be hard to argue that this was accidental, regardless of the truth. Or at least argue it and convince them.
  10. by   SoCalSN
    I write consistently the same way for all my care plans. This is the way I was taught in Med Surg II.

    For example: Cardiovascular: S1 and S2 sounds audible. No murmur detected. Capillary refill less than 3 seconds. 76 beats per minute. Blood pressure 126/72 taken while sitting.

    As for the citations, for this rotation the whole department is really strict when it comes to citations. EVERYTHING needs to be cited unless it's your assessment.

    I feel like that's the only thing I can do is try to convince them. If all else fails, I've mentally prepared myself to take an alternate route.
  11. by   thatgirl2478
    This just seems ridiculous. Were the two care plans even related to the same person/condition?
  12. by   SoCalSN
    The original care plan was for a post c-section with complications (severe preeclampsia, chronic hypertension, gestational diabetes, and so much more) i hated that care plan. The professor picked that patient for me and the care plan was 18+pages.

    This care plan is for a post vaginal delivery patient, no complications, no prior medical history.
  13. by   SoCalSN
    It sucks so much because I'm three terms away from being done with the BSN program. If I have to take the alternate route (LVN program, get licensed, and reenter the program) it'll take me three terms to complete the LVN program then when I return to the program I'll have to do this clinical FOR THE THIRD TIME.
  14. by   idkmybffjill
    One option is to print out some of your other care plans to show that you tend to word things similarly because that's kind of convention. However, there's a risk that they'd freak out and consider it more self-plagiarism considering.

    Otherwise, I'd just point out to specific areas in the report and show that most of it is due to just writing conventions and having to report on the same info.

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