Journal of Educational Research and Practice


This article examines a case of plagiarism in a dissertation, which was found after the doctoral degree had been awarded. Plagiarism detection is discussed in relation to the methodology, which included manual analysis, Google searches, and originality reports from Turnitin. Questions on the role of the dissertation committee, processes used to complete the dissertation, and consequences of plagiarism are addressed, as well as factors influencing a decision to report the case. Procedures for reporting plagiarism allegations and those the university used to investigate are included. Because this case illustrates that revoking a degree is not necessarily a sanction when plagiarism is proven, the article delves into legal issues surrounding policies for adjudicating allegations of academic misconduct and revoking degrees. Plagiarism prevention strategies are provided to illustrate the joint responsibility of a university, faculty, and students to prevent cases such as this one from ever happening. Universities are prompted to examine and uphold existing academic integrity and plagiarism policies and to develop appropriate policies for dealing with plagiarism if they do not exist.