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On sociomaterial imbrications: what plagiarism detection systems reveal and why it matters

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Information and Organization
Issue number2
Volume21
Number of pages66
Pages (from-to)57-122
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In the context of an increasingly mobile student population, and Greek students specifically, this paper opens up and reveals the manner in which a specific culturally situated human actor (the Greek student) and a specific culturally situated non-human actor (the plagiarism detection system) encounter, interpret and constitute each other within the situated context of the UK higher education system. Methodologically, we base our paper on a longitudinal in-depth case study that focussed on the teaching, learning and assessment practices in Greek public sector universities. Based on our Greek case example we specifically focus on how the delegation of plagiarism detection to a technical actor produces a particular set of agencies and intentionalities (a politics one might say) which unintentionally and unexpectedly conspires to constitute some students as plagiarists (who are not) and others as not (who are). We suggest that this is best explored by looking exactly at what is rendered visible and invisible in such imbrications. This has important implications for the design, implementation and use of IS in situated contexts.