University Libraries Publications and Scholarship


As academic integrity continues to be an issue on college campuses, libraries are called upon to educate students about academic honesty and preventing plagiarism. While students may have a basic minimal understanding of cheating and copy-paste plagiarism, they may not understand the larger importance of intellectual ownership, ethics, and the meaning and purpose of citation. Being that the materials most likely plagiarized come from libraries, and that reference librarians in particular have seen their professions evolve into that of “research experts,” universities have brought us in as partners in the remediation process.

Honor Code offices are approaching these intervention programs with the intent of educating more than punishing. And as studies have shown students are more apt to connect with familiar examples in pop culture than they are at more “traditional” scholarly content. In revising the Academic Integrity Intervention Program at Mississippi State University, we incorporated examples of cheating as reported by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, highlighted plagiarism scandals in popular music, and provided current models via the recent Republican National Convention. Utilizing humor and familiar popular culture artifacts, students are more engaged with the sessions, and are able to relate the concepts of honesty and intellectual ownership beyond the classroom.

Publication Date



University Libraries


academic integrity, honor codes, plagiarism, information literacy, popular culture, pop music