The Findings: Four of every five dissertations examined contained examples of word-for-word plagiarism. Ms. Clarke-Pine found no difference between religious and secular schools. When she used a more stringent criterion — five or more copied words — the incidence of unacknowledged borrowing hit 100 percent. There was no way to determine if the copying was intentional or not, but the prevalence made her question whether colleges and universities bore some of the blame.
The Poshard matter at SIU popularized the concept of inadvertent or unintentional plagiarism. Generally, plagiarism is copying without attribution, regardless of intent.
The Ohio University business illustrated that there is much copying in background sections of theses.