CityU gives recognition to students who excel in academic writing

June Tse

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Forty outstanding academic papers written by students of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have been selected under the
Outstanding Academic Papers by Students (OAPS) project and placed in the CityU Institutional Repository, a digital online database for capturing the scholarly output of the University community.

In recognition of their achievements, the 44 students who wrote the papers received certificates at a ceremony on 12 April. A selection of the papers is now on display in the Library Lobby.

The OAPS project, launched in 2005 as a joint initiative between the Run Run Shaw Library and academic departments at CityU, preserves the papers in digital format and shares them within the University and beyond. The aim is to encourage students to write better term papers, thus supporting the University’s Outcomes Based Teaching and Learning initiative.

Professor Steve Ching Hsianghoo, University Librarian, said he was glad that the number of participating academic departments had risen from two to eight since the project began. “We would like to promote these outstanding papers to other universities through the global network of the Library. This will offer more opportunities for students in the future to create better work by drawing on these important references,” he said.

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An anti-plagiarism software Turnitin was used this year in the selection process of the papers, to promote academic honesty and assure quality. Turnitin checks for originality by comparing the submitted work with online web pages and databases for student and research papers.

“OAPS provides students with an excellent platform for accessing top-quality papers, which at the same time helps them improve information search skills and encourages academic honesty,” said Dr Jerry Yu Jer-tsang, Chief Information Officer.

Professor Richard Ho Yan-ki, Vice-President (Undergraduate Education), and Professor Lilian Vrijmoed Kwan Lee-ping, Dean of Student Learning, shared their learning experiences at the ceremony.

Students also offered their views. Liang Li, a postgraduate student in the Department of Computer Science, wrote a paper about an anti-spam e-mail model which verifies the identity of the sender of the e-mail. “The most challenging process is to turn ideas into practical solutions. I have to persist when I face difficulties, accumulate knowledge and learn from experience,” he said.

Ms Rebecca Lo Chui-wan, an alumna of the Department of Applied Social Studies, wrote a paper comparing the personality dimensions of Hong Kong Chinese with the famous "Big Five Personality dimensions" derived from Western societies. She thanked CityU for recognizing the quality of her paper and said that the project demonstrated the University’s focus on excellence in both research and teaching.

Based in CityU, OAPS has grown into a collaboration with other institutions including Tsinghua University, Beijing and Feng Chia University, Taiwan. Xiamen University, National United University, Taiwan and Seoul National University have just joined as new partner institutions.

At a meeting at CityU on 13 April, members of an OAPS Task Force discussed the progress of OAPS project in their institutions and discussed next year’s goals.

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