Reasons for Plagiarism in Higher Education

Open access

Abstract

Background and Purpose: The survey was performed to determine the reasons that lead students to possibly commit plagiarism during their studies. By doing so, we wanted to determine the main reason for the appearance of plagiarism and how, within this main reasons, various indicators of plagiarism are judged and, finally, how demographic data and student motivation for study are associated with the reasons for plagiarism.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A paper-and-pencil survey was carried out among 17 faculties of the University of Maribor in Slovenia. A sample of 139 students 85 males and 54 females participated in this study, ages ranged from 19 to 36 years. The questionnaire contained 95 closed questions referring to: (i) general data, (ii) education, (iii) social status, (iv) awareness of plagiarism, and (v) reasons for plagiarism. Parametric and nonparametric statistical tests were performed depending on distributions of the answers.

Results: The results reveal that information and communication technology is largely responsible for the plagiarism with two reasons highlighted: ease of copying and ease of access to materials and new technologies. We also found some differences between low and high motivated students. Different average values of the answers considering motivation for study were confirmed for academic skills, teaching factors and other reasons for plagiarism, where the average for lower motivated students is significantly different (higher) than the average for higher motivated students. At the end we could find no direct relationship between the average time spent on the Internet and plagiarism.

Conclusion: The transmission of knowledge is the basic mission of faculties. This mission is based on moral beliefs about the harmfulness of its abuse, and plagiarism is exactly such abuse. Regardless of the students past at this point professors are those who could greatly contribute to the right set of skills to keep students off plagiarising.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Angell L.R. (2006). The relationship of impulsiveness personal efficacy and academic motivation to college cheating. College Student Journal 40(1) 118-131.

  • Arnett J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist. 55 469-480 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469

  • Ayub A.F.M Hamid W.H.W. & Nawawi M.H. (2014). Use of Internet for Academic Purposes among Students in Malaysian Institutions of Higher Education. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology 13(1) 232-241.

  • Bandura A. (1986). Social foundations of thought & action: A social cognitive theory Engelwood Cliffs NJ Prentice-Hall.

  • Barnas M. (2000). “Parenting” students: Applying developmental psychology to the college classroom. Teaching of Psychology 27 276-277.

  • Belter R.W. & DuPre A. (2009). A strategy to reduce plagiarism in an undergraduate course. Teaching of Psychology 36(4) 257-261 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00986280903173165

  • Blum S.D. (2009). My word! Plagiarism and college culture Ithaca NY Cornell University Press.

  • Cao F. & Su L. (2007). Internet addiction among Chinese adolescents: prevalence and psychological features. Child Care Health 33(3) 275-281 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2006.00715.x

  • Carrol J.A. (2002). Suggestions for teaching international students more effectively Oxford Oxford books.

  • Carrol J. (2007). A handbook for deterring plagiarism in higher education (2nd ed.) Oxford England Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development Oxford Brookes University.

  • Carter D.B. (2008). Honors honor codes and academic integrity: Where and how do they converge and diverge? Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 9(2) 15-20.

  • Chang C.M. Chen Y.L. Huang Y. & Chou C. (2015). Why do they become potential cyber-plagiarizers? Exploring the alternative thinking of copy-and-paste youth in Taiwan. Computers and Education 87 357-367 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.07.006

  • Chen Y. F. & Peng S.S. (2008). University students’ Internet use and its relationships with academic performance interpersonal relationships psychosocial adjustment and self-evaluation. CyberPsychology & Behavior 11 467-469 http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2007.0128

  • Colnerud G. & Rosander M. (2009). Academic dishonesty ethical norms and learning. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 34(5) 505-517 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602930802155263

  • Coutinho S. A. & Neuman G. (2008). A model of metacognition achievement goal orientation learning style and self-efficacy. Learning Environments Research 11(2) 131-151 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10984-008-9042-7

  • Culwin F. (2001). Plagiarism issues for higher education. Vine 31(2) 36-41 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03055720010804005

  • Devlin M. & Gray K. (2007). In their words: a qualitative study of the reasons Australian university student plagiarize. Higher Education Research and Development 26 (2) 181 -198 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360701310805

  • Dordoy A. (2002 July). Cheating and plagiarism: student and staff perceptions at Northumbria. Proceeding of Northumbria Conference Educating the future. Retrieved January 29 2009 from http://www.jisepas.ae.uk/images/bin/AD.doe

  • Emerson L. (2008). Plagiarism a Turnitin trial and experience of cultural disorientation. In M. Vicinus and C. Eisner (Eds.) Originality imitation and plaigarism: Teaching writing in the digital age (pp. 183-194) Ann Arbor University of Michigan Press.

  • Engler J.N. Landau J.D. & Epstein M. (2008). Keeping up with the Joneses: Students’ perceptions of academically dishonest behavior. Teaching of Pscychology 35 99-102.

  • Errey L. (2002). Plagiarism: something fishy?... or just a fish out of the water? Teaching Forum 50 17-20.

  • Evering L.C. & Moorman G. (2012). Rethinking plagiarism in the digital age. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 56(1) 35-44 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/JAAL.00100

  • Fish R. & Hura G. (2013). Students’ perceptions of plagiarism. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 13(5) 33-45.

  • Hansen B. (2003). Combating plagiarism: Is the Internet causing more students to plagiarize? The Congressional Researcher 13(32) 773-796.

  • Hard S.F J Conway M. & Moran A.C. (2006). Faculty and colleges student beliefs about the frequency of student academic misconduct. The Journal of Postsecondary Education 77(6) 1058-1080 http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jhe.2006.0048

  • Howard R.M. & Davies L.J. (2009). Plagiarism in the Internet age. Educational Leadership 66(6) 64-67.

  • Jiang H. Emmerton L. & McKange L. (2013). Academic integrity and plagiarism: a review of the influences and risk situations for health students. Higher Education Research and Development 32(3) 369-380 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2012.687362

  • Jurdi R. Hage H. & Henry P. (2011). Academic dishonesty in the Canadian classroom: Behaviours of a sample of university students. The Canadian Journal of Higher Education 41(3) 1-35.

  • Kecici A. Bulduk S. Oruc D. & Celik S. (2011). Academic dishonesty among nursing students: A descriptive study. Nursing Ethics 18(5) 725-733 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0969733011408042

  • Kolbert E. (2012). Spoiled rotten: Why do kids rule the roost? The New Yorker 76-79.

  • Larkham M. (2002). Plagiarism and its treatment in higher education. Journal of Further and Higher Education 26(4) 339-349 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0309877022000021748

  • Lathrop A. & Foss K. (2000). Students cheating and plagiarism in the internet era: a wakeup call Englewood: Libraries Unlimited.

  • Lenhart A. Madden M. & Hitlin P. (2005). Teens and Technology Pew Internet and American Life Project. Teens Retrieved August 8 2016 from http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media/Files/Reports/2005/PIP_Teens_Tech_July2005web.pdf.pdf

  • Long J. F. Monoi S. Harper B. Knoblauch D. & Murphy P.K. (2007). Academic motivation and achievement among urban adolescents. Urban Education 42(3) 196-222 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0042085907300447

  • Lorenz J.M. (2013). Cheating & Plagiarism in Nursing Retrieved September 24 2015 from http://nursing.advanceweb.com/Continuing-Education/CE-Articles/Cheating-Plagiarism-in-Nursing.aspx

  • McCabe D.L. (2005). Cheating among college and university students A North American perspective. International Journal of Educational Integrity 1(1) 10-11.

  • Moorman G. & Horton J. (2007). Millennials and how to teach them. In Moorman g. Lewis J. (Eds.) Adolescent literacy instruction: Policies and Promising Practices pp. 263-285. Newark International Reading Association.

  • Okoro E.A. (2011). Academic integrity and student plagiarism: Guided instructional strategies for business communication assignments. Business Communication Quarterly 74(2) 173-178 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1080569911404064

  • Pajares F. (1996). Self-efficacy beliefs in academic settings. Review of educational research 66(4) 543-578 http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/00346543066004543

  • Perrin R. (2009). Pocket guide to APA style (3rd ed.) Boston MA: Wadsworth.

  • Rettinger D.A. & Kramer Y. (2009). Situational and personal causes of student cheating. Research in Higher Education 50(3) 293-313 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11162-008-9116-5

  • Power L. G. (2009). University students’ perceptions of plagiarism. The Journal of Higher Education 80(6) 643-662 http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jhe.0.0073

  • Selwyn N. (2008). Not necessarily a bad thing… A study of online plagiarism amongst undergraduate students. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 33(5) 465-479.

  • Schunk D.H. (1989). Self-efficacy and achievement behaviours. Educational Psychology Review 1 173-207 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01320134

  • Senders S. (2008). Academic plagiarism and the limits of theft. In Eisner C. Vicinus M. (Eds.) Originality imitation and plagiarism: Teaching writing in the digital age pp. 195-207. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

  • Sisti D.A. (2007). How do High School Students Justify Internet Plagiarism. Ethics & Behavior 17(3) 215-231 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10508420701519163

  • Songsriwittaya A. Kongsuwan S. Jitgarum K. Kaewkuekool S. & Koul R. (2009). Engineering Students’ Attitude Towards Plagiarism a Survey Study Korea: ICEE & ICEER.

  • Suarez J. & Martin A. (2001). Internet plagiarism: A teacher’s combat guide. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education 1(4) 546-549.

  • Sulikowski M. (2008). Copy paste plagiarize: Teaching scholarship to a generation of googlers requires prevention detection and action Retrieved July 16 2011 from http://dx.doi.orgwww.vanderbilt.edu/magazines/vanderbilt-magazine/2008/03/copy_paste_plagiarize/

  • Trzesniewski K. H. & Donnellan M.B. (2010). Rethinking ‘generation me’: A study of cohort effects from 1976-2006. Perspectives on Psychological Science 5 58-75.

  • Turnitin.com and Research Resources. (n.d.). Why students plagiarize Retrieved January 3 2017 from https://www.aub.edu.lb/it/acps/Documents/PDF/WhyStuPlagiarize.pdf

  • Wilhoit S. (1994). Helping students avoid plagiarism. College Teaching 4 (4) 161-164 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/87567555.1994.9926849

  • Williams K.M. Nathanson C. & Paulus D.L. (2010). Identifying and profiling scholastic cheaters: Their personality cognitive ability and motivation. Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied 16 (3) 293-307 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0020773

  • Yang Y. (2014). Why Students Plagiarise in Organic Chemistry Laboratory Course? IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Science Technology and Engineering.

  • Young K.S. (1998). Caught in the Net: How to recognize the signs of Internet addiction and a winning strategy for recovery New York: John Wiley.

  • Zimmerman B.J. (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: An Overview. Theory into Practice 41(2) 64-70 http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1540421tip4102_2

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor


CiteScore 2018: 0.87

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.179
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.529

Cited By
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1947 1487 143
PDF Downloads 1365 1123 84