Journal of Academic Ethics 14 (1):1-17 (2016)

Most research on student plagiarism defines the concept very narrowly or with much ambiguity. Many studies focus on plagiarism involving large swaths of text copied and pasted from unattributed sources, a type of plagiarism that the overwhelming majority of students seem to have little trouble identifying. Other studies rely on ambiguous definitions, assuming students understand what the term means and requesting that they self-report how well they understand the concept. This study attempts to avoid these problems by examining student perceptions of more complex citation issues. We presented 240 students with a series of examples, asked them to indicate whether or not each should be considered plagiarism, and followed up with a series of demographic and attitudinal questions. The examples fell within the spectrum of inadequate citation, patchwriting, and the reuse of other people’s ideas. Half were excerpted from publicized cases of academic plagiarism, and half were modified from other sources. Our findings indicated that students shared a very strong agreement that near verbatim copy and paste and patchwriting should be considered plagiarism, but that they were much more conflicted regarding the reuse of ideas. Additionally, this study found significant correlation between self-reported confidence in their understanding and the identification of more complex cases as plagiarism, but this study found little correlation between academic class status or exposure to plagiarism detection software and perceptions of plagiarism. The latter finding goes against a prevailing sentiment in the academic literature that the ability to recognize plagiarism is inherently linked to academic literacy. Overall, our findings indicate that more pedagogical emphasis may need to be placed on complex forms of plagiarism.
Keywords Student plagiarism  Non-verbatim  Plagiarism of ideas  Quantitative study
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DOI 10.1007/s10805-015-9250-6
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The Student Lifeworld and the Meanings of Plagiarism.Peter Ashworth, Ranald MacDonald & Madeleine Freewood - 2003 - Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 34 (2):257-278.

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The Student Lifeworld and the Meanings of Plagiarism.Peter Ashworth, Ranald MacDonald & Madeleine Freewood - 2003 - Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 34 (2):257-278.


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