Introduction to plagiarism
Introduction It is Increasingly evident and widely accepted In the literature and the popular press that academic dishonesty among students, in particular plagiarism in assessments, is at all time high and still on the rise in Australian universities (Marsden, 2003; Park, 2003; Walker, 1998). Plagiarism has received worldwide attention because the cases of plagiarism seem to Increase In the field of higher education. There have been many studies inquiring into the reasons why students plagiarise and the reasons for plagiarism that these studies have discovered are many and varied.
Some of the reasons students plagiarise include inexperience (Landau, Druen, & Arcuri, 2002), Immaturity (Deikhoff et al. , 1996), differences In cultural practices (Zobel & Hamilton, 2002), and personality (de Bruin & Rudnick, 2007). A study of students’ works on computer science at Edinburgh university showed that there were identical contents in ninety-one out of two hundred and fifteen pieces of work without proper citation. Then tested with further plagiarism software, there were twenty-six more plagiarism Involved (English, 1999).
The findings of the studies conducted in different countries around the world have suggested that plagiarism is a serious concern in the field of higher education (Ashworth, Bannister, & Thorne, 1 997; O’Connor & Lovelock, 2002; seppanen, 2002; Stefani & carroll, 2001 ; weeks, 2001 ; White, 1993; Whitley & Keith- Spiegel, 2001 The Issue of academic integrity within higher education has received considerable attention in the literature over recent years (Carroll & Appleton, 2001 ; Deckert 1999; Harris, 2001; Howard, 1995, 1993; Konch, 1983; Lathrop, 000; Martin, 1994 Myers, 1998; pennycook, 1996; scolion, 1995; Sherman, 1992).
The degree of plagiarism can range from simply falling to correctly reference sources of material used in assignments to direct copying of material without acknowledgment (English, 1999). Plagiarism is clearly a form of academic misconduct. Universities generally Incorporate a component on plagiarism In the policy and procedures they use to assess students. It Is Indicated that they regarded plagiarism as an ethical issue since it allowed students to obtain marks for work that was not their own and this as unfair to other students.
However, they felt that it was difficult to know exactly what constituted plagiarism as they often wrote essays after discussing their ideas with other students or taking detailed notes from reading materials. As a result, It was not easy to identify who actually owns the ideas that were expressed in their writing. Several of the interviewees stated that university regulations on plagiarism where difficult to interpret and no attempt had been made to explain what was acceptable when using the ideas of other authors.
Several studies have surveyed tudents regarding academic misconduct and found that plagiarism is frequently used by students when writing assignments. Some studies have found that the amount of plagiarism taking place over time has increased. Student cheating has garnered much public attention recently. A perception reflected in media accounts Is that acts of academic dishonesty among students In college. Plagiarism Is not a new phenomenon. However, recent reports in the literature and the popular media have 1 OF2 higher education (Times Higher Educational Supplement (THES), 2005a, 2005b, 2004a, 004b, 2000; Park, 2003).
Not only does plagiarism undermine academic integrity and standards, it also denied the principles of intellectual property rights. Equally too, the genuine efforts, the worth and laudable achievement of students who do not plagiarise are seriously undermined by activities of the few who plagiarise. There is little doubt that plagiarism occurs among university students (Bennett, 2005). However, understanding why plagiarism occurs is perhaps more important than the knowledge that plagiarism occurs.
Developing an understanding of the causes of lagiarism can give academics and university administrators’ helpful guidance as to how it may be reduced. However, as Roigs 1997 study confirmed, undergraduate students by in large do not always have the skills or training necessary to understand the more common slippery slope of plagiarism involved in incorrect instances of paraphrasing (Roig, 1997). Representing a much smaller section of the literature covering plagiarism, Roigs (1997, 1999) research examines problematic areas of student understanding such as paraphrasing.