ACADEMIC PLAGIARISM: CAUSES AND MEASURES
Balearic Islands University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Abstract:In this paper we present the overall results of a Research and Development project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology carried out by the members of the Research Group "Education & Citizenship" based at the Balearic Islands University. The phenomenon of academic plagiarism has become one of the main issues of discussion and main problems in the academic environment in the last decade with the advent and rapid penetration of ICT and its increased use as academic documentation tool. Some authors have even used the expression "plague" when referring to it. And as any other phenomenon it has some causes and some potential remedies. Through this work we present the results of a quantitative approach to the academic plagiarism carried out at the Balearic Islands University and we try to give answers to the following questions: a) why students plagiarize and b) what are the most efficient measures to reduce the prevalence of the phenomenon. The investigation was carried out by the administration of two questionnaires to two different samples: a) pre-graduated students from the Balearic Islands University (727 respondents to the questionnaire) and b) academic staff from the Balearic Islands University (134 respondents to the questionnaire).
The main results of the research suggests that the main causes associated to the commission of academic plagiarism are: the students' lack of skills when preparing an academic essay, the students' lack of time and resources management and the excessive number of essays and other academic tasks that the students have to fulfill every course. Among the most valuable measures to adopt we find: the formation and information campaigns addressed to students and academic staff, the regulation and the detection programs.
With this paper we pretend to increase the knowledge on academic plagiarism phenomenon and make more understandable its causes and ease the implementation of measures and strategies to reduce it.
Keywords: plagiarism, academic integrity, academic honesty, higher education.