About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2724-2730
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain

FACTORS EXPLAINING STUDENT PLAGIARISM: AN EMPIRICAL TEST IN A SPANISH UNIVERSITY

J. Gómez, I. Salazar, P. Vargas

Universidad de La Rioja (SPAIN)
Different authors have provided a definition of the term plagiarism in an academic context (Park, 2003; Anderson & Steneck, 2011). Taking the common elements of these definitions and making reference to the activities of students, plagiarism describes the act of copying texts or ideas from the work of other authors without making reference to their original contributors.
Several causes have been associated with high levels of plagiarism. For example, in a recent study by Honing & Bedi (2012) these authors relate its incidence to certain characteristics of the students involved. They argue that young and male students and those with lower levels of GPAs, lower levels of school identification and without an adequate English proficiency are more likely to plagiarize. Along with these, the literature also proposes many other factors affecting students’ willingness to plagiarize (Warn, 2006; Anderson & Steneck, 2011) such as: new academic contents and methodologies that change the rules and the evaluation techniques, misconceptions about what it is, and it is not plagiarism (intentional vs unintentional plagiarism) or the general availability of new information and communication technologies.
Our purpose in this study is to describe a practical experience that tried to empirically examine the issue of plagiarism by university students and to investigate the variables associated to the use of this practice. The context in which this exercise takes place is the course Strategic Management at Universidad de La Rioja (Spain). As many other European Universities, the Universidad de La Rioja has adapted its degrees to the new European Higher Education framework. By the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic course, we delivered information on the expected skills that students should achieve and on the desirable behavior through the Strategic Management course guide. The guide also informed students of the concept of plagiarism and warned them about the risk of detecting any irregular behavior in any of the documents they should hand in along the course. The assignments were treated through the Blackboard platform. A positive feature of this platform is that provides us with a tool, called SafeAssignTM, which checks for plagiarism through a comparison between several Internet sources and student’s written works.
The students had to submit six documents with the answers to practical questions related to the topics of the course, and a final essay. Out of the seven documents, we checked for plagiarism in three of the exercises and on the final essay. This was done for each of the twenty four working groups (104 documents). Once the reports were obtained, they were classified according to the following thresholds: scores below 15%; scores between 15% and 40%; and scores over 40%. Thirteen documents obtained a plagiarism score over 40%. To find out which variables are related to a higher plagiarism matching of the document, a tobit model was performed. The results are run controlling for the gender composition of the group of practices and the class the student belongs to. Interestingly, the results obtained show that the dishonest behaviour in the previous assignment positively affects the percentage of plagiarised in the following. Furthermore, those assignments having a higher weighting in the final course grading are also more likely to have a lower matching of plagiarism.
@InProceedings{GOMEZ2012FAC,
author = {G{\'{o}}mez, J. and Salazar, I. and Vargas, P.},
title = {FACTORS EXPLAINING STUDENT PLAGIARISM: AN EMPIRICAL TEST IN A SPANISH UNIVERSITY},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2724-2730}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Gómez AU - I. Salazar AU - P. Vargas
TI - FACTORS EXPLAINING STUDENT PLAGIARISM: AN EMPIRICAL TEST IN A SPANISH UNIVERSITY
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 2724
EP - 2730
ER -
J. Gómez, I. Salazar, P. Vargas (2012) FACTORS EXPLAINING STUDENT PLAGIARISM: AN EMPIRICAL TEST IN A SPANISH UNIVERSITY, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 2724-2730.
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