CAN BETTER INFORMATION TACKLE PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT?

B. Santos, J. Gonçalves, P. Almeida

University of Beira Interior (PORTUGAL)
This study aims to provide a statistical approach to the academic conduct of a group of students at the University of Beira Interior (Portugal) using data from voluntary participated surveys. Inquiries were performed before and after attending a training on the meaning and types of plagiarism, citation rules for academic writing and bibliography preparation.

The adopted methodology includes the development and application of a stated preferences survey and the statistical analysis of the collected data. A descriptive analysis was performed, and logistic regression models were developed to quantify the student’s behaviours and establish potential associations relevant to the characterization and future monitoring of academic misconducts.

The study found that 90% of the students surveyed had never attended a lecture on plagiarism and academic behaviour, about 50% of the total were aware of a case of plagiarism committed by a colleague. Results revealed that 80% of the students had committed fraud at least once in an exam or academic work and 83% of those were never detected.

The results suggest that academic misconduct among students is widespread and that measures must be taken to reduce their prevalence and to ensure a merit-based education system.