University of Cadiz (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 5705-5713
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.0366
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
The current paper focuses on one of the common practices in different educational contexts and levels: academic plagiarism. Due to its frequent use, this pattern has been the object of study in various fields of knowledge, and there exists a wide literature on the topic (Ercegovac and Richardson 2004; Gullifer and Tyson 2010; Hongyan et al. 2007; McKenzie 1998; O'Neil 2003, Park 2003; Roig 2001; Sisti 2007). In Spain, it must be highlighted the works by Sureda and Comas (2004, 2006, 2007), Sureda, Comas and Morey (2008, 2009), Comas, Sureda and Urbina (2005), Comas, Sureda , Casero and Morey (2011), Urbina Ramírez (2004), Miguel (2002), Angulo Rasco, López Gil and Vázquez Recio (2013).

The team which has developed the current research had already accomplished an approximate work in the studies of the Degree in Infant Education, whose evidences have favoured the development of a new research project. On this occasion, the research has been broadened to the Degree in Primary Education; both degrees are offered by the University of Cadiz. For the diagnosis of the concepts and the detection of the causes, a questionnaire was elaborated, and for the treatment and analysis the SPSS was used. The aforementioned instrument has been applied to the pupils in both degrees and in the four courses. The work has been carried out with a sample of 539 students (the total population, 745). Various topics have been examined, and from them we would like to emphasize the results associated with the ideas students have about plagiarism and the causes which lead them to its practice. Thus, the knowledge the students have on this practice is directly related to the knowledge they have on how to cite the sources and how to write academic essays. The students do not consider it plagiarism when they present the same or an identical work in two different subjects. Nevertheless, they speak about plagiarism when the copying is done among people or from information sources; a perception which changes when a person allows another person to copy, in this case they do not see it as something negative, neither when someone copies from the Internet. According to the results it is more than blameworthy to copy fragments from several books or magazines (45%) and to copy various pieces of texts from the Internet (48%).

With respect to the causes considered as relevant, quite relevant or highly relevant, they are the following:
a) the ones related to the circumstances experienced by the students: the lack of time and too many essays are relevant causes, together with “doing things in the last moment”. It is assumed in this way an attitude of unconcern, a lack of effort and of organization which favours and justifies the attitude towards copying. Few skills for setting priorities and for time management are also evident:
b) those related to the resources and the means for obtaining information;
c) those linked to the teachers and to the type of works they request: the teachers do not read the works, they neither find out if the works are plagiarized (totally or partly); the works are theoretical, complex and they lack a clear definition of objectives;
d) those connected to their attitudes, motivations and perceptions: inadequate planning, lack of motivation and workload.

We conclude that the factors which provoke this practice are: those associated with the students, those linked to the teachers and to the education model, and those related to the university system itself.
Plagiarism, university.