ATTITUDES TOWARDS PLAGIARISM IN ACADEMIA
Vol.5, Issue 1, 2019, pp.92-113 Full text
DOI https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.19.1.7 ☍
Irena Vassileva https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0150-6375 ☍
Affiliation: New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria
Affiliation: South-West University, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Conceptualization; Project Administration; Supervision: I.V. (lead);
Investigation; Methodology; Validation; Writing original draft; Writing – review and editing: I.V., M.C. (equal);
Resources; Formal Analysis, Data curation, Visualization: M.C. (lead);
This contribution probes into the attitudes towards plagiarism in academia as it details the results of a questionnaire study within the larger framework of a joint Bulgarian-German research project on plagiarism in academia. The questionnaire focused on investigating the scope of the notion of plagiarism as Bulgarian academics understand it and second, looking into the availability of a system of support to prevent transgressors and/or sanctions for transgressing academics across Bulgarian universities. The results of the questionnaire suggest that while there appears to be a consensus among Bulgarian academics about the different facets that make up the notion of plagiarism, the reported attitudes towards plagiarism practices vary greatly, reflecting a non-uniform perception of what constitutes an offense. It also shows a deep dissatisfaction with existing anti-plagiarism regulatory systems in Bulgarian scientific institutions.
Keywords: academic plagiarism; perceptions; anti-plagiarism policy
Received: 6 December 2018;
Reviewed: 7 February 2019;
Revised: 25 April 2019;
Accepted: 1 May 2019;
Published: 1 June 2019
Vassileva, Irena, & Chankova, Mariya (2019). Attitudes Towards Plagiarism in Academia. English Studies at NBU, 5(1), 135-164. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.19.1.7 ☍
Copyright © 2019 Irena Vassileva and Mariya Chankova
This open access article is published and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. If you want to use the work commercially, you must first get the authors' permission.
Badge earned for open practices
Data for this study are available under a CC-BY 4.0 license at Mendeley Data.
Also in the References.
Chankova, M. & Vassileva, I. (2019). Attitudes towards plagiarism in academia - questionnaire data (v1) ['Data set']. Mendeley Data. https://doi.org/10.17632/7h2jfpvspj.1 ☍
This study was financed by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, as part of a larger project entitled: “Text Plagiarism in the Social Sciences vis-à-vis Ethical Aspects and Common Practices” and realized within the framework of the Research Group Linkage Programme of the foundation in the period of 01.01.2017 – 30.06.2018.
Benbasat, A. (2014). Lazhe-naukata za knigata (Pseudo-science about the book). Sofia: Civic Association Critique.
Bretag, T. (2018). Responding to breaches of academic integrity. Talk presented at Plagiarism Across Europe and Beyond Conference, Ephesus, Turkey, 9-11 May 2018. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190224851.013.147 ☍
Breuer, E., Chankova, M. & Vassileva, I. (2014). How does the Internet transform students’ information search behavior? 6th International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication, Valetta, Malta, 30 May -1 June 2014.
Chandrasoma, R., Thompson, C. & Pennycook, A. (2004). Beyond Plagiarism: Transgressive and Nontransgressive Intertextuality. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 3(3), 171-193. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327701jlie0303_1 ☍
Chankova, M. (2017). Dealing with students’ plagiarism pre-emptively through teaching proper information exploitation. International Journal of Teaching and Learning, 11(2), Article 4. https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2017.110204 ☍
Chankova, M. & Vassileva, I. (2019). Attitudes towards plagiarism in academia - questionnaire data (v1) [''Data set'']. Mendeley Data. https://doi.org/10.17632/7h2jfpvspj.1 ☍
Chien, S.-C. (2014). Cultural construction of plagiarism in student writing: Teachers’ perception and responses. Research in the Teaching of English, 49, 120-140.
Flowerdew, J. & Li, Y. (2007). Plagiarism and Second Language Writing in an Electronic Age. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 27, 161–183. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190508070086 ☍
Foltynek, T. (2018, May). Plagiarism: technical vs. political solutions. Talk presented at Plagiarism Across Europe and Beyond Conference, Ephesus, Turkey, 9-11 May 2018.
Gilgoff, D. (2001). Click on Honorable College Student: Will Computers Make Honor Codes Obsolete? U.S. News and World Report 21 May, p. 51.
Heckler, N., Forde, D. R. & Hobson Bryan, C. (2013). Using writing assignment designs to mitigate plagiarism. Teaching Sociology, 41(1), 94-105. https://doi.org/10.1177/0092055X12461471 ☍
Howard, R. (1993). A plagiarism pentimento. Journal of Teaching Writing, 11(3), 233- 246.
Howard, R. (2007). Understanding “Internet Plagiarism”. Computers and Composition 24, 3-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compcom.2006.12.005 ☍
Howard, R. M., Serviss, T., & Rodrigue, T. K. (2010). Writing from sources, writing from sentences. Writing and Pedagogy, 2, 177-192. https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.v2i2.177 ☍
Lancaster, T. (2017). Examining The State of Academic Integrity in Europe. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/ThomasLancaster/examining-the-state-ofacademic-integrity-in-europe-university-politehnica-of-bucharest-romania-27-june-2017 ☍
Law amending and supplementing the Law on the Development of the Academic Staff in the Republic of Bulgaria. (2018). State Gazette N30 from 3.4.2018.
Liu, D. (2005). Plagiarism in ESOL students: is cultural conditioning truly the major culprit? ELT Journal Volume: The Author, 59(3), 234-241. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/cci043 ☍
Martin, B. (1984). Plagiarism and responsibility. Journal of Tertiary Educational Administration, 6(2), 183-190. https://doi.org/10.1080/0157603840060209 ☍
Martin, B. (1994). Plagiarism: a misplaced emphasis. Journal of Information Ethics, 3(2), 36-47.
Ministry of Education and Science (MON). (2019). Commission on Academic Ethics. Retrieved from https://www.mon.bg/bg/100555 ☍
Moon, Y. (2002). Korean university students’ awareness of plagiarism in summary writings. Language Research, 38, 1349-1365.
Pecorari, D. (2015). Plagiarism, International Students and the Second-Language Writer. In Handbook of Academic Integrity. Singapore: Springer Science+Business Media. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-079-7_69-2 ☍
QAA (2016). Plagiarism in Higher Education. Custom essay writing services: an exploration and next steps for the UK higher education sector. Retrieved from https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/plagiarism-in-higher-education2016.pdf?sfvrsn=308cfe81_2
Rostovtsev, A. (2017). Plagiarism in the dissertations and scientific publications in Russia. In Plagiarism across Europe and beyond 2017. Conference proceedings, (pp. 107-112). Brno: Mendel University. Retrieved from http://academicintegrity.eu/conference/proceedings/2017/Rostovtsev_Plagiarism.pdf ☍
Shi, L. (2006). Cultural backgrounds and textual appropriation. Language Awareness, 15, 264-282. https://doi.org/10.2167/la406.0 ☍
Sowden, C. (2005). Plagiarism and the culture of multilingual students in higher education abroad. ELT Journal, 59(3), 226-233. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/cci042 ☍
The Times (2016). Universities face student cheating crisis. January 2 2016. Retrieved from https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/universities-face-student-cheatingcrisis-9jt6ncd9vz7 ☍
Walker, A. (2008). Preventing unintentional plagiarism: a method for strengthening paraphrasing skills. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 35(4), 387-395.
Wiedemeier, P. (2002). Preventing plagiarism in computer literacy courses. The Journal of Computing in Small Colleges, 17(4), 154-193.
Zobel, J. & Hamilton, M. (2002). Managing student plagiarism in large academic departments. The Australian Universities’ Review, 45(2), 23-30.
Zwagerman, S. (2008). The Scarlet P: Plagiarism, Panopticism, and the Rhetoric of Academic Integrity. College Composition and Communication, 59(4), 676-710
1. Reviewer's name: Marga Stander, Sol Plaatje University, South Africa
Publons Reviewer Profile: https://publons.com/a/1682194/ ☍
This topic is extremely important for academic integrity amongst academics as well as students. More research in this regard is necessary and measures should be taken to guard against plagiarism and also against perpetrators. This fact is made clear in the manuscript. Plagiarism is something that is not ‘taught’ as such and the do’s and don’ts are learned as we go along. A major concern is the fact that many academics are not aware of all the facts regarding plagiarism and are often guilty of plagiarizing themselves. An even greater concern is that they have to assess their students’ writing and if they are not fully equipped in this regard, they are not contributing to the solution of this problem. In fact, they are contributing in creating a bigger problem, not only for students, but also for academics. It then becomes a case of the blind leading the blind. This sentiment is also expressed in this manuscript.
Plagiarism amongst academics does not only appear in Bulgaria, but is a global issue. This is often the last thing academics are concerned about when teaching their students. This paper highlights many of these concerns and is an important contribution to a very wide and general problem in most academic institutions all over the world. This manuscript highlights academics’ attitudes towards plagiarism, which shows that most academics, at least in Bulgaria, are aware of the problem, but fail to deal with it due to various reasons. It also highlights the fact that there is a desire for anti-plagiarism measures, but because of a lack of expertise and trust in the academic institution, nothing is being done. Clear legal guidelines are another factor that anti-plagiarism measures are not introduced. These facts are also true for most institutions over the globe.
This manuscript creates an awareness about plagiarism amongst academics and the consequences it may have in the teaching and learning of students at higher institutions. Similar studies in this regard need to be conducted, in conjunction with authoritarian structures in implementing anti-plagiarism measures and ensuring legal procedures regarding perpetrators of plagiarism. Furthermore, research on intervention strategies on how to avoid plagiarism is necessary to create awareness and provide assistance to both academics and students.
Review Verified on Publons: https://publons.com/p/14464367/ ☍
2. Reviewer's name: Jordan Canzonetta, PhD, Syracuse University, NY, USA
This piece has the potential to contribute to a gap in scholarship related to how academics in higher education encounter plagiarism in Bulgaria. The paper is well-organized, and the methods are legitimate; the conclusions logically follow the data, but the questions asked of participants are sometimes based on the authors' views on how plagiarism should be dealt with. The researchers must account for the deeply complex (and messy) inconsistencies that impact plagiarism in academia without glossing over them. Furthermore, the researchers must account for views that challenge the assumptions upon which several of their claims were made (especially regarding text-matching software). The literature review must include more nuanced views on several aspects of the article. I would encourage the authors to consider why they have taken such a hard line and punitive attitude toward plagiarism, when they admit how complicated the cultural and academic transitions are in Bulgaria, and how woefully undereducated their participants seemed to be on the subject of plagiarism (which can help reduce the problem). These suggestions are meant to challenge and productively encourage the authors to dwell in messiness that entails doing work on plagiarism.
Review Verified on Publons: https://publons.com/p/14464367/ ☍
Handling Editor: Stan Bogdanov
Verified Editor Record on Publons: https://publons.com/p/14464367/ ☍