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Contrasting first and final year undergraduate students' plagiarism perceptions to investigate anti-plagiarism measures

Syeda Tuba Javaid (Iqra University, Karachi, Pakistan)
Sameera Sultan (FAST-National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan)
John Fitzgerald Ehrich (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 30 July 2020

Issue publication date: 4 May 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of undergraduate students toward plagiarism and its change (if any) during their four-year study at a Pakistani university.

Design/methodology/approach

The students who participated were majoring in electrical engineering; there were 106 first-year students and 127 final-year students. The students were asked to complete a plagiarism attitude scale (Harris, 2011) survey and reveal their attitudes toward plagiarism.

Findings

Rasch analysis was conducted on the scale to optimize its measurement qualities. Analysis indicated no significant changes in the attitude of the students, which remained very lenient and soft toward plagiarism despite the strict policy of the higher education commission of Pakistan and the university. These results indicate that the students lacked an understanding of what constitutes as plagiarism. Therefore, more awareness toward the ethical aspects of plagiarism is needed to reduce academic misconduct.

Originality/value

Plagiarism is an academic offense yet very few studies have been conducted to understand the perceptions of the students in order to minimize it.

Keywords

Citation

Javaid, S.T., Sultan, S. and Ehrich, J.F. (2021), "Contrasting first and final year undergraduate students' plagiarism perceptions to investigate anti-plagiarism measures", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 561-576. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-04-2020-0080

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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