IP Outreach Research > IP Crime


Title: How well do students really understand plagiarism?
Author: Stephen Marshall and Maryanne Garry [Victoria University of Wellington]

Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education

Year: 2005


Subject/Type: Piracy, Plagiarism
Focus: Books, Internet Sources, Software, Video Games
Country/Territory: New Zealand
Objective: To explore students' attitudes, perceptions and understanding of plagiarism and copyright violations.
Sample: 181 first-year students
Methodology: Anonymous questionnaire distributed in three different classes

Main Findings

Younger students were more likely than older students to correctly identify plagiarism. However, there was no significant evidence that would show age affecting the seriousness with which plagiarism is regarded or the extent to which it is practised.

Copyright violations of game software were perceived as less serious compared to copyright violations of commercial software, and male students admitted to copying software more frequently than female students. Plagiarism from the Internet is regarded as less serious than plagiarism from other sources, such as books.

The authors emphasise the need to provide clear definitions of what constitutes plagiarism and copyright violations, and recommend communicating this at an early age before unethical behaviour is "normalised" due to the lack of a strong, negative response from the authorities.

[Date Added: Aug 12, 2008 ]