Higher Education

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 73–84 | Cite as

Awareness about plagiarism amongst university students in Pakistan

  • Muhammad Ramzan
  • Muhammad Asif Munir
  • Nadeem Siddique
  • Muhammad Asif


Research is an original and systematic investigation undertaken to discover new facts and information about a phenomenon. However a variety of empirical and ethical issues are on the rise in academia, especially plagiarism is quickly becoming part of global educational and research culture. More and more students and researchers are turning to the Internet for cooked solutions and shortcuts for writing assignments, research papers and thesis. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the seriousness of plagiarism amongst graduate and post graduate students of Pakistan. It also explores the university students’ level of awareness of plagiarism. A total of 365 graduate and post graduate students of randomly selected public and private sector universities participated in this exploratory empirical study. A self-reported questionnaire survey was used for collection of primary data. Findings revealed that there was a low level of awareness about plagiarism and university plagiarism policies and processes amongst the students. Findings also revealed that many respondents did not understand what plagiarism is? A significant number of students have fairly admitted that they have intentionally plagiarized written materials. Based on the findings of the study this paper puts forward recommendations to create awareness amongst the students regarding plagiarism, plagiarism policies and provides statistical evidences for formulation of policies and guidelines to combat plagiarism in institutions of higher learning in Pakistan. Furthermore, the paper submits recommendations to minimize the plagiarism based on the authors’ experiences.


Plagiarism Research ethics Academic dishonesty Plagiarism in Pakistan Awareness about plagiarism Plagiarism amongst students 



The authors are indebted to the participants of this study.


  1. Baruchson-Arbib, S., & Yaari, E. (2004). Printed versus Internet plagiarism: A study of students’ perception. International Journal of Information Ethics, 1(6), 29–35.Google Scholar
  2. Brimble, M., & Stevenson-Clarke, P. (2005). Perceptions of the prevalence and seriousness of academic dishonesty in Australian universities. Australian Educational Researcher, 32(3), 19–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dawson, M. M., & Overfield, J. A. (2006). Plagiarism: Do students know what it is? Bioscience Education E-Journal, 8(1). Retrieved from http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/journal/vol8/beej-8-1.aspx.
  4. Evans, J. A. (2000). The new plagiarism in higher education: From selection to reflection. Interactions, 4(2). http://www.warwick.ac.uk/ETS/interactions/vol4no2/index.htm. Accessed 28 September 2010.
  5. Galus, P. (2002). Detecting and preventing plagiarism. The Science Teacher, 69(8), 35–37.Google Scholar
  6. Higher Education Commission. (2010). HEC plagiarism policy (http://hec.gov.pk/Pages/main.aspx) (Accessed: 28.09.2010).
  7. McCabe, D. L. (2005). Cheating among college and university students: A North American perspective. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 1(1), 10–11.Google Scholar
  8. McGowan, U. (2005). Academic integrity: An awareness and development issue for students and staff. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 2(3), 48–57.Google Scholar
  9. McMurtry, K. (2001). E-cheating: Combating a 21st century challenge. THE Journal, 29(4), 36–40.Google Scholar
  10. Oliphant, T. (2002). Cyber-plagiarism: Plagiarism in a digital world. Feliciter, 48(2), 78–80.Google Scholar
  11. Oxford English Dictionary. (2010). Plagiarism, n. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/144939. Accessed: 28 September 2010.
  12. Pritchett, S. (2010). Perceptions about plagiarism between faculty and undergraduate students. Ph. D dissertation, Alliant International University, San Diego.Google Scholar
  13. Razera, D., Verhagen, H., Pargman, T. C., & Ramberg, R. (2010). Plagiarism awareness, perception, and attitudes among students and teachers in Swedish higher education—a case study. Paper Presented at the 4th International Plagiarism Conference–Towards an authentic future. Northumbria University in Newcastle Upon Tyne-UK, 21–23 June, 2010.Google Scholar
  14. Ryan, G., Bonanno, H., Krass, I., Scouller, K., & Smith, L. (2009). Undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy students’ perceptions of plagiarism and academic honesty. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 73(6), Article 105.Google Scholar
  15. Selwyn, N. (2008). ‘Not necessarily a bad thing…’: A study of online plagiarism amongst undergraduate students. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(5), 465–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sheikh, S. (2008). The Pakistan experience. Journal of Academic Ethics, 6(4), 283–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shirazi, B., Jafarey, A. M., & Moazam, F. (2010). Plagiarism and the medical fraternity: A study of knowledge and attitudes. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, 60(4), 269–273.Google Scholar
  18. Snow, E. (2006). Teaching students about plagiarism: An internet solution to an internet problem. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 2(5). http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=306. Accessed: 28 September 2010.
  19. Stebelman, S. (1998). Cybercheating: Dishonesty goes digital. American Libraries, 29(8), 48–50.Google Scholar
  20. Tayraukham, S. (2009). Academic ethics in research methodology. The Social Sciences, 4(6), 573–577.Google Scholar
  21. Townley, C., & Parsell, M. (2004). Technology and academic virtue: Student plagiarism through the looking glass. Ethics and Information Technology, 6(4), 271–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Ramzan
    • 1
  • Muhammad Asif Munir
    • 2
  • Nadeem Siddique
    • 1
  • Muhammad Asif
    • 1
  1. 1.Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)LahorePakistan
  2. 2.Superior University LahoreLahorePakistan

Personalised recommendations