Attitudes towards plagiarism among faculty members in Egypt: a cross-sectional study

Abstract

Plagiarism is considered one of the most critical aspects of academic misconduct and violates academic integrity. This research aimed to assess faculty members' attitudes towards plagiarism (ATP) in 40 Egyptian universities using a questionnaire designed to explore such behaviour in the academic community. In 2018, the ATP questionnaire, in an Arabic version of 25 statements, was distributed to measure positive and negative ATP as well as the subjective norms. Additionally, these attitudes were examined according to three main variables. The results revealed a moderate attitude among the respondents (n = 254) as the mean scores for positive attitudes, negative attitudes, and subjective norms were 28 ± 7, 20 ± 3, and 20 ± 4, respectively. There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of studying abroad and training on academic integrity and scientific writing. According to specialization, mean scores indicated that the faculty in the disciplines of basic and applied sciences had a stronger ATP than faculty from the disciplines of social sciences, education, and arts. Given the tested ATP, the study recommended several procedures by the Supreme Council of Universities, including developing an academic integrity policy, launching an obligatory training programme on plagiarism, and establishing an international publishing unit in each campus to disseminate awareness of academic integrity.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Ba, Do., Khang, K. D., Ba, Q. D., Lam, D. T., Le, B. A., Nguyen, P. L., et al. (2017). Student plagiarism in higher education in Vietnam: An empirical study. Higher Education Research & Development, 36(5), 934–946. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2016.1263829.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bettaieb, J., Cherif, I., Kharroubi, G., & Mrabet, A. (2020). Attitudes towards plagiarism among academics of the faculty of medicine of Tunis. Accountability in Research, 27, 8. https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2020.1780426.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Carnero, A. M., Mayta-Tristan, P., Konda, K. A., Mezones-Holguin, E., Bernabe-Ortiz, A., Alvarado, G. F., et al. (2017). Plagiarism, cheating and research integrity: Case studies from a masters program in Peru. Science and Engineering Ethics, 23(4), 1183–1197. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-016-9820-z.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Cheak, A. P. C., Sze, C. C., Ai, Y. J., Min,C. M., & Ming, S. J. (2013). Internet plagiarism: university students’ perspective. In International research conference. Retrieved 7 May, 2018, from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jian_Yeow/publication/259844466.

  5. EL-Berry, D. K. (2018). South valley university faculty memmbers’ awareness of plagiarism. International Journal of Library and Information Sciences: A Publication of the Egyptian Library Association, 5(3), 15–27. https://doi.org/10.21608/IJLIS.2018.70356.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Eret, E., & Gokmenoglu, T. (2010). Plagiarism in higher education: A case study with prospective academicians. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 3303–3307. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.505.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Fazilatfar, A. M., Elhambakhsh, S. E., & Allami, H. (2018). An investigation of the effects of citation instruction to avoid plagiarism in EFL academic writing assignments. SAGE Open, 8(2), 2158244018769958. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244018769958.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Husain, F. M., Al-Shaibani, G. K. S., & Mahfoodh, O. H. A. (2017). Perceptions of and attitudes toward plagiarism and factors contributing to plagiarism: A review of studies. Journal of Academic Ethics, 15(2), 167–195. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-017-9274-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Jain, S., Saxena, V., Hongal, S., Jain, M., Torwane, N., & Sharva, V. (2015). Comparison of opinion referendum of medical and dental postgraduates towards plagiarism in Bhopal, Central India. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, 25(7), 514–518.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Jansz, M. I., & Sari, N. (2015). Perspectives on plagiarism in Asia: an exploratory comparative study in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. In Proceedings of the international postgraduate research conference 2015 University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 12 October, 2018, from http://repository.kln.ac.lk/handle/123456789/11144.

  11. Jeyaraj, J. J. (2018). It’s a jungle out there: Challenges in postgraduate research writing. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies. https://doi.org/10.17576/gema-2018-1801-02.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Joshi, M. K. (2018). Plagiarism awareness among post graduate students of select universities of Haryana. Journal of Advancements in Library Sciences, 5(1), 80–84. https://doi.org/10.37591/joals.v5i1.88.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kattan, A. E., Alshomer, F., Alhujayri, A. K., Alfaqeeh, F., Alaska, Y., & Alshakrah, K. (2017). The practice and attitude towards plagiarism among postgraduate trainees in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Health Specialties, 5(4), 181.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Khemiss, M., Berrezouga, L., Khelifa, M. B., Masmoudi, T., & Saad, H. B. (2019). Understanding of plagiarism among North-African university hospital doctors (UHDs): A pilot study. Accountability in Research, 26(2), 65–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2018.1561290.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kirthi, P., Pratap, K. V. N. R., Padma, T., & Siva Kalyan, V. (2015). Attitudes towards plagiarism among post-graduate students and faculty members of a teaching health care institution in Telangana: A cross-sectional questionnaire based study. International Journal of Advanced Research, 3(8), 1257–1263.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Levine, J., & Pazdernik, V. (2018). Evaluation of a four-prong anti-plagiarism program and the incidence of plagiarism: A five-year retrospective study. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(7), 1094–1105. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2018.1434127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Lin, W.-Y. (2020). Self-plagiarism in academic journal articles: From the perspectives of international editors-in-chief in editorial and COPE case. Scientometrics, 123(1), 299–319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03373-0.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Lyon, A. (2008). Plagiarism: Alchemy and remedy in higher education. Composition Studies, 36(1), 102–105.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Mansour, S.-S., Abusaad, F.-S., El Dosuky, M. A., & Ibrahim, A.-W. (2017). Improving knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the nursing faculty members and postgraduate students towards plagiarism in academic writing. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 7(9), 107. https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v7n9p107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Marar, S. D., & Hamza, M. A. (2020). Attitudes of researchers towards plagiarism: A study on a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Learned Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1295.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Mavrinac, M., Brumini, G., Bilić-Zulle, L., & Petrovečki, M. (2010). Construction and validation of attitudes toward plagiarism questionnaire. Croatian Medical Journal, 51(3), 195–201. https://doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2010.51.195.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Mohamed, A., & Farouk, M. (2019). Attitudes towards plagiarism among faculty members in Egyptian universities: A field study. International Journal of Library and Information Sciences, 6(2), 14–39. https://doi.org/10.21608/IJLIS.2019.64129.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Naveen, N., Raveendran, N., Vanishree, N., Prasad, K., Narayan, R. R., & Vignesh, D. (2017). An effectual analytics and cross sectional study on plagiarism among dental post graduates of Bangalore city. International Journal of Applied Dental Sciences, 3(3), 23–26.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Omonijo, D. O., Anyaegbunam, M. C., Uche, O. O. C., Beneth, C., & Obiorah, C. E. O. (2017). The menace of plagiarism: Sensitizing faculty, staff and students in Nigerian higher education systems. Saudi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2(1), 19–26. https://doi.org/10.21276/sjhss.2017.2.1.4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Park, C. (2003). In other (people’s) words: Plagiarism by university students–literature and lessons. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 28(5), 471–488. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602930301677.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Plagiarism. (2018b). Compact Oxford English dictionary. http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/plagiarize?view=uk. Accessed 20 September 2018.

  27. Plagiarism. (2018c). Merriam-Webster online. http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/plagiarism. Accessed 20 May 2018.

  28. Plagiarism. (2018a). Cambridge dictionaries online. Cambridge dictionaries online. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/american-english/plagiarize?q=plagiarism. Accessed 30 May 2018.

  29. Pupovac, V., Bilic-Zulle, L., Mavrinac, M., & Petrovecki, M. (2010). Attitudes toward plagiarism among pharmacy and medical biochemistry students–cross-sectional survey study. Biochemia Medica: Biochemia Medica, 20(3), 307–313.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Raosoft. (2018). Sample size calculator. http://www.raosoft.com/samplesize.html. Accessed 18 June 2018.

  31. Rathore, F. A., Waqas, A., Zia, A. M., Mavrinac, M., & Farooq, F. (2015). Exploring the attitudes of medical faculty members and students in Pakistan towards plagiarism: A cross sectional survey. PeerJ, 3, e1031. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1031.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Rezanejad, A., & Rezaei, S. (2013). Academic dishonesty at universities: The case of plagiarism among Iranian language students. Journal of Academic Ethics, 11(4), 275–295. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-013-9193-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Shaghaghi, M., & Vasfi, M.-R. (2019). Aninvestigation into the underpinning factors of plagiarism among universities in Iran. Libri, 69(3), 201–212. https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2017-0100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Singh, N. (2017). Level of awareness among veterinary students of GADVASU towards plagiarism: A case study. The Electronic Library, 35(5), 899–915. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-06-2016-0132.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Sohrabi, Z., Ghasemzadeh, M., & Salehi, L. (2018). Psychometric analysis scale of attitude toward plagiarism based on the theory of planned behavior in the students of Iran university of medical sciences. Journal of Medical Education, 10(28), 62–76.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Supreme Council of Universities. (2017). Guide of academic integrity. Supreme Council of Universities. Retrieved 2 April, 2018, from http://scu.eg/pages/pg_files/1522756486905645733.pdf.

  37. Uplaonkar, S. (2018). Awareness about plagarism amongst university of agricultural sceinces students in Dharwad. International Journal of Library and Information Studies, 8(1), 248–253.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Yasami, Z., & Yarmohammadi, L. (2014). Iranian postgraduate students’ perception of plagiarism. Journal of Studies in Learning and Teaching English, 2(6), 49–63.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank all the respondents in the survey for their valuable assistance. I also express sincere appreciation to Prof. Mohamed Said, a professor at the faculty of physical education, Helwan University, for the statistical work; Dr. Sarah Saleh, and Mr. Hassan Ashry, the consultants of DLU, for technical review; and Dr. Heba Mahmoud, department of psychology, Helwan University, for questionnaire reviewing.

Funding

No funds, grants, or other support was received.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mona Farouk Ali.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The author has no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.

Additional information

Note: The paper was previously published in Arabic language in the International journal of library and information science: a publication of Egyptian Library Association (Mohamed and Farouk 2019).

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ali, M.F. Attitudes towards plagiarism among faculty members in Egypt: a cross-sectional study. Scientometrics (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-03872-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Ethics
  • Plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Higher education
  • Egyptian universities
  • Research evaluation