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ERIC Number: EJ1392098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
EISSN: EISSN-1092-1206
Exploring Factors Contributing to Plagiarism as Students Enter STEM Higher Education Classrooms
Vieyra, Michelle L.; Weaver, Kari D.
Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, n102 Win 2023
Students often come to college with a limited understanding of how to ethically incorporate and cite source materials in their writing, and this is commonly cited as the leading reason for plagiarism. Studies have shown that students in STEM are more apt to plagiarize as compared to students in the humanities or social sciences, so they are an ideal population for looking at causes of plagiarism. The goal of this study was to examine college STEM student self-reported frequencies of plagiarism, ability to recognize instances of plagiarism, and justifications for why certain acts of plagiarism may or may not be acceptable. Surveys were collected from 965 STEM students taking an introductory biology class. The majority of freshmen surveyed admitted to some degree of plagiarism and found it difficult to recognize certain types of plagiarism. Juniors and seniors were less likely to report any form of plagiarism and are better able to recognize specific types, supporting previous work that point at lack of experience as the reason for most plagiarism in college. However, students at all levels were confused about the acceptability of some examples of plagiarism, such as reusing the same paper in multiple classes and some students point to external factors like grading practices in previous courses as motivators for certain types of plagiarism. Fully understanding where students still struggle to recognize plagiarism and their motivations for committing certain types of plagiarism will help in creating strategies to mitigate this common problem.
Science and Technology Section, Association of College and Research Libraries. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A