Academic Integrity: Plagiarism and Cultural Difference - Dr Michael Davidson, University of Nottingham

Plagiarism has become a major issue in Western academic institutions, and the idea of "plagiarism" is not universal. The reasons given for why students plagiarise range from lack of management skills, beliefs, values, stress, social and peer group pressure. Park (2003:480[i]) notes that international students have been described as "persistent plagiarisers". In defence, some (Burnett cited in Park 2003) consider international students as generally "unintentional plagiarisers", having inadequate understanding of citation and referencing skills, or lacking in understanding what plagiarism in fact is.  This paper looks briefly at the recent recognition of contributions that cultural traditions might be making to the problem of plagiarism, and to the fact that plagiarism is essentially a construct associated with specifically western notions and values.


[i] Park, C. (2003) "In Other (People's) Words: plagiarism by university students - literature and lessons".  Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 28 (5) 471-489.

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