Journal of Academic Ethics

Published by Springer Nature
Online ISSN: 1572-8544
Print ISSN: 1570-1727
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In our descriptive exploratory qualitative study, we investigated the issue of contract cheating in Iranian higher education contexts. Through our analysis, we provide insights into measures taken in Iran to prevent contract cheating and mitigate its effects. Our study analyses secondary data including scholarly articles, published media, and the country’s current policies. Results showed that more empirical primary data from which to draw definitive conclusions is needed, and as such, developing an evidence-based body of knowledge about the prevalence and characteristics of contract cheating in Iran remains a persistent call to action. Our analysis of scholarly studies (n = 102) and grey literature sources (n = 195) showed an overarching lack of university accountability; students’ motives for engaging in contract cheating; and lack of appropriate legislation were enabling factors. We conclude that Iran lags behind other countries with regards to what is known about contract cheating and how to address it; as such, we conclude with a call to action for increased supports for education; policy and legislation; and scholarship.
 
Studies repeatedly find that women and men experience life in academia differently. Importantly, the typical female academic portfolio contains less research but more teaching and administrative duties. The typical male portfolio, on the other hand, contains more research but less teaching and administration. Since previous research has suggested that research is a more valued assignment than teaching in academia, we hypothesise that men will be ranked higher in the peer-evaluations that precede hirings to tenured positions in Swedish academia. We analyze 861 peer review assessments of applicants in 111 recruitment processes in Economics, Political Science, and Sociology at the six largest Swedish universities. Our findings confirm that the premises established in previous research are valid in Sweden too: Women have relatively stronger teaching merits and men relatively stronger research merits, and also that, on balance, research is rewarded more when applicants are ranked by reviewers. Accordingly, male applicants are ranked higher compared to female applicants.
 
University human research ethics application procedures can be complicated and daunting, especially for international students unfamiliar with the process and the language. We conducted focus groups and interviews with four research higher degree and 21 Master’s coursework international students at an Australian university to gain their views on the human ethics application process. We found the most important influences on their experience were: the time it took to do an application; support from supervisors, peers and others; their own language skills; and their lack of familiarity with research ethics procedures. To improve the experience of international students undertaking research involving human research ethics applications, we recommend universities provide guidance on institutional ethics review processes, concepts and terminology, with translations in a range of languages, together with guidance on how to conduct research ethically within and outside the students’ own countries. We also recommend curricula be developed to further students’ understanding of the importance of ethical research practice, and that these curricula be embedded in undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs and reflected in course learning outcomes.
 
Bar Graph of the Top Three Most Highly Ranked RCR Principles from Sampled Faculty
Bar Graph of the Top Three Most Highly Ranked RCR Principles from Sampled Students
Bar Graph Comparing the Most Common or Likely Ethical Dilemma to Occur on Campus of Vignettes 1 (Top) to 9 (Bottom)
Bar Graph Comparing the Least Common or Unlikely Ethical Dilemma to Occur on Campus of Vignettes 1 (Top) to 9 (Bottom)
Research-oriented universities are known for prolific research activity that is often supported by students in faculty-guided research. To maintain ethical standards, universities require on-going training of both faculty and students to ensure Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). However, previous research has indicated RCR-based training is insufficient to address the ethical dilemmas that are prevalent within academic settings: navigating issues of authorship, modeling relationships between faculty and students, minimization of risk, and adequate informed consent. U.S. universities must explore ways to identify and improve RCR concerns for current (faculty) and future researchers (students). This article reports the findings of a self-study ( N = 50) of research stakeholders (students and faculty) at a top tier research institution. First, we report on their perceived importance of applying RCR principles. Second, we explore relationships between stakeholder backgrounds (e.g., prior training, field, and position) and how they ranked the degree of ethical concerns in fictitious vignettes that presented different unethical issues university students could encounter when conducting research. Vignette rankings suggested concerns of inappropriate relationships, predatory authorship and IRB violations which were judged as most unethical, which was dissimilar to what sampled researchers reported in practice as the most important RCR elements to understand and adhere to for successful research. Regression models indicated there was no significant relationship between individuals’ vignette ethics scores and backgrounds, affirming previous literature suggesting that training can be ineffectual in shifting researcher judgments of ethical dilemmas. Recommendations for training are discussed.
 
Conceptual model for this study. Source: self-elaboration
Bar graph showing the factor loadings of each indicator. Source: self-elaboration using PLS-PM package in Rstudio
Path coefficients for every relationship between variables. Source: self-elaboration
The relationship between ethics and performance has previously been addressed in the literature, although there are still some gaps, for example, the relationship of ethical ideologies to student performance. This work aims to contribute to the literature with a statistical evaluation using partial least squares path modelling (PLS-PM) regarding whether university students’ ethical ideologies and moral meaningfulness influence their level of student performance and academic achievement. Results indicate that the ideologies of justice and deontology increase moral meaningfulness, moral meaningfulness in turn increase student’s citizenship behaviours and student’s in-role performance, and finally, student’s in-role performance positively influences academic achievement. This research provides resources applicable to the fields of pedagogy and ethics to encourage performance during the study and highlight the value of the ideologies of justice and deontology.
 
This paper argues that applied ethics can itself be morally problematic. As illustrated by the case of Peter Singer’s criticism of social practice, morally loaded communication by applied ethicists can lead to protests, backlashes, and aggression. By reviewing the psychological literature on self-image, collective identity, and motivated reasoning three categories of morally problematic consequences of ethical criticism by applied ethicists are identified: serious psychological discomfort, moral backfiring, and hostile conflict. The most worrisome is moral backfiring: psychological research suggests that ethical criticism of people’s central moral convictions can reinforce exactly those attitudes. Therefore, applied ethicists unintentionally can contribute to a consolidation of precisely those social circumstances that they condemn to be unethical. Furthermore, I argue that the normative concerns raised in this paper are not dependent on the commitment to one specific paradigm in moral philosophy. Utilitarianism, Aristotelian virtue ethics, and Rawlsian contractarianism all provide sound reasons to take morally problematic consequences of ethical criticism seriously. Only the case of deontological ethics is less clear-cut. Finally, I point out that the issues raised in this paper provide an excellent opportunity for further interdisciplinary collaboration between applied ethics and social sciences. I also propose strategies for communicating ethics effectively.
 
McCullough et al. method of conducting a systematic literature review
of the exclusion criteria used in conducting the review
Number of publications by date
Publications by scientific disciplines (%)
Number of publications based on their types
This article concerns the ways in which authors from various fields conceptualise the ethical issues arising in the conduct of research. We reviewed critically and systematically the literature concerning the ethics of conducting research in order to engage in a reflection about the vocabulary and conceptual categories used in the publications reviewed. To understand better how the ethical issues involved in conducting research are conceptualised in the publications reviewed, we 1) established an inventory of the conceptualisations reviewed, and 2) we critically assessed them. We found that the publications reviewed mostly showed examples of descriptive ethics, in that most authors describe ethical issues without reflecting much on them, which could be explained both by 1) a lack of ethical education in research contexts, and 2) by the fact that we do not know what researchers know (or do not) about ethical issues. Additionally, the definitions identified in the publications are scarce and at times imprecise, but this seems more to point out the ethical vocabulary’s difficulties in certain contexts. Further, very few authors offer proper conceptualisations of the ethical issues arising in conducting research. When dealing with vast arrays of ethical issues to conceptualise, perhaps one ought to remember that some typologies already exist that could guide further reflection and help understand other realities for which the current ethical vocabulary may be lacking. We believe that combining the reviewed typologies, both with other well-developed typologies and critical reflection, could help support better ethical practice in conducting research.
 
Response rate
Subject area breakdown
Themes across 7 dilemmas (N = 498)
Academic staff owe a duty of fidelity to uphold institutional standards of integrity. They also have their own values and conceptions of integrity as well as personal responsibilities and commitments. The question of how academic practitioners address or reconcile conflicting values and responsibilities has been underexplored in the literature. Before we can examine effectiveness of academic integrity strategies and develop best practices, we need to examine the breadth of integrity decisions. To this end we posited the academic integrity problem as a set of seven dilemmas and presented them to post-secondary education staff (N = 80) located in Europe, North America, Oceania, and Asia. We asked the participants to recommend a solution to each dilemma. This yielded a modest sample of 498 themes across 30 categories. We expected the responses to fall on a binary scale where decisions either support the integrity or ignore it. However, the data suggests that academic integrity decisions are better suited to continuum where participants aim to reconcile personal and institutional obligations. We further argue that academic integrity decisions are predicated on personal experience and therefore pose a challenge for policy standardization and enforcement. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of the findings for practice.
 
Scenario Percentage Responses
Why Students Plagiarize
Descriptive Statistics Questions 2 and 10 Statement Undergrad Year Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Mean SD
Few studies examine plagiarism in a Middle Eastern context, specifically from the perspectives of preservice teachers. As future gatekeepers of academic integrity, preservice teachers need to understand plagiarism. This study surveyed 128 female preservice teachers in one university in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The survey explores preservice teachers regarding their understandings and reasons for academic plagiarism and their responses to particular scenarios. Findings indicate that preservice teachers have a thorough comprehension of plagiarism and suggest a lack of knowledge of citing sources, weak writing skills, a lack of time, and not knowing the research process as reasons for plagiarism. Informants' responses to six scenarios are presented to illustrate their perspectives further. Discussion addresses language and cultural issues to contextualize the study.
 
Systematic review flowchart
Contextual factors identified and classified in accordance with the stakeholders
The logic model demonstrating the interplay between the various factors and suggestions identified
This paper provides a systematic and critical review of the existing literature on the phenomenon of ‘commercial contract cheating’ (CCC). Unlike some existing systematic reviews generally on CCC, this paper focuses on the potential causes and suggested preventative measures specifically, intending to develop effective interventions on the basis of empirical insights. We reviewed primary studies with empirical data and systematic reviews focusing on higher education published between 2012 and 2020. A logic model is developed to graphically indicate the complex and dynamic interplay between a variety of factors identified. Our inquiry reveals a highly specified, uncoordinated and fragmented research landscape that urgently needs integrated, holistic and critical reflection. It shows that the current research is still far from establishing causal relationships as the scholarship opts to reveal an abundance of contextual factors identified only, without probing the relational dynamics or striving for causality. A range of broad and tentative recommendations are proposed on that basis but are barely empirically examined. We also attend to lack of conceptual clarity and work towards a more inclusive and future-proof definition of CCC beyond assignment-based conceptualisation. It is argued that CCC should never be reduced to plagiarism (a natural inclination inspired by the plagiarism research tradition) nor neutralised as a legitimate business (a potential risk revealed mostly by the supply side research). As an interdisciplinary field, CCC should move beyond student perceptions of education cheating and affordability, while including more inquiries into the exploitative, predatory nature of the industry.
 
Ethical issues in research according to the participants
In the context of academic research, a diversity of ethical issues, conditioned by the different roles of members within these institutions, arise. Previous studies on this topic addressed mainly the perceptions of researchers. However, to our knowledge, no studies have explored the transversal ethical issues from a wider spectrum, including other members of academic institutions as the research ethics board (REB) members, and the research ethics experts. The present study used a descriptive phenomenological approach to document the ethical issues experienced by a heterogeneous group of Canadian researchers, REB members, and research ethics experts. Data collection involved socio-demographic questionnaires and individual semi-structured interviews. Following the triangulation of different perspectives (researchers, REB members and ethics experts), emerging ethical issues were synthesized in ten units of meaning: (1) research integrity, (2) conflicts of interest, (3) respect for research participants, (4) lack of supervision and power imbalances, (5) individualism and performance, (6) inadequate ethical guidance, (7) social injustices, (8) distributive injustices, (9) epistemic injustices, and (10) ethical distress. This study highlighted several problematic elements that can support the identification of future solutions to resolve transversal ethical issues in research that affect the heterogeneous members of the academic community.
 
Universities around the world are undergoing a marketisation process in order to respond to consumer-oriented demands. Despite priority shifts, universities have remained traditionally hierarchical and elitist. Moreover, a new and growing generation of academic researchers has found it increasingly difficult to integrate in academia. Systems and patterns of behaviour breeding cultural narcissism, intended as a value and cultural system characterised by an investment in false self-projections backed by Machiavellian attainment, exist and appear to thrive in academic institutions. This organizational adaptation for survival is now embedded in higher education and interlinked with mobbing, workplace bullying and academic misconduct. The problematics we are witnessing today in many academic settings (high rates of mental health issues, widespread research misconduct scandals and loss of credibility of academic research) are a by-product of an organizational narcissistic culture. Amidst economic shifts, it might seem reasonable to adopt measures aimed at increasing assets, invest in highly entrepreneurial academics who attract financial resources to universities and use any means to salvage the reputations of educational institutions. Yet these strategies might be promoting and perpetuating value systems that are undermining academic integrity, and therefore contributing to the scientific credibility crisis and failure of these institutions.
 
The relationships between Goleman’s emotional intelligence domains and Clark’s Conceptual Model for Fostering Civility in Nursing Education. Note: Civility occurs on a continuum and can be directly influenced by elements of emotional intelligence. Clark’s Conceptual Model for Fostering Civility in Nursing Education was adapted with permission
This study aims to better understand the perceptions and experiences related to incivility by students and faculty across multiple academic programs and respondent subgroups at a regional university in the southern United States. The study used a thematic analysis to examine student and faculty responses to three qualitative questions that focused on their perceptions of recent experiences and primary causes of incivility in higher education. Clark’s (2007, revised 2020) Conceptual Model for Fostering Civility in Nursing Education and Daniel Goleman’s (1995) Emotional Intelligence domains were used to give meaning and context to the study findings. For this group of respondents, the study found that incivility in higher education between faculty, students, and faculty and student relationships remain pervasive. Despite the global pandemic and social unrest occurring during the study period, these behaviors did not coalesce around a specific subgroup. Both faculty and students agreed that relationship management with a keen focus on communication could mitigate academic incivility. These findings can inform educators, students, and future researchers in planning meaningful interventions that address incivility in higher education. A relational approach centered on communication skill-building is needed to combat the persistent issue of incivility in higher education.
 
Higher education has a dual responsibility, both to the academy and to society at large, to effectively confront racism on campus. And yet, in the United States and perhaps elsewhere, it fails to effectively confront racism as the result of systemic flaws, expressed as organizational intransigence, even as new “supportive and protective” structures are created. Thus, the central question raised by the anonymized, composite narrative case study at the core of this paper is as follows: To what extent, if any, do the familiar organizational structures of higher education, encompassing both leadership and management processes, reinforce or resist racism on campus? Consistent with other social science researchers, the authors believe that richly contextualized narrative cases help to bridge the world of ideas and conjecture and actual situations. We used an iterative process spanning three months for drawing our case, involving a back-and-forth communication of actual experiences involving campus racism. The resulting composite narrative provides a richly contextualized situation drawn from real life, while still preserving anonymity. We regarded this later aspect as crucial for making possible the close examination of an ethically challenging situation that might otherwise remain invisible due to sensitive information. Our analysis focused on campus responsiveness to the challenge of racism within a mechanistic organization, rooted in structuralism, versus an organic organization, rooted in post-structuralism. Four aspects of a more organic university design are identified as key to bringing about meaningful, ethically sound change within the academy: deep, reflective listening; a more horizontal, consensus-based leadership structure that empowers professionals at various ranks; freedom within a framework; and a broadly shared, continually reinforced focus on overarching principles, goals, and ideals.
 
A high level of professional integrity is expected from healthcare professionals, and literature suggests a relationship between unethical behavior of healthcare professionals and poor academic integrity behavior at medical school. While academic integrity is well researched in western countries, it is not so in the Middle East, which is characterized by different cultural values that may influence students' academic integrity conduct. We conducted a cross-sectional study among health-professions students at a university in the Middle East to assess perceptual differences on various cheating behaviors, as well as to explore the reasons underlying the cheating behavior. A validated survey instrument disseminated among first and second-year undergraduate students resulted in 211 complete responses and this data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Pearson's Chi-square/ Fischer's exact test was applied to test the association of various factors with academic misconduct. The major determinants of academic misconduct were investigated using Binary Logistic regression model. The conducted analysis and the results showed that preceding cheating behavior was the only factor significantly associated with cheating in the university (p < 0.001). No association was found between cheating behavior and age, college/major, awareness regarding academic integrity, or perception of faculty response. The reasons provided by students for cheating behavior were mainly academic workload and pressure to get a good grade. Various suggestions are made to enhance academic integrity among health-professions students including organizing workshops and events by the university to increase awareness and create an academic integrity culture, providing peer guidance as well as emotional and social support. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10805-022-09452-6.
 
Academic institutions aim at achieving the highest standards of education and learning. Consequently, they prohibit academic corruption such as cheating or plagiarism. This article examines how international accreditation and quality assurance standards embody academic integrity as a main factor in deciding whether an academic institution should be accredited, and what ranking should an academic institution acquire in a competitive contest for educational excellence. Academic integrity is broadly defined to include, in addition to cheating and plagiarism, compliance with standards of human rights, labor rights, corporate social responsibility, ant-corruption measures, environmental protection, social media usage, protection of underage students, anti-radicalization and extremism, avoidance of conflict of interest, faculty professionalism, students codes of conduct and human experimentation. Academic institutions should adopt policies that are designed to address these diverse standards and accommodate diversity and enhance access to education for all without discrimination. Academic institutions should also strictly require the highest standards in teaching and research. This article will discuss the different policies, laws, rules and regulations adopted by Qatar University as a model for incorporating academic integrity, which may be of interest to the international higher education community. This article will ask two main questions; are accrediting institutions asking the right questions to find out whether an academic institution strictly adheres to a policy of academic integrity, and whether policies adopted by academic institutions, Qatar University as a model, are adequate to address various violations of academic integrity.
 
Positive public perceptions of academic quality and professional ethics are critical to the long-term legitimacy of American colleges and universities. Faculty codes of conduct are one mechanism whereby the professoriate can define acceptable practice, exercise social control, and maintain public confidence in higher education, yet the drivers of their adoption are not well understood. Building upon previous research into such organizational behavior by institutional type, this study examined the prevalence and content of publicly posted faculty codes of conduct within an organizational field of institutions that share a common religious identity but differ in their institutional types and employment structures. Faculty handbooks from American member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), an international association of faith-based institutions, were gathered and analyzed. Although only 27% of CCCU member institutions in the U.S. (36/135) publicly posted faculty codes of conduct, the average number of tenets present in each code (n = 7.5) was higher than suggested by previous research. Study findings also revealed that membership category, institutional type, and employment structures influence the content of faculty codes of conduct, indicating that isomorphic pressures operate within this particular organizational field. The piece concludes by commending publicly posted codes of conduct as an affirmation of the personal responsibility, fairness, and care exercised by ethical professionals in the academy.
 
Frequency of concerns raised by participants as reasons for or against reporting (Study 1)
Case graph of variability in decisions across situations (Study 2)
Bubble plot depicting relation between evaluative rating and likelihood of reporting (Study 2). Larger bubbles indicate more responses. Students were more likely to report acts when they rated reporting in those situations more positively
Nearly all students believe academic cheating is wrong, yet few students say they would report witnessed acts of cheating. To explain this apparent tension, the present research examined college students’ reasoning about whether to report plagiarism or other forms of cheating. Study 1 examined students’ conflicts when deciding whether to report cheating. Most students gave reasons against reporting a peer (e.g., social and physical consequences, a lack of responsibility to report) as well as reasons in favor of reporting (e.g., concerns about welfare, justice, and fairness). Study 2 provided experimental confirmation that the contextual factors referenced by Study 1 participants in fact influenced decisions about whether to report cheating. Overall, the findings indicate that students often decide against reporting peers’ acts of cheating, though not due to a lack of concern about integrity. Rather, students may refrain from reporting because of conflicting concerns, lack of information about school policy, and perceived better alternatives to reporting.
 
Variance in reasons given for students' dishonest behavior between lecturers and students
Results from a Factor Analysis of the reasons variable in AD Questionnaire (for students)
Correlations between research variables
The Covid-19 pandemic that entered our lives suddenly in 2020 compelled higher education systems throughout the world to transfer to online learning, including online evaluation. A severe problem of online evaluation is that it enables various technological possibilities that facilitate students' unethical behaviors. The research aimed to investigate these behaviors, as well as the reasons for their appearance, as practiced in exams held for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to elicit students' and lecturers' perceptions of students' academic dishonesty (AD) during this period. The sample included 81 students and 50 lecturers from several Israeli colleges and universities. The findings expand extant knowledge on academic dishonesty, identifying significant differences between the perceptions of students and lecturers concerning attitudes towards online exams and the reasons for dishonest behaviors. The findings among the students also indicate that younger students and Arab students tended to cheat more in online exams. Moreover, the findings indicated a lack of mutual trust between students and lecturers with regard to academic dishonesty, a deep distrust that will probably continue even after the Covid-19 crisis. This last finding should be a cause of concern for higher education policy-makers, affecting future policies for improving lecturer-student relations, especially during crises. Recommendations are proposed for addressing academic dishonesty in exams in general and during the pandemic in particular.
 
Samburu County, Kenya
Article selection process
Categories of reviewed research articles
The inclusion of stakeholders and knowledge systems is increasingly valued in research to address complex socio-ecological challenges around the world. Often these projects take place in cross-cultural setting where external researchers risk perpetuating historically extractive research models that not only harm local communities but damage the validity of research projects. Responsible community engagement is increasingly recognized as a practice that can improve researcher-community relationships and research quality by incorporating principles of ethics, reciprocity, and power sharing. In partnership with local community leaders, researchers from a U.S. university coded 76 research articles for indicators of responsible community engagement conducted in the Samburu, Kenya community since 2000. Findings from this study suggest that most of the research in Samburu has followed extractive models. Of the 76 articles reviewed many failed to acknowledge ethical protocols, did not address relevance of the study to the local community, and did not report any indication of outreach or community change as a result of the research. While a portion of articles showed evidence of community involvement in the studies, the involvement was primarily limited to secondary roles with little to no shared decision-making power over the research process. We discuss methodological considerations for future research and steps that must be taken in order to shift the norm and practice of academic research in sites such as Samburu, Kenya.
 
Demographics of participants presented in n = valid percent since the total n = 100
In recent years there has been an increase in research conducted in the Middle East, with a corresponding increase in the challenges faced by members of the Research Ethics Committees (RECs). This study compares the structures of Omani and Jordanian RECs and investigates the perceptions of the challenges affecting the work of the REC members in Oman and Jordan. A convenience sample of 34 Omani and 66 Jordanian participants from 21 universities was recruited in this cross-sectional study. Almost 70% disagreed that the members of RECs are unqualified, providing comments without justification; half believed that members have limited experience in research, and almost three-quarters that they have different opinions regarding some ethical issues. No significant differences were found between Omani and Jordanian REC members regarding their perception of the challenges, except for the perception that reviewing proposals is a time-consuming task ( p = 0.048) and that multi-REC centres are less available ( p = 0.026). The regression model showed that there were significantly more male members of Jordanian RECs, and that Jordanian members were less likely to receive formal training. In conclusion, the current structure of RECs and the challenges faced by members need to be re-evaluated by decision makers to improve the overall quality of research activities, and to ensure that current REC members’ practices adhere to international standards.
 
Students display resistance, including academic dishonesty, at all educational levels. In the present study, we qualitatively examined the extent and incidence of academic misbehaviors by 101 US college students (Mage = 22.98 years, SD = 6.70). Using a combination of self-reported closed- and open-ended questions, we developed a multi-faceted understanding of how students perceived their own classroom misbehaviors to avoid work as being original, clever, deceptive, and unethical. Questions pertaining to possible prevention, impact on grade, and repetition of the misbehavior were also included. Further, environmental contributors of such behavior were explored, inclusive of the teacher, curriculum, larger school/institutional reasons, peers, and out-of-school issues. Thematic analyses identified distinct themes related to each factor, with poor time management emerging as a salient antecedent across factors. The present study also reviews and provides strategies to improve time management among students to mitigate future instances of academic misbehavior.
 
Effects of academic difficulties, perceived seriousness of academic fraud, knowledge of peer plagiarism and other forms of academic fraud on college student plagiarism: summary of final results. Note: + , positive association; -, negative association; (**) p < 0.01; (*) p < 0.05
Previous research has shown that student plagiarism is the product of interplay between individual and situational factors. The present study examined the relationship between these two sets of factors with a particular focus on variables linked to students’ academic context namely, their perception of peer behaviors, their experience of adversities in academic life, and their year of enrollment. So far, these situational features have received scant attention in studies of plagiarism conducted in most of Europe. A survey was carried out in a European higher education institution, involving a sample of 427 undergraduates. The data was analyzed via both conventional univariate and bivariate statistical analysis, and multivariate, multilevel modeling. The results suggest that awareness of peer plagiarizing and the experience of hardships in academic life, rather than level of academic achievement or year of study, are significantly related to plagiarizing, whereas heightened perception of the seriousness of plagiarism is associated with a lower likelihood of this type of behavior. The study also shows that students who plagiarize are more likely to be involved in other types of academic misconduct.
 
The aim of this research was to set a proposed strategy for achieving institutional integrity in the University of Ha’il (UoH), Saudi Arabia, in the light of the National Centre of Assessment and Academic Accreditation (NCAAA) Standards. This was accomplished through acknowledging theoretical and philosophical frameworks of institutional integrity and their obstacles in university educational institutions and displaying the institutional standards of the National Centre of Assessment and Academic Accreditation. This research depended on the descriptive method and employed the (SWOT) Analysis to examine the status of UoH. The research confirmed that UoH implemented policies to support institutional values and research integrity. Furthermore, the university has employed mechanisms and procedures for institutional values and mentorships and has a declared policy for disclosure of information and access of necessary information to all beneficiaries. The university needs to set some mechanisms in place to ensure fairness and equality in performance assessments or to implement integrity standards in processes of employment and recruitment.
 
The aim of this study was to understand how incivility is viewed across multiple academic programs and respondent subgroups where different institutional and cultural power dynamics may influence the way students and faculty perceive uncivil behaviors. This study used the Conceptual Model for Fostering Civility in Nursing Education as its guiding framework. The Incivility in Higher Education Revised (IHE-R) Survey and a detailed demographic questionnaire were used to gather self-assessment and personal perspective data regarding incivility in the higher education setting. This approach aspired to collect a comprehensive perspective of incivility in higher education. With data from 400 students and 69 faculty, there was limited agreement between faculty and student participants about perceptions and experiences with incivility. Faculty and students did agree that the solution to incivility may be found with the creation of a code of conduct that defines acceptable and unacceptable behavior, role-modeling professionalism and civility, and taking personal responsibility and standing accountable for actions. Despite significant differences in participants’ perceptions of incivility, they shared common solutions. With a shared goal, faculty and students can work toward cultivating civility in higher education.
 
Scree Plot for Factor Analysis of Responses to Using Sites to Obtain Work
Prevalence of contract cheating and outsourcing through organised methods has received interest in research studies aiming to determine the most suitable strategies to reduce the problem. Few studies have presented an international approach or tested which variables could be correlated with contract cheating. As a result, strategies to reduce contract cheating may be founded on data from other countries, or demographics/situations which may not align to variables most strongly connected to engagement in outsourcing. This paper presents the results of a series of statistical analyses aimed at testing which variables were found to be predictors of students’ self-reported formal outsourcing behaviours. The data are derived from an international research study conducted in 22 languages, with higher education students (from Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Analyses found that country and discipline of study as well as the rate at which respondents n = 7806) believed other students to be cheating, were positively correlated to their cheating behaviours. Demographic variables did not show strong statistical significance to predicting contract cheating.
 
Answers to Likert question: ‘How likely is this situation to occur?’
For over half a century there have been concerns about increases in the occurrence of academic misconduct by higher education students and this is now claimed to have reached crisis proportions (e.g. Mostrous & Kenber, 2016a). This study explores the extent to which multi-national faculty judge the effectiveness of higher education institutions in dealing with such misconduct. A survey of multi-national higher education faculty was conducted to explore the perceived barriers to the implementation of academic integrity processes. It asked faculty how likely some hypothetical scenarios of failures of such processes were to occur in the real world of higher education institutions. 63% of our participants perceived there to be institutional and/or faculty barriers to effectively dealing with academic misconduct. Mostly, they blamed the higher education model for this which, in the interests of mass education, has come to prioritise the need for institutions to focus more on their quantity of output as corporate business enterprises than on the integrity of their output as educators. In discussing participants’ comments, about the relationship of faculty to their employing institutions, Schein and Scheins’ (2016) theory of three levels of organisational culture was used. Participants’ comments suggested that, at the deepest level of organisational culture i.e. basic underlying taken-for-granted assumptions about beliefs and values, inadequate integrity measures have tended to become normalised. Despite the often considerable, efforts of the institutions, organisational barriers were noted which mitigate against faculty behaving professionally i.e. from doing a ‘good job’ in respect of student academic misconduct. Some blame was also placed on faculty. We argue that apparent institutional inability to effectively manage the integrity process, has potentially significant consequences for wider society. We discuss ways in which this situation might be improved including a recommendation that governments regulate this aspect of the corporate social responsibility of higher education institutions as they do other aspects, requiring that it be managed effectively.
 
This article considers the multifaceted concept of ethics and how, despite being a familiar notion within education, it is still much contested within literature and professional practice. Drawing on postmodern, feminist and political literature, the authors explore (re)conceptualisations of ethics and ethicality in relation to ethical identity, professionalism and practice. Applying philosophical and metaphorical tools, such as the rhizome and nomad (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987), the authors suggest there is the potential to accommodate the multiple and often divergent facets of ethics, thereby engaging with different ethical possibilities. It is argued that the propensity for reducing ethics to merely procedural protocols and guidelines marginalises the richness of ethics and, all too frequently, leaves practitioners ill-equipped to navigate the reality of day-to-day ethics. The article is positioned within the field of early years (EY) practice and training EY practitioners. This reflects the authors’ own specialism but also celebrates the propensity of the EY practitioner to reflect upon, question and challenge their own practice and ethical identities. This does not reduce the applicability of the subject matter which is relevant to educators of children of any age. The term ‘practitioner’ is used throughout to refer to any adult working with children in an educative role, this includes, but is not limited to nursery nurses, teachers or teaching assistants.
 
Conceptual Model for College Students Attitude Towards Plagiarism
Path Analysis of Students’ Attitude Towards Plagiarism. Significant paths at p < .05 shown in red circle, with regression estimates on top of the lines. Latent variables R-squared values are shown on top of endogenous variable. Model goodness of fit was X²(9)=11.45, p < .05, RMSEA=.05, CFI=.96, and TLI=.91
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors contributing to college students’ attitudes towards plagiarism. This study tested a hypothesized model that students’ self-esteem, usage of eBooks, working hours, and understanding of plagiarism policy predicted their subjective norm to plagiarize (SNP), which in turn, ultimately predicted their positive (PAP) and negative attitudes towards plagiarism (NAP). The study also examined if students’ demographic characteristics influenced their attitude towards plagiarism. Data collected in an online survey from 90 college students were analyzed using path analysis in AMOS. Results suggested that students who do not understand university plagiarism policy and use eBooks are more likely to plagiarize. The path model achieved the best fit when the paths from eBook usage and understanding of plagiarism policy were indirectly specified to PAP through SNP. The current study contributes to the body of knowledge on the factors that affect students’ attitudes towards plagiarism. This study’s findings would enable faculty, policymakers, and college administrators to understand the factors that affect students’ attitudes towards plagiarism and formulate and implement appropriate strategies to deter students from plagiarizing. Access paper: https://rdcu.be/cfcUL
 
Student evaluations of teaching are ubiquitous in the academe as a metric for assessing teaching and frequently used in critical personnel decisions. Yet, there is ample evidence documenting both measurement and equity bias in these assessments. Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs) have low or no correlation with learning. Furthermore, scholars using different data and different methodologies routinely find that women faculty, faculty of color, and other marginalized groups are subject to a disadvantage in SETs. Extant research on bias on teaching evaluations tend to review only the aspect of the literature most pertinent to that study. In this paper, we review a novel dataset of over 100 articles on bias in student evaluations of teaching and provide a nuanced review of this broad but established literature. We find that women and other marginalized groups do face significant biases in standard evaluations of teaching – however, the effect of gender is conditional upon other factors. We conclude with recommendations for the judicious use of SETs and avenues for future research.
 
Philosophy and ethics in medicine is an interesting and often fascinating topic of enquiry, however uptake amongst medical students is highly variable and it is often regarded as a nonessential component of the medical curriculum. Medical students themselves are often overwhelmed by the demands of medical study, and cite high rates of burnout. This paper describes a novel intervention provided at Western Sydney University as part of the Professional Development curriculum, which provided three broad tutorial interventions in their first clinical year. The tutorials gave an overview regarding philosophy theory, but are specifically designed to encourage resilience amongst students. The tutorials were highly regarded and represent a novel way of engaging young doctors. It is suggested that orienting philosophy teaching towards issues immediately relevant to training doctors can greatly improve student acceptability.
 
In the past two decades, individual explanations of scientific misconduct (‘bad apples’) have increasingly given way to systemic explanations (‘bad systems’). Where did this interest in systemic factors (publication pressure, competition for research funding) come from? Given that research ethicists often present their interventions as responses to scientific misconduct, this article tests the hypothesis that these systemic explanations were triggered by high-visibility cases of scientific norm violation. It does so by examining why Dutch scientists in 2011 explained Diederik Stapel’s grand-scale data fabrication largely in systemic terms, whereas only fifteen years earlier, in the René Diekstra affair (1996), such explanations had been close to absent. Drawing on a wealth of historical sources, the article suggests that cases like Stapel’s as such do not explain why early 21st-century commentators exchanged individual explanations for systemic ones. Only against the background of an existing discourse of criticism of the science system, developed in the 1990s and 2000s in response to rapidly increasing competition for research funding, could the Stapel affair achieve notoriety as an example of how systemic factors provoke bad conduct.
 
Research on human subjects is ethically justified when its anticipated results would ultimately benefit the society or public and not only the individuals participating in this research. Besides contributing to scientific knowledge, social benefits of scientific research may extend to all aspects of the public’s life including health, education, and security. In this paper, we aimed to discuss the social benefits principle as an ethical requirement for the conduct of scientific research in general and nursing research in particular. We critically examined the current situation of nursing research in developing countries including its adherence to the social benefits principle and provided exemplars of both hindered and successful utilization of nursing research evidence in developing countries. We concluded that the utilization of nursing research evidence in clinical practice, education, and policy making is almost nonexistent and faces many challenges in most developing countries. Thus, most nursing research in developing countries are not currently meeting the social benefit principle of the ethical conduct of scientific research. We provided recommendations to promote the utilization of nursing research in evidence-based practice, nursing education, and health policy.
 
The Process of Writing Each Contribution to the Crowd-Authored Book
A Model of the Factors Preventing the Breaching of the Centre–Periphery Wall
This article relies on two international projects to argue for the existence of a ‘centrarchy’ in the fields of education and technology (and beyond). Centrarchy denotes a power structure in which power rests with ‘the Centre’. The Centre signifies well-respected departments, top-tiered journals, the best editors, critical reviewers and leading authors; the Periphery denotes anyone else. The Centre has assigned itself the mission of guiding the Periphery out of its underdevelopment. It has served as a proxy for quality scholarship and believes that Periphery’s societies require a saviour (the Centre). It has ignored the knowledge that has (and could have) been produced by the Periphery’s researchers. Its ways of researching the world have been internalised and taken for granted by the Periphery’s academics, who have come to see these ways as the natural order and common sense. It has seen the Periphery’s societies as outliers appropriate merely for local case studies, whereas its case studies transcend locality and have universal value. The Centre–Periphery ‘wall’ is unbreachable because of empirically uninspected factors, which are unearthed here. This article, furthermore, shows some academics to be on ‘the periphery of the Periphery’.
 
Entry and graduation number of students before and after the introduction of peer support programmes
The aim of this paper is to examine the strategies used by peer facilitators in improving students’ academic performance in a previously disadvantaged university in South Africa. It also assesses whether peer facilitators are succeeding in this quest. This paper stems from a larger study on the implementation of peer academic support programmes, which used the qualitative research approach and a sample of 31 participants made up of peer facilitators, students and programme coordinators. The study made use of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions as well as documentary analyses as methods of data collection. Data was analysed thematically using the main and sub themes that emerged from the data coding. The results indicate that peer facilitators use different strategies to engage students in an interactive manner in order to improve their academic performance. Some of these strategies include ethically acceptable discussions, questioning, and answering and redirecting questioning. The findings further show that these strategies are succeeding in improving students’ academic performance to an extent. This is through improved pass rates and skill proficiency in various areas of academic learning. However, the participants reported that the strategies are not satisfactorily yielding the desired results because of certain impediments, which include the behaviour of some facilitators, poor relations between the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) and various departments, and less individual attention paid to students by the peer facilitators, some of which raise ethical concerns. Consequently, these hinder satisfactory achievement of students’ academic overall performance at the university. Among other recommendations, the Teaching and Learning Centre should forge better relations with departments to attract needy students for academic support, and there is need to ensure better preparation of peer facilitators with necessary acumen to guide students effectively.
 
Diagram of the different personalities that evaluate the research papers
The establishment of a Research Ethics Committee (REC) is a significant step to ensure the standard procedures in ethics review process that protect human participants. However, in instances when RECs are not yet established, surrogate activities are practiced by some institutions. The objective of this study was to identify prevailing research ethical practices of research directors and faculty researchers in the absence of a research ethics committee in their respective academic institutions. Specifically, it aimed to explore the participants’ 1) experiences in research subject protection and 2) challenges when there is no existing REC in the institution. Participants were selected from universities in Manila City whose institutions did not have RECs at the time of the conduct of this study. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were used as approaches for data collection. The authors used NVivo to organize data from the transcribed audio-recorded interviews and were analyzed utilizing a basic interpretive qualitative approach. Based on the results, surrogate practices of participants involved (1) providing “informed consent forms” to target participants and the (2) roles of different personalities in the evaluation/conduct of the research paper. Implications of this study and recommendations were likewise discussed in this paper.
 
Higher education institutions are increasingly relying on learning analytics to collect voluminous amounts of data ostensibly to inform student learning interventions. The use of learning analytics, however, can result in a tension between the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) principles of autonomy and non-malfeasance on the one hand, and the principle of beneficence on the other. Given the complications around student privacy, informed consent, and data justice in addition to the potential to do harm, many current practices around learning analytics within higher education can be considered to be in violation of CAS standards. This paper aims to explore this tension in greater detail and argues that the student voice offers a promising way to ensure that students’ autonomy is respected, harm is reduced, and that higher education institutions can still fulfil the principle of beneficence.
 
Research integrity is a well-established term used to talk and write about ethical issues in research. Part of its success might be its broad applicability. In this paper, we suggest that this might also be its Achilles heel, since it has the potential to conceal important value conflicts. We identify three broad domains upon which research integrity is applied in the literature: (1) the researcher (or research group), (2) research, and (3) research-related institutions and systems. Integrity in relation to researchers concerns character, although it remains to specify precisely what character traits are the desirable ones in this context and what values researchers should endorse. Integrity in relation to research concerns correct and sufficient description of the research process, data, results, and overall ‘research record’. Hence, it concerns the quality of research. However, whether or not this notion of research integrity covers all ethical aspects of research depends on whether one endorses a wider or a narrower interpretation of the ‘research process’. Integrity in relation to research-related institutions and systems leaves open whether they should be understood as agents in their own right or merely as means to research integrity. Besides the potential lack of clarity that our analysis reveals, we point to how this variety in uses might lead to concealment of value conflicts and propose an open discussion of central values.
 
Authorship of a scientific paper is important in recognition of one’s work, and in the academic setting, helps in professional promotion. Conflicting views of authorship have led to disputes and debates in many scientific communities. Addressing ethical issues in medical research and publishing, and conforming to the requirements of international organizations and local research ethics boards (REBs), has become an essential part of the research endeavor. Ethical issues of biomedical authorship have been a matter of debate for years. Authorship problems may involve problems with integrity, including ghost authorship and guest authorship. Some scientific disciplines, such as engineering or social sciences, may not have a firm guideline for authorship criteria; however this article reviews the criteria of authorship recommended by related international organizations of biomedical field and discusses common scenarios that may lead to authorship disputes and misconducts as well as issues related to authorship in multicenter studies. The paper also discusses possible scenarios that might be legitimate to make changes in authorship lists.
 
Modes of delivery for tutorials
The purpose of this article is to understand how academic integrity educational tutorials are administered across Canadian higher education. Results are shared from a survey of publicly funded Canadian higher education institutions (N = 74), including universities (n = 41) and colleges (n = 33), across ten provinces where English is the primary language of instruction. The survey contained 29 items addressing institutional demographic details, as well as academic integrity education questions. Results showed that academic integrity tutorials are inconsistent across Canadian higher education, with further differences evident within the university and college sectors. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10805-021-09412-6.
 
From my own standpoint as a scientist, I, in this paper attempt to explore the scientific judgement-making process from an ethical perspective. In the process of developing truthful scientific knowledge, there are a myriad of judgements to make for the scientist. However, our contemporary world, dominated by technology, rules and regulations, presents us with less unconditioned opportunities for exercising our judgmental abilities. Any deliberation about a choice of action within our practice is, in a manner, made for us, and not by us. The challenges that we meet is largely assumed solved either by rules of conduct or by formulas where the right thing to do is based on mechanical computations (deontology), or as within utilitarianism where one focuses on the consequences of an action. My thesis is, however, that virtue ethics and the concept of Phronesis, as a framework, is better suited to grasp the peculiarity of the scientific practice compared to the contemporary mind-set. Hence, I will try to display my perspective and show how virtue ethics can lead to enhanced understanding of both the epistemological and the ethical parts of the scientific practice.
 
The cognitive purpose of the research presented in the article is to identify the propensity for pro-social and altruistic behavior among first-year military students (of basic training) in three simulated situations of need for help to other people. It raised the question contained in the main research problem: to what extent do military students at universities tend to behave in a pro-social and altruistic way in situations that pose a threat to the other people’s life and health, and what is the relationship between these behaviors and socialization in the civil environment? At the outset, the hypothesis was adopted that the candidates for professional soldiers show (or at least should show) a higher propensity for this type of behavior. For its verification, the population of the first-year military students during their basic training was assumed as a research area. The study covered 246 people (85 women and 161 men) selected randomly from among military students in the first year of studies of the command profile (major in management and command studies) of all military specialties and the medical profile. The selection of the research sample based on first-year students during the basic training (1 month of service) aimed to identify the impact of environmental factors (primary and secondary socialization as a "civilian") on the tendency to altruistic and pro-social behavior in two different groups of candidates for professional soldiers.
 
Postgraduate students’ commission of plagiarism actions, (n = 103)
Postgraduate students’ choice of penalties for a first and a second occurrence of plagiarism, (n = 103)
Association between students’ knowledge and perception of plagiarism on their behavior, (n = 103), (p-values = 0.713 for knowledge score and 0.005 for perception score)
This study aimed to evaluate Jordanian pharmacy postgraduate students’ knowledge, behavior and perception about plagiarism and why do they commit such research misconduct. This is a cross-sectional survey that was conducted in Jordan during the period between June-July 2019. The study targeted postgraduate pharmacy students from all Jordanian universities. Recruited students were asked to fill out the study questionnaire to evaluate their knowledge, behavior, and perception about plagiarism. A total of 103 postgraduate students participated in this survey, most of them (n = 93, 90.3%) were enrolled in masters programs. Most of them (n = 72, 69.9%) reported that they have committed plagiarism during their studies, but this work was unintended for about 76.4% (n = 55) of the plagiarist. Students were asked about 12 items that represented plagiarism actions and most of postgraduate students were able to identify most of the actions as plagiarism (> 60% for most items). Overall, the mean knowledge score for students about plagiarism was 8.6 ± 2.6 (out of 12). Regarding students’ perceptions towards plagiarism, many students (n = 99, 96.1%) believed that plagiarizing is as bad as to steal from someone and 92.2% (n = 95) reported that plagiarism is considered against their ethical values. This study found a high rate of plagiarism among postgraduate pharmacy students in Jordan despite their awareness and understanding of the concept and its different forms. Academic institutions must establish formal policies to raise awareness about plagiarism, enforce and implement penalties for those who commit plagiarism.
 
Plagiarism is a serious problem in an academic environment because it breaches academic honesty and integrity, copyright law, and publication ethics. This paper aims at revealing English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturers' responses in dealing with some factors affecting students' plagiarism practice in Indonesian Higher Education context. This study employed a qualitative method with case study approach. Eight experienced EFL lecturers were conveniently recruited, and the data were analyzed using thematic analysis technique. The results revealed that EFL students perpetrated plagiarisms due to three factors; 1) convenient access to online resources allowed the EFL students to retrieve some information without properly citing the sources, 2) Questionable lecturers' assessment, and 3) Student has poor academic writing-skills. The plagiarism practices are apparent in the Indonesian educational context, and this may produce other negative consequences, such as academic dishonesty and poor academic writing. However, further investigation is necessary to examine the relative contribution of each factor on students' plagiarism practice.
 
In this paper, I criticize two recent and influential arguments for no-platforming advanced by Robert Simpson and Amia Srinivasan and by Neil Levy, respectively. What both arguments have in common is their attempt to reconcile no-platforming with liberal values. For Simpson and Srinivasan, no-platforming does not contradict liberalism if grounded on the distinction between norms of free speech and norms of academic freedom; for Levy, those who defend the practice need not be accused of promoting paternalism. I argue that neither view succeeds: these authors’ views are in strong tension with core tenets of liberalism. I proceed as follows: after introducing some basic liberal principles, I explain Simpson and Srinivasan’s argument in more detail and argue that it is too strong for some their stated purposes; then I proceed to show that both Simpson and Srinivasan and Levy’s arguments would justify extremely closed universities; finally, after arguing that Levy’s stance does not circumvent paternalism, I present some evidence that no-platforming would be captured by censors and probably threaten the very academic freedom that the authors want to protect.
 
Reporting of ethics review across four education genres
The expansion of ethics review, beyond its origins in medical research, is the subject of growing critical analysis internationally, especially from social science researchers. Our study builds on this analysis by considering ethics review specifically within tertiary-based educational research. As a foundation for a larger study, we explore the reporting of ethics review within articles from a snapshot of education journals. A cross-sectional review considered 125 articles from 24 journals spanning medical and nurse education, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and educational technology. Among similar types of research our findings highlight variation in institutional ethical review processes and outcomes. Despite most journals providing guidelines for reporting ethics review, adherence to these guidelines by authors or editors was not always evident, but more likely in health-related education journals. We argue that identified areas of variation may reflect the differing influence and proximity of biomedical values. This influence has been under examined in tertiary-based educational research but may contribute to inequitable learning, researching and publishing experiences, potentially adding to negative sentiment about ethics review.
 
Average student ratings of academically dishonest behaviors
Comparison of student and faculty ratings of academically dishonest behaviors
Average faculty ratings of academically dishonest behaviors
Comparison of average student and faculty ratings of academically dishonest behaviors
Drawing on a survey of over 4000 students and 1300 faculty members at the University of Maryland Global Campus, we find evidence for a reconceptualization of the use of commercialized websites offering access to “tutors” or “study help” as a type of collaborative cheating. Past studies have examined this behavior as an extension of contract cheating, but we find that students perceive the use of these sites very differently than they perceive contract cheating behaviors. In this paper we will discuss how “tutor” or “study helper” websites combine the phenomena of collaborative cheating with internet-driven shifts in cultural and social perceptions to create a new type of cheating behavior that is viewed differently by students and faculty.
 
Top-cited authors
Guy Curtis
  • University of Western Australia
Philmore Alleyne
  • The University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Barbados, West Indies
Joseph Clare
  • University of Western Australia
Kimone Phillips
Erika Löfström
  • University of Helsinki