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Abstract Plagiarism has been a-serious and widely-condemned-epidemic, devastating institutions of higher-learning allover- the-globe, which un-questionably constitutes an-actual-threat, to the-strengthening of global- authenticscholarship. Moreover, it-has-been suggested that academic-dishonesty, including plagiarism, is growing, requiring universities to-devote increasing-time and resources, to-combat it. The-understanding of variousperspectives of the-phenomenon is vital, for finding long-lasting-solutions. It-is alongside this-notion; therefore, that this-study investigated awareness and perception of engineering-faculty on plagiarism. This-paper presents findings from a-small-part of a-larger-study on-plagiarism, at the-School of Engineering (SOE). The-currentstudy is a-cross-sectional-survey, conducted in an-institutional-setting, which relied on Situation-Awareness- Theory, to-explain the-associations of the-main-variables. 15 senior-academic-members of staff (N=15), from SOE were invited to-complete a-questionnaire (developed for the-purpose of the-study). The-questioner was pretested, to-ensure its-validity and reliability. A trial-survey (pre-testing) was conducted, according to ISO 20252:2006 (E). The-Statistical-Package for Social Sciences (SPSS-17, version 22)-computer software-program was used, to-compute the-Cronbach’s alpha co-efficient, which demonstrated high-inter-item-consistency, and, therefore, reliability (Cronbach’s a=0.817). Descriptive-statistics was used to-analyze, both; qualitative and quantitative-data. Overall, the results of this-study suggest a-worrying-lack of understanding, among engineering-faculty, on basic elements of scientific-writing and resulting-from-it, plagiarism. The-study also revealed complete-lack of legal-framework, to-deal with plagiarism, its-prevention and punishment, at aninstitutional- level. Besides, the-current-study provides a-number of steps-forward, into the-field of plagiarismresearch. In-particular, more than a-few-key-concerns, such as: (1) Imitation-behavior, inbuilt in us; (2) Theconcepts of Intellectual-property, Copyright and Copyright-Law; (3) Widespread-exposure to the-Internet and its-consequences, on-plagiarism; (4) A ‘double-edged-sword’ of plagiarism; and (5) Code-plagiarism (particularly important, in engineering), were holistically-looked-into, hopefully-offering a-much deeper grasp on the-subject-matter. The-authors also gave few-recommendations, for improving the-current situation, at the school. This in-turn, will-contribute (in its-small-way) to-ensuring genuine-intellectual offerings, to-excellence, in-scholarship. Keywords: academic dishonesty, academia, attribution, questioner.
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Research on Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484 (Online)
Vol.7, No.7, 2017
Awareness of Engineering Faculty on Plagiarism
Diana Starovoytova* Saul Namango
School of Engineering, Moi University P. O. Box 3900, Eldoret, Kenya
Plagiarism has been a-serious and widely-condemned-epidemic, devastating institutions of higher-learning all-
over-the-globe, which un-questionably constitutes an-actual-threat, to the-strengthening of global- authentic-
scholarship. Moreover, it-has-been suggested that academic-dishonesty, including plagiarism, is growing,
requiring universities to-devote increasing-time and resources, to-combat it. The-understanding of various-
perspectives of the-phenomenon is vital, for finding long-lasting-solutions. It-is alongside this-notion; therefore,
that this-study investigated awareness and perception of engineering-faculty on plagiarism. This-paper presents
findings from a-small-part of a-larger-study on-plagiarism, at the-School of Engineering (SOE). The-current-
study is a-cross-sectional-survey, conducted in an-institutional-setting, which relied on Situation-Awareness-
Theory, to-explain the-associations of the-main-variables. 15 senior-academic-members of staff (N=15), from
SOE were invited to-complete a-questionnaire (developed for the-purpose of the-study). The-questioner was pre-
tested, to-ensure its-validity and reliability. A trial-survey (pre-testing) was conducted, according to ISO
20252:2006 (E). The-Statistical-Package for Social Sciences (SPSS-17, version 22)-computer software-program
was used, to-compute the-Cronbach’s alpha co-efficient, which demonstrated high-inter-item-consistency, and,
therefore, reliability (Cronbach’s a=0.817). Descriptive-statistics was used to-analyze, both; qualitative and
quantitative-data. Overall, the results of this-study suggest a-worrying-lack of understanding, among
engineering-faculty, on basic elements of scientific-writing and resulting-from-it, plagiarism. The-study also
revealed complete-lack of legal-framework, to-deal with plagiarism, its-prevention and punishment, at an-
institutional-level. Besides, the-current-study provides a-number of steps-forward, into the-field of plagiarism-
research. In-particular, more than a-few-key-concerns, such as: (1) Imitation-behavior, inbuilt in us; (2) The-
concepts of Intellectual-property, Copyright and Copyright-Law; (3) Widespread-exposure to the-Internet and
its-consequences, on-plagiarism; (4) A ‘double-edged-sword’ of plagiarism; and (5) Code-plagiarism
(particularly important, in engineering), were holistically-looked-into, hopefully-offering a-much deeper grasp
on the-subject-matter. The-authors also gave few-recommendations, for improving the-current situation, at the-
school. This in-turn, will-contribute (in its-small-way) to-ensuring genuine-intellectual offerings, to-excellence,
Keywords: academic dishonesty, academia, attribution, questioner.
1. Introduction
1.1. The essence of plagiarism
The-readers of this-paper are, most-likely, interested not only about the-plagiarism, itself, but, most-importantly,
on how to-avoid and combat the-menace. The term ‘plagiarism’, without-a-doubt, has a very-negative and even,
revolting, reputation, affixed-to-it, as it-is the-most-exposed-type, of academic- misconduct (Titus et. al., 2008;
Benos et. al., 2005) and, moreover, plagiarism is considered to-be the- most-vicious, between-peers, because it-
constitutes theft of intellectual-property (Mavrinac, 2010), which lies in the-foundation of overall-
academic-achievement. In-fact, Petress (2003) describes plagiarism as a ‘plague on our-profession’ that, perhaps,
demolishes rewarding the-ethic of hard-work, eroding the- moral-value of honesty, whilst devaluing the-role of
assessment-items, within our-educational- establishments. This-characterization of plagiarism is, to-a-certain-
extent, due to-its-historical-roots, positioning plagiarism, within a-legal-discourse, suggesting, that plagiarism
refers to-an-act of-theft, of the- individual-ownership, of intellectual-work (Sutherland-Smith, 2005; Ashworth et
al., 2003).
So, what, exactly, is plagiarism? Plagiarism is defined as ‘unauthorized-appropriation of another’s
work, ideas, methods, results or words, without acknowledging the-source and original-author’ (Bilić-Zulle et.
al., 2005). Plagiarism is an-illicit-activity, synonymous with cheating, it-can-be described as corruption of the-
process of independent and critical-thinking, that is essential, to-adding to-the-body of knowledge (Gow, 2013).
Orim et al. (2013) quoted Park (2003), who-described plagiarism as ‘academic-malpractice, and a-breach of
academic-integrity’. It-is-also often-conceived, as-fraudulent-behavior, that diminishes the- intellectual-property,
of the-original-author and rewards plagiarists, for somebody-else’ work. A more-inclusive-description, according
to Starovoytova & Namango (2016a) is that: ‘plagiarism, is the- practice of taking (in its-original or slightly-
changed-form) someone else’s intellectual-property (work, ideas, data, graphs, tables, figures, the spoken-word,
graphics, music, photos, poetry, art, audio-clips, and videos from various-media, among-others) and passing-
them-off as one’s own, with no-proper and sufficient-acknowledgement, or citation’.
Research on Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484 (Online)
Vol.7, No.7, 2017
1.2. The extent of plagiarism in academia
Oxford English dictionary (OED) cites numerous-sources, that mention plagiarism, in-different historical-
contexts, starting with a-citation from 1621. The widespread-predominance, however, is traceable to-the-
introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in-education, as-well-as the- over-
abundance of online-resources (Gow, 2013; McCabe, 2005).
Plagiarism and its-detection, are persistent, and very-real-issues, within universities, which have
become major-topics, and a-focus of discussion and special-attention, of many-academic and scientific-
communities (ORI, 2009; Titus et al, 2008; COAM, 2007; Bilić-Zulle, 2005; Benos et al. 2005; Elzubeir &
Rizk , 2003; Petrovecki & Scheetz, 2001), over the last-20-years (Decoo, 2002). As an illustrative-example of a-
special-attention; almost 300,000 Euros of European-Union-funding was invested in the-project Impact of
Policies for Plagiarism in Higher Education Across Europe (IPPHEAE) that was conducted between 2010 and
2013. Besides, plagiarism found-to-be-present, across all-levels of academia (Carroll, 2004; Decoo, 2002).
The-exact-magnitude of plagiarism, in-the-academic and scientific-community, is not yet known.
However, Martinson et al (2005) reported, that 2% of authors used another’s ideas, without obtaining permission,
or giving-credit, to the-authors. Regrettably, recent-findings have-suggested, that most-cases of research-
misconduct, however, remain undetected (Titus et. al., 2008, Roig, 2008).
For-example, in 2012, a-prominent-Dutch-scientist was-accused, of self-plagiarism (self-plagiarism is
the-inappropriate-presentation of one’s own-published-data or text, as-new and original). This was massively-
picked up, by the-Dutch-media. A-confusing-debate followed, about whether plagiarizing one’s own-work
would-be a-research-misconduct. The-Royal-Netherlands-Academy of Arts and Sciences responded, by
establishing a-committee, with an-intention to ‘clarify how issues in the-transitional-area between plagiarism and
self-citation should be interpreted and assessed’. In-April, 2014 the-resulting Academy Advisory Memorandum
on correct-citation-practice has-appeared, which can be accessed via The-memorandum drawing the- spectrum,
from correct-reuse of texts, ideas and other-published-materials, to-clear-instances of plagiarism. It-is-concluded,
that there are-many-shades of grey and it-is-not always-easy to-judge, whether a- specific-instance should-be-
labeled, as-research-misconduct, as-questionable-research-practice, or as acceptable-behavior. In-addition,
taxonomy of reuse of materials, without correct-attribution is proposed, taking into-account, the-harmful-
consequences of the-behavior.
A recent-study by Steen et al. (2013) pointed-out on 2,047-cases of retracted-papers, from PubMed
indexed-journals, as an-encouraging-trend, in recognition and retraction, of plagiarized-articles. While these-
statistics are encouraging, yet, most of the-time, detection after-publication cannot, obviously, repair the-damage,
which had already been done to-science, if plagiarized-articles had already been cited. Marcus & Oransky (2014)
also-mention a-high-number of research-articles, based on fake-data, image manipulation, self-plagiarism, fake-
peer-reviews and disputed-authorships, which are being retracted, frequently, from reputable-journals.
The-stimulus, to-plagiarize is-affected, by-various-factors, such-as: (1) English, as a-second-language
(Vasconcelos, 2009; Roig, 2008), (2) Material and social-benefits (Goodstein, nd.), and (3) Lack of respect, for
intellectual-property, in certain-cultures (McCabe et al, 2008), among-others.
1.3. Text plagiarism and Code (programming) plagiarism
Previous-researchers, for-instance, Vij et al. (2009) identified four-types of plagiarism: (1) ‘Complete
Plagiarism’ complete-copy from one or more-sources; (2) ‘Copy and paste’ – use information edited from
digital-sources; (3) ‘Word Switch’ – copy a-part of text and do-slight-changes; and (4) ‘Self-plagiarism’ – reuse
of one’s-previous-work and submit it, as a-new-work. Moreover, recent-study by Starovoytova & Namango
(2016a) cited iThenticate (2013), which shows, graphically, the-10 sub-types of plagairism, on a more deeper-
level, identifiying their-seriosness and commonnes.
This-study, on the-other-hand, will-consider plagiarism, form a-different-perspective. In engineering,
the-two-major-types of plagiarism: well-known text-plagiarism and particularly-important for engineering, code
(programming) plagiarism, are of major-concern, and, therefore, these should-be-given more-attention.
1.3.1. Text plagiarism
To-effectively-communicate in writing, especially, in the-context of concise-scientific-publication, one has to-
practice, in-order-to-develop, a-deeper-understanding, of all-writing-aspects, such-as: grammar, spelling,
punctuation, syntax and structure. Having a-fundamental-comprehension, of the-language, in-terms of
differences, between writing and speech, is also-important (Knapp & Watkins, 2005).
Carroll (2007), for-example, pointed-out, that: ‘many-international-authors borrow the-words of
indigenous-English-authors, due to-lack of confidence in their-own-abilities to write correct, clear-English’. On-
the-other-hand, sometimes, a-reader could-be very-fascinated and, often, attracted to-particular colorful-
expressions, which have an-impressive, and unforgettable-impact, resembling a ‘verbal-hit’, or when a-message
is expressed so-precisely and so-eloquently that, anyone would-be-proud to-take a-credit, for it.
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Vol.7, No.7, 2017
To-avoid such-temptations, and therefore, to-escape any-possible-allegations of plagiarism being-
made, about one’s publication (whether plagiarism was committed, intentionally or unintentionally), it-is
important, to-learn how-to-represent the-writings, of another-writer, correctly. For-example, a-short section of
text, which is taken from another-author’s work and is-unchanged, must-appear within ‘quotation-marks’, with
an-acknowledgement being-given, to the-original-work. A larger-section of a-text, which is quoted, should be
indented. An-acknowledgement should appear, either as a-footnote or by the- addition of the-author’s name and
the-year of the-publication, in the-text, with the-full-citation being- referenced in the-list of references (at the
very-end of a-document). References should be detailed-enough, to-allow anyone, reading the-text, to-locate
the-full-text of original-work to-the exact-place, it-appears.
Another-common-way, to-avoid plagiarizing another-person’s work, is to-paraphrase a-text, ideally
referring, to-the-original-author, by-name. The-paraphrased-version should, however, be sufficiently-different,
from the-original-version, so that obvious-copying, with only-minor-changes being- made to-the-text, does-not
occur. Where little-attempt is made to-paraphrase text, and the-original-author is acknowledged, this can, still,
be-regarded as plagiarism.
1.3.2. Code plagiarism
According to Lancaster & Tetlow (2005), ‘Programming is a-skill, often compared to-riding a-bicycle; it-is not
something that can-be picked-up, by-merely reading about-it, instead, it requires practice’. A-very-typical way of
learning, how to-programming is to-‘imitate’, for-instance, how to-use condition-statements such as if, while,
switch loops, etc. It-is natural, to, just, copy an-existent-example, in order to-absorb and understand-the-logic of-
it. The big-challenge, however, is when, exactly, to-draw the red-line, from-imitation to-plagiarism.
Programming-plagiarism can-be-defined as the-act of reusing program-structure and language-syntax,
from someone or somewhere-else (such-as sources, obtained via internet, a-book, etc.) (Burrows et al, 2004).
The-levels-vary, from lexical-changes (i.e. comments, identifiers, indentation, and re-ordering) to
structural/logical-changes (Lancaster & Tetlow, 2005).
The-following-list shows examples of plagiarism-transformations, according to Jones (2001): (1)
Verbatim-copying, (2) Changing-comments; (3) Changing white-space and formatting; (4) Renaming- identifiers;
(5) Re-ordering code-blocks; (6) Re-ordering statements, within code-blocks; (7) Changing the order of
operands/operators, in expressions; (8) Changing data-types; (9) Adding redundant-statements or variables; and
(10) Replacing control-structures, with equivalent-structures.
From-the-above-list, assumptions were-made, that transformation (1-6) would-be, more-commonly
done by beginner’s programmers, while the-level (7-10) require much-more programming-knowledge. It can be-
logically-assumed, therefore, that alterations, done by-beginners, would-be-easier, to-detect, due to- less-
complexity (Verco & Wise, 1996).
1.4. Research purpose
Mallon (1989) explains that plagiarism derives from the-Latin-term “plagium”, meaning theft, or, literary,
adoption of the-thought or works of another; he-also-concludes, that a-plagiarist is ‘a-thief in literature; one who
steals the thoughts or writings of another’. This-statement seems very-unforgiving, being entirely ‘black &
white’; plagiarism, however, is not a ‘clear-cut’, whatsoever; it-is a-rather-complex-issue, reflecting many-
shades of grey. Plagiarism is also a-cross-disciplinary-matter (incorporating legal-studies, cultural-studies and
second-language writing-research), it-is-also relevant to-cheating (education) or academic-dishonesty or
academic-misconduct, and to-moral-judgment (reasoning) or moral-thinking; it-is interrelated to-intellectual-
property, copyright-infringement, and authorship, and is discussed, from the perspective of multi-culturalizm
(Swearingen, 1998).
Cicutto (2008) pointed-out, in-his-study, that:
The Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reports that
approximately 25% of the-total-allegations received, concern plagiarism, and that, these-allegations
typically-represent mis-understandings, of what exactly constitute plagiarism and accurate
citation procedures.
In-addition, Martin (2005), cited 5-articles, and reported that: ‘Research indicates that a-high
percentage of undergraduate-students, cheats’. There are many-more-articles, dealing with students’ cheating
and plagiarism. However, not as-many-articles, could-be found, about plagiarism, in-academia. A-search of the-
available-published-resources also-indicates that there-is much-more-concern, about cheating among-students,
than among-academic-staff. This-lack of articles on ‘plagiarism among university-faculty’ could-indicate either
that, there is little-plagiarism, among-faculty, or that, they are-not willing to-admit, that there is a-problem of
plagiarism, among-faculty (Shahabuddin, 2009).
On the-other-hand, plagiarism is viewed, by-many-academics, as a-kind of Pandora’s Box; the
elements, contained inside, are too-frightening, to-allow escape, for fear of the-disaster, that may-result
(Sutherland-Smith, 2005). Pandora’s box is an-artifact in Greek-mythology, taken from the-myth of Pandora’s
Research on Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484 (Online)
Vol.7, No.7, 2017
creation, in Hesiod’s ‘Works and Days’ (Athanassakis, 1983). The ‘box’ was, actually, a large-jar (Gantz, 1996),
given to Pandora (‘all-gifted, all-giving’) (Hesiod, 1914), which contained all-the-evils of the-world. Pandora
opened the-jar and all-the-evils…flew-out. Today, the-phrase ‘to open Pandora’s box’ means to-perform an-
action, which may-seem small or innocent, but that turns-out, to-have severely-detrimental and far-reaching,
negative-consequences (Wikipedia, Pandora Box). This-research, however, will-attempt to-open the-box,
optimistically, with no-severely-detrimental and far-reaching negative-consequences, but, on a-contrarily, for
the-benefits to-potential-readers, of this-paper. To-this-end, the-authors will-try, to-demystify plagiarism, so that
the-readers will-be-able, to-make their-own, better-informed-decisions, when dealing, face-to-face, with the-
Plagiarism has-been a-serious and widely-condemned-epidemic; devastating institutions of higher
learning, all-over-the-globe (Reinhardt et al., 2015), which, un-questionably, constitutes an- actual-threat, to the-
strengthening of global-authentic-scholarship. Moreover, it-has-been-suggested that academic dishonesty,
including plagiarism, is growing, requiring universities to-devote, increasing-time and resources, to-combat-it
(Carroll, 2005; O’Connor, 2003; Park, 2003; James et al., 2002). The- understanding of various-perspectives, of
the-phenomenon, is vital, for finding long-lasting-solutions. It-is alongside this notion; therefore, that this-study
investigated awareness and perception of engineering faculty, on plagiarism.
The-research is intended to-provide some-helpful-illuminations, on the-subject-matter and, expectantly,
helping to-reduce the-likelihood of plagiarism, among-faculty or other, potential-readers.
2. Materials and Methods
The-current-study is a-cross-sectional-survey, conducted in an-institutional-setting. The-research adopted an-
explanatory-approach of descriptive-survey research-design. The-study was superfically-divided into 3
sequential-parts, which shown in self-explanatory Figure 1, according to Starovoytova & Namango (2016 b).
Figure 1: Sequential-parts of the study (Starovoytova & Namango, 2016 b).
2.1. A theory and a tool relevant to the study
Cheating-behavior, including plagiarism, is relevant to a-variety of theories and models (see Starovoytova et al,
2016). This-study, however, relied on the-Situation-Awareness-Theory, to-explain the-associations of the-main-
Situation-Awareness-Theory: Stanton et al. (2001), cited Gilson (1995) and pointed-out, that the idea,
behind situation-awareness, was conceived during the-World-War I, on the-importance of gaining an- awareness
of an-enemy, before the-enemy gains a-similar-awareness of you. The-theory further pointed-out, that in-order
for people, to-maintain an-adequate-awareness, about a-system status/phenomenon, the-development of events,
in those-areas must-be-tracked, as they unfold. Situation-awareness is the- appropriate-awareness, of a-situation,
or event. It-is the-perception of the-elements, in-the-environment, within a-specific-time and space, the
perception of their-meaning and anticipation, of their-status, in the future (Endsley, 1988).
This-theory, on-awareness and perception, is relevant to-the-study, as it explains the-relationship
between, awareness and perception. The-theory, therefore, projects attitudinal-disposition of faculty and
environmental-factors, as-predictors of plagiarism. Institutional-policies, core-values, legal-frameworks, actual-
practices, orientation, and enforcements, are-all related, to-scholarship-outcomes, with respect to- originality of
content, or plagiarism.
In-addition, a-document-analysis, a well-established (on-its own-right)-method, was also used in this-
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Vol.7, No.7, 2017
2.2 Sample-size and rationale for its selection
15 senior-academic-members of staff (N=15), from the-SOE, invited to-complete a-questionnaire (developed for
the-purpose of the-study). The-choice of senior-academic-staff was based on the-assumption, that all of them,
should have-been-publishing, on their-area of expertise, and therefore, are considered, to be knowledgeable-
enough on the-subject-matter-- plagiarism.
Subject-members were selected at-random, regardless of their-mother-department, or any-other factors.
Interested-readers could-refer to Starovoytova et al. (2015) to-find informative-synopsis regarding Kenya, and
its-educational-system. In-addition, refer to Starovoytova & Cherotich (2016), for information on the-university,
and on-the-school, where the-study, was-conducted.
2.3. Questionnaire and its administration
This-research applies a-style of projective-technique, by asking questionnaire-respondents questions about
plagiarism, at the-SOE. The-subject-sensitivity, relative-position of questions, the-minimization of excess-length,
the-visual-impact and ease of comprehension and completion, were all-considered, when designing the
questionnaire, according to Starovoytova et. al. (2016b).
The-questioner was pre-tested, to-ensure its-validity and reliability. A-trial-survey (pre-testing), was
conducted, according to ISO 20252:2006 (E) Market, Opinion and Social-Research Standard, by administering
an-initial-version of the-questionnaire to 2-faculty-members, selected at-random, from the- outside of the-
subject-sample. Discussions, with these-individuals, resulted in the-fine-tuning of wording and ’polishing’ of
the-final-format of the-questionnaire.
Considering, a-busy-schedule, for most of the-respondents, the-questionnaires were administered by
‘drop & pick’ method. Consenting-members were-given an-appropriate-amount of time, to complete the
questionnaire (approximately 1 week) and were informed, on the-confidentiality of the-process.
The-answers, to-the-open-ended-questions, provided by-the-faculty, were analyzed, using a- content-
analysis-technique, for qualitative-data: the-data were unitized, coded, and grouped into themes, according to
Denzin & Lincoln (2000) and Lincoln & Guba (1985). To-ensure-credibility, a-principle of qualitative-inquiry,
for ascertaining that the-analysis and findings are-legitimate, was used, according to Lincoln & Guba (1985).
Cronbach’s alpha was chosen, as-the-most-common-method of estimating reliability of an-instrument
(Hardy & Bryman, 2009). The-Statistical-Package for Social Sciences (SPSS-17, version 22)-computer
software-program was used to-compute the-Cronbach’s alpha co-efficient. Descriptive-statistics was used to-
analyze, both, qualitative and quantitative-data.
3. Results, Analysis of the results, and Discussion
3.1. Results
3.1.1. Validation of the-instrument
Upon validation-process, it was established, that the-instrument had sufficient-information, which would answer
all-the-research-questions. The-instrument was found adequate-enough; the-length of the- entire-instrument was
found suitable and the-content was-logically-organized. The general recommendation made is, that the-
instrument was adequate, with very-minor-editing.
The final-version of the-self-report-questionnaire consisted of 2-main-parts: demographics and a-
research-inquiry. In the-second-part, the-respondents were asked to-read carefully a-paragraph, from a-
newspaper-article; so that they can-recognize, the-different-ways it-is used, in the-series of writing-samples
(scenarios), that follow. After reading each-sample, they must decide if, and to-what-extent, the-writer
committed plagiarism, that is, copied or used it, in-a-bad-way. Participants were presented with six-scenarios: A,
B, C, D, E, and F. Accordingly, to-evaluate each-scenario, 3-answers were offered to- choose from, such as: (1)
No plagiarism; (2) Some-plagiarism; and (3) Great-amount of plagiarism. The-exercise is adapted from Deckert
Questionnaire-data were coded, entered into SPSS and checked for errors. Data were analyzed, list-
wise in SPSS, so that missing-values were disregarded. Cronbach’s-alpha-test of internal-consistency was
performed on for-perceptions and self-reports on-plagiarism and demonstrated high- inter-item-consistency
(Cronbach’s a=0.817).
3.1.2. Questioner-responses
Out of the-total-number of questioners, administered (N=15), 10 were collected-back, within a- specified-period,
giving a-response-rate (RR) of 67%. Results part1: Demographic Characteristics.
Figure 2 shows: gender, department, academic-rank and years of teaching-experience (at university-level) of
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Figure 2: Demographics of the respondents
95% of the respondents were male, while 5% were female; confirming that the-SOE, as any-other
engineering-school, is male-dominated. Out of the-5-engineering-departments, of SOE, responses were received
only from 4-departments: (1) MIT-Manufacturing, Industrial &Textile Engineering contributed 30% of the
respondents; (2) ECE-Electrical &Communication Engineering, 30%; and 20% for each of MPE (Mechanical &
Production Engineering) and CPE (Chemical& Process Engineering) departments. The highest-share (40%), of
the-participants, was Associate Professors; and Senior-lecturers and Lecturers contributed equally, at 30% each;
however, no response was received, from full-Professors. The vast-majority of the-faculty (40%) have-been-
teaching, at-university-level, from 15 to 20 years; followed by 30% of these taught for 5 to 10years; equal-share
(10%) were teaching from 3 to 5 years and from 10 to 15 years; the smallest-representation (10%) taught for
over 20 years. Results part 2: Research-questions.
Figure 3 shows faculty’ responses on six-scenarios.
Figure 3: Faculty’ Responses on six-scenarios.
Scenario A, was pre-designed, to-have Some-plagiarism; only 40% of the-respondents identified it as-
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such; the-majority (50%) were marked it as having Great amount of plagiarism; and 10% identified it as having
No plagiarism.
Scenario B, was designed, simular, to A, as having Some-plagiarism; here vast-majority (70%)
indicated the correct-answer; followed by 20% of these identified the-paragraph, as having No plagiarism, while
remaining 10% said, it contained Great amount of plagiarism.
Scenario C,was having Great amont of plagiarism (the text was paraphised, with no attribution to the
original-author). Only 30% identified it as such, 40% said it had Some-plagiarism, while 30% marked it as NO
Scenario D, has Some-plagiarism pre-defaulted; Equal share (40%) of the-respondents identified it as-
both; correct-response (Some-plagiarism) and also said, that the-passage contained No plagiaris, while the-
remaining 20% believed it contained Great-amount of plagiarism.
Scenario E, with NO plagiarism; was identified as-such, by vast-majority(70%), 20% was of opposite-
opinion, that it has Great-amount of plagiarism, while the-rest (10%) were indicated Some- plagiarism.
Scenario F, had Some-plagiarism; the-responces splitted at-the-middle: 50% said NO-plagiarism, while
the-rest said, that the-passage contained Some-plagiarism.
3.2 Analysis of Results and Discussion
It-is-apparent, that the-attitude of the-faculty-members, reflected in-relatively-low-response-rate, inadequate-
level of seriousness and responsiveness, with which plagiarism is perceived. That is, the low-response-rate and
weak-enthusiasm support the-findings of the IPPHEAE’ study for Belgium: students, staff-members and HEI-
managers, tend to-display a-lack of interest-toward-plagiarism.
This-study identified that 30 to 60% of the-faculty did-not-identify plagiarized-versions correctly,
which indicates that faculty, in this-survey, were unclear on exact-meaning of plagiarism. The-study initially-
presumed, that all-the-respondents are published-authors, in-their-field, and, therefore, supposed to be familiar
with the-ways to-avoid plagiarism; by understanding of proper-referencing and having citation-skills. According
to Scouller et al. (2008), however, analysis of such-responses, indicated a-failure to-put this ‘knowledge’ into-
practice. There was, hence, an-apparent-gap, between expected-knowledge and the-ability to-apply it, in-their-
The-finding also correlates-well with the-study of Carroll (2004), where he pointed-out, that many-
authors had difficulty expressing their-own-ideas and differentiating between a-common-knowledge and
information that needed to-be-referenced. The-finding is also in-accord with the other-research-findings of Roig
(1997) where he stated, that majority of respondents were-unable to-identify plagiarism in passages, due to mis-
understandings, concerning plagiarism and correct-paraphrasing.
The logical-conclusion of the-study is, therefore, that many-incidents of plagiarism are likely to- result,
from lack of knowledge, or even bare-ignorance, rather than planned-plagiarism. To-support this-point, Orim, et
al. (2013), pointed-out, that most-plagiarism-cases occurred as a-result of lack of awareness and proper-skills.
Other-major-reasons, contributing to-widespread of plagiarism, are (Reddy, 2011): (1) The wealth of
information, which could-be-accessed, at our-fingertips, through the-Internet; (2) ‘Copy and paste’ technique to-
become more-widely used, in order to-copy the-ideas, words and works of others into one’s own-research-work;
(3) Lack of writing-skills; and (4) The-pressure, within-oneself, to-increase the-number of publications, as a-
credit of their-own, so called academic-pressure of ‘publish or perish’.
With regard to-reason number (4), above, Bretag (2013) emphasized, that plagiarism ‘is a symptom of
a deeply-entrenched academic-culture, that arguably places tangible-rewards (grades, diplomas, publications,
promotions, grants), above the-intrinsic-value of learning and knowledge-creation’. Furthermore, some-
plagiarism-behavior, such-as collusion, is clearly intentional, and un-ethical, whereas, some-other could-be-
accidental or unintentional, which-could-be-referred-to as poor-practice (Elander et al., 2010; Devlin &Gray,
2007; Hayes & Introna, 2005; James et al., 2002; Brown & Howell, 2001).
To-examine the-very-root-cause of the-plagiarism-problem, from the-angle of behavioural sciences, it-
would be-beneficial, also to-look at a-growth and development-process, of a-human-being, and in particular, at
the-imitation-behaviour, naturally-inbuilt in-us.
3.2.1. Imitation-behaviour, inbuilt in us
In-certain-cultures, like the-Chinese-one, for-example, ‘follow-the-expert’ is a-commonly-accepted and widely-
used-learning-method. Solomon (1996) pointed-out, that this-type of learning-model is an- ‘every-day’ model,
where people learn from experience of their-ancestors. According to Eisner & Vicinus (2008) imitating the-
expert, and imitating as-close-as-possible, is ‘a way of acknowledging the greatness of the-expert’s ideas’.
On the-other-hand, replication, mimicry, and learning ‘parrot-way’, apparently, are imperative parts of
any-learning. This is, usually, how any-child learns how to-speak, how to-write and how to-perform simple-tasks.
They try to-reproduce the-information, by replicating or imitating ‘a model’ (could be a-parent, a-family-
member, a-teacher, etc). As-adults, subconsciously, we rely on the-learning-strategies, which we absorbed, as-
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children. In-the-spirit of this-notion, a-similar-tactic is applicable for faculty, when learning, how to-write a-
scientific-manuscript or a-program (Fawler, 2004).
The-imitation-method, however, ideally, should be just a ‘warming-up’, which supposed to initiate,
propel, develop and boost the-reasoning and independent-thinking of a-writer.
3.2.2. Value of proper and accurate-attribution.
According to Robert Merton, an-ultimate-value of a-scientist is to-have inquisitiveness and a-passion for the-
truth (Merton, 1993). In-writing, authors draw-upon others’ ideas, expressions and the-intellectual-heritage,
underlying the-very-essence of human-progress. Scholarship, on the-other-hand, entails researching,
understanding, and building-upon the-work of others, but also requires that proper-credit be-given, for any-
‘borrowed’-material, by citing (Davis, 2015).
Giving-recognition to the-original-author, by citing-sources, is the-only-way, to use other-people’s
work, without-plagiarizing. A ‘citation’ is a-routine-practice, of paramount-value, in academic-writing, by which
an-author informs readers, that certain-material in theirs’-work emerged from another-author/source. Moreover,
it-gives the-readers, the-information, necessary to-find that-source again, including: (1) Information about the-
authors (names, affiliations, contacts, and short-academic-autobiography (for some-journals), etc.); (2) The-title
of the-work; (3) The-name of the-journal, with its-details, such as: official-website-address, ISSN numbers and
other-important-information; (4) The-date (meaning the specific-volume and issue of the-journal, the-work was-
published); and optionally, (5) The-exact-page numbers, of the-borrowed-material.
Additionally, there are other-reasons, to-cite-sources, such-as (Masic, 2014): (1) Citations are
extremely-helpful to-anyone, who wants to-find-out more, about author(s)’-ideas and where they came from; (2)
Not every-source, cited, is bright or accurate, and hence, the author(s)-own-ideas may, sometimes, be-more-
precise or, even, more-interesting, than those of the-sources. Proper-citation will-keep an-author blameless, for
someone else’s bad-ideas; (3) Citing-sources, also, shows the-magnitude, value and relevance of research, an-
author had-done; and (4) Citing-sources reinforce author’-work, by providing outside-support to author’-ideas.
It-is also-important, to-mention-here, that there-are-particular fundamentally-distinct prescribed styles
of citation; the-most-common, however, are: (1) Chicago, (2) MLA (modern language association), (3) ACS
(American chemical society), (4) IEEE (Institute of electrical and electronics engineers), (5) NLM (National
library of medicine), (6) Vancouver (Biological sciences), and (7) APA (American psychological association).
3.2.4. Widespread-exposure to the-Internet and its-facilitation of plagiarism
According to the-recent-study, by Starovoytova & Namango (2016a):
…the unstoppable-growth of web-based-information, paper-mills, cheat-sites, and effortlessly
downloadable-resources (documents, scientific-papers, and even, complete-theses, among-others)
jointly with easily-reformatted-texts and diminishing-ethical-values, has been progressively
distorting the-foundation of intellectual-property.
The-term ‘ghost-writing’ has several-distinct-meanings, depending on the-levels of involvement, of the-ghost-
writer (Bosch & Ross, 2012). It-is-often linked to-contract-writing, in which (POGO, 2011): (1) the-author, who
takes the-credit, often acknowledges the-ghost-writer as the ‘editor’ of their-article. In this-case, the-ghost-writer
does everything, from start to-finish, including research, writing and editing, but with constant-supervision, by
the ‘author’. Also, the-former will-be attributed by latter (e.g. in most-biographies) and therefore, it-is ethically-
acceptable; (2) The ghost-writer is only employed, to-edit and re-write a-draft (often disguisedly called ‘proof-
reading’); (3) The ghost-writing only comes in, after the research-phase, but the-bulk of the-article, is written, by
the-ghost-writer; and (4) Is simply using (or paying) ghost-writers, to-do the-entire-project, from start to-finish,
without any-contacts, with the-authors (e.g. ‘paper-mills’).
The-charging-practices differ, from writer to-writer (on-average, however, it is 3-5 UK pence/word and
the-minimum-charge is 100 pounds). Others said that their-charges depend on the-complexity of the- project
(from 150 to 1000 £) for an-undergraduate-level-assignment and for a-PhD- thesis, respectively.
On the-other-hand, popular, today, social-networking has influenced, not only our-social-life, but also
the-way we conduct-business and doing-research (Roblyer et al, 2010; Connell, 2009). Social networking-
websites have several-millions of unique users/visitors, and the-number of visitors is growing each-year.
Providers of some-social-networking-sites, utilize the-popularity of the-media, where they can approach anyone,
instantaneously, directly and discretely, and use these-sites as an-advertisement-platform, for any-academic-
needs (Roblyer et al, 2010; Peluchette & Karl, 2008; Todi, 2008).
The-use of customized-assignments/reports writing-companies, ‘paper-mills’ and other-paid third-
parties, appears-to-be-widespread, in-modern-higher-education, and almost-any-sort of academic writing-work is
now available, for-purchase. They are-relatively-cheap, the-results can-be-obtained very quickly, they are also-
difficult, to-detect. Overall these-sites are attractive, for some-unethical-writers; hence, their-use represents a
serious-threat to-academic-integrity, around the-world.
3.2.5. A ‘double-edged-sword’ of plagiarism.
Common-access, to-the-Internet and other-electronic-media, has served as a-‘double-edged sword’, regarding
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plagiarism; the-Web allows one to-plagiarize with ‘cut-and-paste’ ease, but also allows identifying, more-easily,
the-source of the-plagiarized-material, when plagiarism is-suspected (Lyon et al., 2006).
There-are many-anti-plagiarism-soft-wares available now; some of them are-free and safe, to-
download. Interested-readers can refer to Starovoytova & Namango (2016a) for more-details. Even a-best-
machine, however, cannot determine: Plagiarism of text, outside the-database; Plagiarism of ideas; Plagiarism of
graphics/equations; Plagiarism by omission; Incorrect-citation; Acceptable or unacceptable ‘self-plagiarism’;
Coincidence; and Acceptable-copying.
Nevertheless, Hellaby (2011) pointed-out, that a-growing-number of Higher Educational Institutions
(HEIs) is taking action, against plagiarism, and actively-scans for plagiarized-work via anti-plagiarism-detection-
soft-wares. Besides, over the-last-few-years, a-downward-trend, regarding cases of plagiarism, is apparent, in-
universities, across-Belgium. According to the-university-board, this-decrease is, mainly, the-consequence of
the-deterrent-effect of the-implementation of the-software TurnItIn (DeMorgen, 2013).
This-study, therefore, will only highlight one of the-most-popular, and, now, common, in many-
universities software. It-compares, a-written-submission, against a- large-
number of sources, by-reporting the-percentage of overlaps, against a-massive-database and other-online-sources.
This-percentage, alone, however, does not-reflect whether or not, an-academic violation has-taken-place; but it-
can-raise suspicions of plagiarism, necessitating further-investigations, of the-text. Therefore, academics and
journal-editors, have to-read and interpret, when overlap between papers is coincidental, and, when it-is a-
plagiarism (McKeever, 2006). Given that, some-systems, now allow one to-upload, their-own-writing, to-check
for plagiarism, before submitting a-manuscript, rates of unintentional-plagiarism may-drop, making the-
remaining-intentional-plagiarism much-easier, to-detect.
Notwithstanding’ potential-benefits, it however, cannot, at all-times, detect plagiarism in
computer-programming (code-plagiarism), very-technical-writing or other-obscure-sources (Kraemer, 2008;
Royce, 2003). It-is-also important to-realize, that is not a ‘silver-bullet’; rather, it-should-be-seen,
as a-helpful-tool, for detecting suspicious-papers and further-identifying the sources of plagiarism (Youmans,
2011). Additional-limitation, with all-anti-plagiarism soft-wares, is that they do not prevent plagiarism, but
catch-it, after it-has-occurred (Beute et al, 2008).
3.2.6. Battling plagiarism
At the-beginning of this-paper, it-was-stated, that ‘The readers of this-paper are, most-likely, interested not only
about the-plagiarism, itself, but, most-importantly, on how to-avoid and combat the-menace’. The -following-
brief, will-try, to-put some-light, on-this-issue. To-combat cheating, including plagiarism, a well-known, 3D-
approach can-be-used: prevention, detection and punishment. The-authors already discussed the first-two;
therefore, the-next sub-topic will-be-dedicated to the-punishment-approach.
3.2.7. Intellectual-property, Copyright and Copyright-Law
Plagiarism is commonly-understood as ‘theft’ of words and/or ideas, in writing. The-logical-question is
immediately comes to mind: ‘Can words and ideas (being intangible) really be stolen?’ Apparently, yes, as
words are considered to-be a-form of an-intellectual-input, generally-known as intellectual-property. And,
therefore, as any-property, they can-be-stolen.
Copyright is the ‘intangible-property’, which allows the-copyright-owner, or those authorized by the-
copyright-owner, the-exclusive-right to-prohibit, or to-perform certain-acts. For example, in-Australia, when an-
author fails to-give a-correct-attribution, to the-original-author, their-legislation considers it as a- violation of
moral-property-rights to-the literary-work. This-view is paralleled, in-England and in the United States of
America (Titus, 2008).
Signatory-nations to the-Berne Convention, agree to-comply, and uphold international copyright
protections and regulations, for-authorship. It-should-be, however, recognized that copyright, in-itself, does not
protect ideas, or information, rather, it-protects the-way, in which an-idea, or information is expressed, in a-
Copyright-laws exists, to-protect an-intellectual-property. They make-it-illegal, to-reproduce someone
else’s expression of ideas or information, without permission and proper-attribution. This can include music,
images, written words, video, and a variety of other-media. At one-time, a-work was only protected by-copyright,
if it included a copyright-trademark (the © symbol). According to-laws, established in 1989, however, works are
now copyright-protected, with or without the-inclusion of this-symbol (Titus, 2008).
At an-implementation-level, however, this brought some-confusion, as some-authors still-perceive, that
any-copyright-protected-material should-have not only the-copyright-trademark, but also an- official-statement
on ‘ copyright-brief ‘. In-the-absence of these, the-authors assume that the-information is not-protected, in any-
way, and therefore, it-gives them freedom to-use it, under the-umbrella of ‘common knowledge’ or ‘public-
domain’. Works that are no-longer protected by-copyright, or never have been, are considered as ‘public-
domain’. This-means that one may freely-borrow material, from these-works, without fear of plagiarism,
provided one makes proper-attributions. In-general, anything published more-than 75 years-ago is now in the
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public-domain (Titus, 2008).
In the U. S.A., and many-other-countries, for example, the expression of original-ideas, words or ‘facts’
is considered intellectual-property, of the-author, and is protected by-copyright-laws, just like original-inventions
(patents). Almost-all-forms of expression fall-under copyright-protection, as-long-as they are recorded, in some-
written-media (such as a-manuscript, a-book, or a-computer-file). Anyone, who reproduces copyrighted-material,
improperly, however, can-be prosecuted, in a-court of law. It does not matter, if the-form or content of the-
original has-been-altered, as-long-as any-material can-be-shown, to-be substantially-similar, to the-original, it
may be-considered, as a-violation, of the-copyright-law.
It-is important to-recognize, however, that ignorance of the-law is, by no-means, an-excuse. On the-
other-hand, there-are different-punishments for willful-infringement (deliberate-plagiarism), and innocent
infringement (accidental-plagiarism). Most-firms, companies, businesses and institutions will not tolerate any-
form of plagiarism. Hence, there-has-been a-significant-number of cases around-the-world, where people have
lost their-jobs or been denied positions, or promotions, as a-result of plagiarism.
Moreover, if, for-example, the-plagiarism involves money, prizes, or job-placement or job-promotion, it
constitutes a-crime, punishable in-court (in-some-countries, e.g. USA). Most-cases of plagiarism, there, are
considered misdemeanors, punishable by fines (between $100 and $50,000) and up to 1-year in jail. Plagiarism,
can-also be considered, a-felony, under certain-state and federal-laws. For example, if a-plagiarist copies and
earns more than $2,500, from copyrighted-material, they-may face-up to $250,000 in fines, and up to 10-years in
In a-Kenyan-context, a-Copyright-law, applicable to-scientific-writing is, yet, to-be-written; analogues,
at SOE, currently, there is no official-Plagiarism-Policy; only Rules on Examination Irregularities are-in-place.
One of the-contributing-factors, to this-end, could-be, a-lack of finances for an- educational-sector, as in most-
developing-countries, plagiarism is not a-priority, in the-institutional-culture.
To-support this-rationalization, an-example of the-Academic Integrity Maturity Model (AIMM) is
presented here, which was-developed, to-measure the-level of academic-integrity-maturity, for a- particular-
country. The-assessment of ‘maturity’ of policies, at a-national-level, was-based on-nine-criteria: research,
training, level of knowledge, communications, prevention-strategies, use of software-tools, consistency of
sanctions, and of policies, and transparency of processes. The-correlation between AIMM and GDP is shown,
that the more-mature the-academic-integrity, in a-particular-country, the-richer the-country. This-relationship
could be-logically-explained: as the-richer the-country, the-more-money goes to an- education-system. Therefore,
higher-education-institutions can afford software-tools, integrity-officers and other-bodies, promoting and
enforcing academic-integrity, at-particular-institutions. On-the-other-hand, building the-integrity-structures,
raising-awareness, about integrity-issues, and rising authors’ integrity-level, makes any-educational or other-
institution or business, more-ethically-mature, causing more-trust, promoting trade, and increasing GDP.
Therefore, devotedly-promoting academic-integrity, directly or expansively, tends to-impact, positively on-
national-economies (Glendinning, 2014). In-addition, the-integrity, skills, credibility and honesty, of the-
scientific-researchers, and academic-writers, are essential-qualities, in-order to-gain the-confidence, of the-
academic and scientific-community, and general-public, thereby sustaining credibility, of an-affiliated-institution.
To this-end, this-study proposes a holistic-approach to-combat plagiarism, which will-be discussed in-the-
3. 2.8. Holistic-approach to combat plagiarism
The-goal of scholarship is: to-discover, to-understand, and to-create. That-purpose is defeated, when old-
knowledge is fraudulently-presented, as-original and new. Thus, plagiarism is a-completely unacceptable-
practice for all-scholars, which should-be-avoided.
According to Macdonald & Carroll (2006), in a-holistic-approach to-plagiarism, ‘the emphasis is on
promoting good-scholarly, academic-practices, rather than focusing on potential-problems and channeling all-
the-institution’s energies into deterring, through detection and punishment’. A holistic-institutional-approach is,
therefore, necessary, because plagiarism is a-complex-challenge, to education, which-cannot-be resolved, by the-
students and the-faculty, by-creating institutional-rules and regulations, alone, or simply by electronic-text-
recognition-programs. All-stakeholders should-be involved and tackle the-various-plagiarism-challenges, from
different-angles, the-results are more-likely to ‘foster a scholarly-community, based on shared-understanding and
practices of academic- integrity’ (Bretag, 2013).
4. Conclusion and Recommendations.
4.1. Conclusion
Overall, the-results, of this-study, suggest a-worrying-lack of understanding, among engineering-faculty, on the
basic-elements of scientific-writing and on plagiarism. The-study-also revealed a-complete-lack of a- legal-
framework, to-deal, with-plagiarism, its-prevention, and punishment, at-an-institutional-level.
A-famous-Newton’s-quote, cited by-Cohen (2004) states, that: ‘If I have seen further, it-is by standing
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on the-shoulders of Giants’. This-passage, very-eloquently, captures the-truth and the-essence of our focal-point,
that every-new-knowledge is based on the-previously-published-research (left to us, as a recorded-‘inheritance’,
which we must, not only use, but use, judiciously, furthermore striving to-add our-own-value to-it). Therefore,
paying recognition, to these-predecessors (for their-expertise, ideas, time, and effort) is an-obligation for any-
ethical-writer. Ethical-writers ought, to make every-possible-effort, to acknowledge sources, adequately and
correctly, in-accordance with the-contexts and the-field of their-writing. If plagiarism, however, continues, being:
undetected, uncorrected and unpunished; research becomes an-effortless-photocopy or duplication of earlier-
studies, and suffers from lack of imagination, innovation, uniqueness and, therefore, resulting in research of no-
scientific-value, whatsoever.
The-current-study also provides a-number of steps-forward, into the-field of plagiarism-research and
understanding. In particular, more than a few-key-concerns (such-as Imitation-behavior, inbuilt in us; The-
concepts of Intellectual-property, Copyright and Copyright Law; Widespread-exposure to the Internet and its
consequences on plagiarism; and a ’double-edged-sword’ of plagiarism, among others) were holistically-looked-
into, hopefully offering a-much-deeper-grasp, on the-subject-matter. This in-turn, will contribute (in its small-
way) to-ensure genuine-intellectual-contributions, to-excellence in scholarship.
Lastly, the-sample-size for this unfunded-study, was rather-small, and therefore the-findings cannot be
5.2. Recommendations
Based on the-findings and the-discussion, the-following-recommendations are put-forward:
The university should:
(1) Establish official-rules and regulations (such as Plagiarism Policy) to-prevent and deal with
(2) Subscribe-to and install official-anti-plagiarism-software (such as TurnItIn), to-detect plagiarism, in
the-work, submitted by-students, as-well-as faculty-members, before publication of scientific-
(3) Facilitate further-studies on plagiarism, on a-larger- and more-deeper-scale.
5. Acknowledgement
The-authors are grateful to the-academic-members of staff, SOE for their-valuable-participation and for their-
time, spent on this-important-topic, which enabled completion of this-survey.
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... The-study, hence, suggests, that there is, probably, a-lack of mentorship and facilitation, from themost-published-faculty towards the-junior-ones (see Starovoytova, 2017b). In-this-regard, engineering-faculty should-be encouraged to greater-collaboration, across-disciplines and professions (see Starovoytova, 2017b), produce ethical-research (see Starovoytova, 2017a), and avoid plagiarism (see Starovoytova, 2017e;Starovoytova & Namango, 2017;and Starovoytova & Namango, 2016c), among other-possible-activities. ...
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Research-productivity has-been attracting a-lot of attention, globally, among scientists, researchers, administrators, and policy-makers. The-present-study was conducted at-micro-level (sample-size 15), to-evaluate total and average annual-research-productivity, of individual-academicians, in an-Engineering school, over their-publication-career (from the-year of their-first-publication, through 2017). Moreover, research-productivity was-evaluated against: academic-rank, teaching-experience, age, gender, and the-field of engineering. Publications, in-peer-reviewed-scientific-journals, were used, as a-proxy, for research-productivity. Questionnaires, interviews, and document-analysis were the-main-instruments, for this-study. Descriptive-statistics was-used, to-analyze both; qualitative and quantitative-data, via EasyCalculation-software. The-obtained-data was analyzed, by SPPS-17(version 22). Moreover, to-bridge knowledge-gaps, the-following-issues were looked-into: The-role of universities in-research and development; Trends of scientific-publications; Challenges in-research and publishing, at the-African, and local-context; Basic-concepts and measurements of Research-productivity; and Reading-culture. The-study, revealed, that the-sample-faculty published, cumulatively, 230 papers, over their-productive-publishing-career. The-most-productive, with the-highest-average-number of total-publications, were: (1) Associate-professors, with 31.5; (2) Faculty-members, between 51 and 60 years-old, with 37; (3) Female-faculty, with 41; (4) Faculty, having over 25 years of teaching-experience, with 33; and (5) Faculty-members, from Civil and Structural department, with 33 publications. The-analysis also-revealed, that the-identified-average-number of 2.1 publications, per-faculty, per-year, compares-favorably with-estimations, of several-previous-authors; however, examination of research-productivity, at-individual-level, showed great-variations, e.g., the-most-productive-faculty-member (based on-both; total-number of publications, and average-number of publication, per-year), a-female associate-professor, reported 41 articles, published-over 4-year-period (2012-2016), giving the-max individual average-number of 10.3 publications, per-year. The-min-number of publications was 8, in-the-period of 9 years (2006-2015), giving the-min individual-average of 0.9 publications, per-year. Besides, if individual-faculty is evaluated, for 70 % of the-respondents, their-average-number of publications, per-year, exceeds the-estimations, of one-publication, per-capita. The-study also-identified lack of any-international, or national-guidance, or institutional-policy, on how-many-publications, an-average-faculty-member should-produce, per-year, to-provide a-reliable-benchmark, for-comparison. In-addition, several-recommendations were given, for future-research.
... The other-issue, of a-real-concern, is Publication-Ethics. In-recent-study by Starovoytova & Namango (2017), the-authors concluded that: ...
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Dissemination, of research-findings, is usually-seen, as the-culmination-stage, of the-entire research-process, and, hence, this-article closes the-tetrology on Scientific Research, Writing, and Dissemination. The-study was designed to-survey and analyze dissemination-awareness, patterns, and preferences, on scholarly-journal-publications, by-Engineering-faculty. The-study utilized a-survey, interviews and a-document-analysis. The-major-study-findings exposed 82% of the-respondents, who-stated that: (1) they usually-disseminate their-research in Open-Access(OA) Journals, which are both; print & e-format; (2) they-usually-publish in-International-Journals; and (3) OA can be-beneficial, as it gives wider dissemination of research-works. 73% usually-publish in specialty-journal(s), while 64%-in publishing house(s) or platforms, with many-journals. 55% and 36% of the-respondents indicated that U.S.A. and UK is the-most-prestigious-country, for-them, to-publish, respectively. 55% also-stated, that works, in OA-journals, are not properly-peer-reviewed. To-give a-broader-perspective, the-synopsis of the-publishing process, alongside with the-dissemination-channels (Traditional-print-journals and 'The Cost of Knowledge' campaign; OA-Journals, including Predatory-journals; Institutional Repository (IR); Social-networks; and Conference-presentations) and other-relevant-issues, such-as: Future-prospects of the-dissemination; Credibility and ranking, of scientific-journals; Publication-Ethics in-scientific publishing; Choosing an-appropriate-journal; Submission of a-manuscript, for-review; and Increasing citation-rates of a-publication, were-presented. Moreover, constructive-criticism, on the-current-practices, in the-local context was-articulated, next-to relevant-recommendations, to-improve the-situation (at the-level of: government, university, school, and individual-faculty). In-addition, two-areas for further-research, was identified. This-paper reflects the-personal and independent-opinions of the-author and does-not-mirror the-positions, on the-subject-matter, of the-affiliated-school, or university. The-author trusts this-publication is very-tangible, as-well-as, timely; it-is, therefore, expected to-attract great-deal of attention, from different-researchers, regardless of their-discipline, stage of career-development, experience in-publishing, country, and type of their-institution, among-others.
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members of staf (N=15), from SOE were-invited to-complete a-questionnaire. The-questioner was pre-tested, to-ensure its-validity and reliability. A trial-survey (pre-testing) was conducted, according to ISO 20252:2006 (E). The-Statistical-Package for Social-Sciences SPSS-17, version 22)-computer software program was-used, to-compute the-Cronbach’s alpha coeficient, which demonstrated high-inter-item consistency, and, therefore, reliability (Cronbach’s a=0.803). Descriptive-statistics was-used, to-analyze, both; qualitative and quantitative-data. The-main-findings of the-study, revealed that, the-majority (60%) of the-respondents aleged, that plagiarism was-never-mentioned or explained, to-them, at-any-level; Overwhelming-majority, (90%) agreed is unfair to-the-original-author and the-coleagues; The-vast-majority, (90%) also-claimed that they never plagiarized, while 10% confesed that they-did-it one or two-times, in-the-past; majority (70%) also- agreed, that plagiarism is unfair to-oneself; and 60% agreed, it-is-unfair to-the-university. The-analysis of the- plagiarism, from the-faculty-perspective, was-balanced, by-the rigorous-coverage, of the-folowing-isues: Historical background; Plagiarism’ extent; Quantification, for-plagiarism; Consequences of plagiarism: Retraction of publications, with selected global-ilustrative-examples; Publishing-proces: main-actors and their- roles, in-dealing with-plagiarism; Combating plagiarism, including detection and punishment; and Plagiarism, as just a-tiny-fraction of scientific-misconduct; among others. This-study also-provides few-recommendations, on how to-improve the-curent-situation, in-the absence of oficial-institutional Plagiarism-Policy. The-findings, alongside-with theoretical coverage, wil, expectantly, make a-contribution (in its-smal-way), toward the- body of knowledge, on-the subject. Keywords: retraction of publication, scientific, academic, faculty, quantification for plagiarism, questionnaire. 1. Introduction 1.1. Plagiarism concept Plagiarism is a-complex-isue; hence, there is-no universaly-accepted-definition. To-ilustrate this, folowing are the-selected-examples, on how plagiarism’ definition defer, among-universities and institutions of higher-
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Undoubtedly, plagiarism has been a global-concern, especially so, in institutions of higher-learning. Furthermore, over the past-decades, cases of student-plagiarism, in higher-education, have increased, substantially. This-issue cannot be taken, without due-consideration, and it is crucial for educators, and universities, at large, to find the best-ways, to discourage and reduce the acts of students' plagiarism. The aim of this-study, therefore, was to address plagiarism in professional-university-education from undergraduate-engineering-students' attitudinal-perspective. In particular, to ascertain how plagiarism is defined by the students; which factors, they perceive, exacerbate plagiarism; how they justify plagiarism; and severity and penalty related to the misconduct. This-paper illustrates a fraction of a larger-research on plagiarism at the School of Engineering. The study-design used a descriptive-survey-approach and a document-analysis. A designed confidential self-report-questioner was applied as the main-instrument for this-study, with the sample-size (N=25), and a response-rate (RR=84%). The tool was pre-tested to ensure its validity and reliability. The data-collection-instrument was subjected to the statistical-analysis to determine its reliability via Cronbach's alpha-coefficient, and found high inter-item consistency (a > 0.9). The major-results of this-study revealed overall and widespread-deficiency in students' understanding of plagiarism; also more than half of the students, in the-subject-sample, were not adequately-informed about plagiarism in academic-writing; 76% of the respondents agreed, that those who say, they have never plagiarized, are lying; and also that everyone else around are plagiarizing (e.g., students, researchers, and academic-staff); 48% of the respondents agreed, that they keep on plagiarizing, because they have not been caught yet, while 33% stated, that they are tempted to plagiarize because, even if caught, the punishment (if any) will be light (the reward outweighs the risk). Several-specific-recommendations, on how to fight plagiarism, were provided, alongside with identification of areas for further-research. This-study would offer awareness to the undergraduates, lecturers, and the faculty-administrators, on the gravity of plagiarism-acts and how to avoid it, in the university. The study also will make a contribution (in its small-way) to the body of knowledge on the subject-matter.
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Cheating in examinations transpires in every-country of the world, and it is a fraudulent-behavior that involves some-form of deception, in which a candidate's efforts, or the efforts of other-candidates, are altered; it has negative educational, social and psychological-effects. Even though cheating is widespread, it has been observed that some-faculties rarely-discuss rules and consequences of academic-dishonesty with their-students. The main-objective of this-study is to comprehend, cheating-phenomena, on a deeper-level, by evaluating perception of the-trend from the faculty' perspective, so that ways could be proposed for preventing it from happening. This-study is a fraction of a larger-research on cheating at the School of Engineering (SOE). The study-design used a descriptive-survey-approach and a document-analysis. A designed confidential self-report-questioner was used as the main-instrument for this-study, with the sample-size of 25-subjects and response-rate of 84%. The tool was pre-tested to ensure its validity and reliability. The study focused on the Attribution-Theory and Constructivist-paradigm of research that view knowledge as socially-constructed from the context of cheating in examinations. The data collection-instrument was subjected to the statistical-analysis to determine its reliability via Cronbach's alpha-coefficient, and found high inter-item consistency (a > 0.9). The results of the survey, where 81% of the respondents agreed that students frequently indulge in examination-malpractice, clearly revealed that cheating, indeed, is a significant-problem in the SOE. The challenge for the school is, therefore, to tailor effective-strategies to prevent cheating-opportunities, and to establish and enforce valuable-means of dealing with particular-patterns and types of cheating. Specific-recommendations on how to deal with cheating in examinations are also highlighted.
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Reviewers of previous-research, for the study of academic-dishonesty, cite lack of a theoretical-framework as a serious-flaw that limits the generalizations to be reasonably-made. The concept and term of theory are essential in any-discipline, that perceives itself as scholarly or scientific, hence theory is essential in educational-research as a research-domain. Interest in theory-method relations, comes from previous-works on structure and agency in teaching-learning-interactions in higher-education. In addition, there have been criticisms of the extent of theory use and the type of theory applied in higher-education-research. This study is therefore, focused on illustrative-review of theories and models relevant to cheating-behaviour, which resulted in an array of 19 theories, 10 models and 3 supportive-approaches. This contribution seeks inspiring an interest in the academic-fraternity into using solid-theoretical-foundation for their-study on cheating-behaviour, thus promoting of educational-research of high-scientific-value. It also anticipates enhancing the knowledge-base for professional-education and its policy-making and administration, among other-areas.
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Engineering has remained one of the most male-dominated professions around the world with male-bias in undergraduate engineering student cohorts is still prominent. Little research has been done comparing differences between, or establishing a trend in, enrolment of female engineering students across different engineering departments/disciplines. On the other hand, a key factor in the low number of students entering engineering may be inaccurate perceptions of the engineering disciplines. In this regard, this study is focused on two issues: (1) to examine the pattern of gender-enrolment across the various engineering disciplines offered, in the period between 2003 and 2014, and (2) to review, highlight and clarify on distinguishing information about each area of engineering specialization present in the 5 departments at School of Engineering. A detailed examination reveals that generally, males dominated the entire disciplines. Distribution of female students in engineering departments is not even (both within the subject period and between the departments), and they are, on average, more greatly represented in some departments than others; in particular, Chemical& Process Engineering was found to be the least 'masculine', while Mechanical& Production Engineering-the most. The question " why the enrolment of females varied from one discipline to another? " was logically raised, but remains unreciprocated, as it was outside the scope of this concise study. Nevertheless, this study made a recommendation for further survey to address the issue.
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Currently there is an escalating worldwide rivalry for advanced product and process functionality, lower costs, superior quality, and other concerns together with environmental challenges and energy considerations. Everything needs to be done not only fast, but also accurately, effectively, and efficiently. Solving problems facing the 21st Century society demands creativity and innovation. Creativity is a fundamental skill that Engineers must develop in order to be competitive. However there is a generalized concern amongst industry and academic leaders about the effects of traditional engineering education on students’ creativity (for example: lacking design capability or creativity, as well as an appreciation for considering alternatives). The traditional approach to creativity (using methods such as brainstorming, C-sketch, morphological charts, and scamper among others) calls upon the designer to look inward for inspiration. The Theory of innovative problem solution TRIZ, on other hand, invites the Engineer/Designer to use a readily available pool of knowledge for inspiration. The main objective of this research is to comprehensively illustrate the rationale for introducing TRIZ in engineering curricula with particular emphasis on developing countries (exemplar Kenya). The study justified that numerous countries have already in full swing benefiting from such methods as TRIZ; on the other hand many of us in the developing nations are either completely unaware, or in a very comfortable state of hibernation with the warning sign”Do not disturb”, or extremely resistant to any changes, even if the change is emphatically for the better. Keywords: Creativity, Curricular, Engineering, Innovation, TRIZ, Theory of innovative Problem Solution