Plagiarism/Student understandings of plagiarism questionnaire

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1 Introduction

The Student understandings of plagiarism questionnaire was published in Appendix 1 of Sutton, Taylor and Johnston, (2014) [1]

The survey was conducted in two UK universities and an australian one and over 2500 responses were collected.

2 Items and Instructions

Please rate the action described in terms of seriousness on the following five-point scale (1 = not plagiarism, 2 = not serious, 3 = minor offence, 4 = serious, 5 = very serious)

  1. Copying sentences and making small changes such as replacing or changing the order of the words, without referencing the source
  2. Re-submitting an assignment from the previous year with the order of the paragraphs changed.
  3. Using a piece of text from a journal word for word without including it in the reference list
  4. Taking short phrases of 10–15 words from different sources and adding original wording – referencing the sources correctly
  5. Using a paragraph from an article – placing it in quotation marks and citing the source in the text and the reference list
  6. Putting an idea from a journal article in your own words – not citing this on the page, but listing the article in the reference list
  7. Proposing an idea or view without knowing this has been proposed by others and so not listing relevant articles in the reference list
  8. With a friend, dividing an assignment into sections, each writing different parts, putting these together then submitting this as individual work
  9. Downloading from the internet or journals an essay, adding to it your own introduction and conclusion
  10. Copying, without acknowledgement, someone else's PhD thesis for an MA/MSc dissertation
  11. Getting a relative or friend to write your assignment
  12. Taking the assignment of a fellow student without permission (e.g. from a computer) and handing this in as your own
  13. Passing your finished assignment to a fellow student to help them with their assignment
  14. Taking text from the assignment of another student (e.g. one e-mailed by a ‘friend' to ‘help') without telling the ‘friend'
  15. Forcing/coercing another student into writing an assignment (e.g. by bullying)
  16. Buying an assignment off the internet and submitting this
  17. Working as a study group exchanging text by e-mail but not using the text in the submitted individual assignments
  18. Working as a study group exchanging text by e-mail using the text in individual assignments
  19. Passing an assignment outline as an e-mail attachment to a fellow-student to help them
  20. Using the references from an article in the list of references for an assignment, not having read the references, only the article

3 Results

Four factors accounting for 51% of the variance could be extracted and three factors were finally retained. “the first factor deals with dishonest acts, the second factor mainly with the issue of group work and the third factor with poor referencing. These three factors were examined for their reliability as subscales. Cronbach suggests that alphas above 0.7 indicate a reliable scale. Analysis indicated that the Dishonest scale had good reliability (α=0.85) while the Group Work scale was reasonably reliable (0.69). The Poor Referencing scale, however, had a relatively low alpha (0.57); care should therefore be taken with interpretation.” [1]

(Reproduction of) Table 2. Descriptive statistics and rotated factor loadings for questionnaire items.
Mean SD 1 2 3 4
Stealing assignment 4.81 .634 .807 -.085 .139 -.101
Buying assignment 4.72 .733 .801 .000 .110 -.042
Coercing other 4.67 .812 .766 .006 -.018 -.054
Friend writes 4.45 .904 .756 .108 .117 -.014
Stealing text 4.25 .874 .662 .268 .119 .009
Download plus own intro 4.44 .854 .558 .044 .464 -.126
Copying Thesis 4.54 .944 .543 -.015 .280 -.104
Passing on outline 2.20 1.169 .003 .755 -.024 .116
Study group using text 3.14 1.119 .183 .634 .241 -.083
Study group not using text 1.79 1.113 -.076 .622 -.113 .259
Passing on assignment 3.45 1.148 .382 .596 -.009 .043
Unread references 2.64 1.066 .045 .506 .243 .061
Unwitting idea duplication 1.69 .978 -.183 .446 .155 .360
Unreferenced small changes 3.40 1.055 .128 .036 .734 .116
Unreferenced quote 4.34 .934 .364 -.003 .625 -.149
Referenced at end only 1.96 1.029 -.041 .205 .535 .360
Combine with friend 3.89 1.046 .379 .270 .426 -.113
Referenced quote 1.29 .764 -.096 .138 -.054 .779
Changed quote with ref 1.64 1.008 -.023 .101 .104 .764
Resubmit own work 4.04 1.173 .269 .113 .247 .142

4 References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sutton Anna, David Taylor & Carol Johnston, (2014) A model for exploring student understandings of plagiarism. Journal of Further and Higher Education 38:1, pages 129-146. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0309877X.2012.706807