Systematic Literature Review to Identify and Rank the Most Common Reasons for Plagiarism

Frederik Gerhardus Hattingh, Albertus A. K. Buitendag, Manoj Lall
InSITE 2020  •  2020  •  pp. 159-182
Aim/Purpose: In this paper the authors explore and analyse the literature to determine the common reasons why a student may choose to plagiarise. The predominant purpose of the research formed part of a larger study to develop metrics and methods to identify potential plagiarism within coding-based assignments.

Methodology: A systematic literature review with the objective to identify and rank the most common reasons for plagiarism was conducted. This was achieved by identi-fying primary studies conducted on the reasons for plagiarism. The identified studies were subsequently subjected to a top down quality assessment with a number of criteria. In total, 37 studies made it through the selection process. The results of the selected studies were synthesized to obtain a ranked list of reasons why students plagiarise.

Contribution: This paper contributes a ranked list of reasons that may influence a student’s decision to plagiarise, based on a set of categories emerging from the literature.

Findings: Eleven possible categories indicating the common reasons behind a student’s decision to plagiarise are identified. The literature revealed that aspects such as the external values of the student and attitudes towards academia and teaching styles are significant factors that impact a student’s willingness and decision to plagiarise.

Impact on Society: Instructors may gain a better understanding on why their students decided to plagiarise.
students’ attitudes towards plagiarism, plagiarism metrics, plagiarism deterrents
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