Faculty perceptions of self-plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty among university students

Carleen Vincent-Robinson, Florida International University


As university faculty are often required to police academic misconduct among students, their attitudes and beliefs toward misconduct warrant investigation, particularly as the failure to act may exacerbate the incidence of students’ unethical behaviors. Therefore, this descriptive study examined faculty perceptions of academic dishonesty among students, institutional support, and self-plagiarism using an electronic-mail questionnaire (N = 201) and assessed the academic environment, frequency of student misconduct, and severity of those behaviors. Female faculty were more likely than male faculty to perceive high levels of cheating on exams (p <.01), inappropriately sharing work (p <.05), plagiarizing written assignments (p <.01), and violating institutional integrity policies (p <.01). They were also more likely than their colleagues to construe self-plagiarism as the failure to secure instructor-permission prior to recycling papers (p <.05) or recycling previously submitted papers, in their entirety (p <.05). Non-tenured faculty were more likely than tenured faculty to identify recycling written assignments without permission, (p <.05) and turning in a previously submitted group assignment as an individual assignment as selfplagiarism (p <.05). They were also more likely than tenured faculty to perceive administrators (p <.05) and deans (p <.01) as supportive and encouraging in their quest to halt academic misconduct. Additionally, online faculty were more likely than campus-based faculty to perceive higher levels of plagiarism among graduate students (p <.05). Last, undergraduate faculty were more likely than graduate faculty to understand academic integrity policies (p <.05). Multi-way frequency analyses revealed significant interactions between the perceptions concerning academic integrity policies, institutional support, and understanding of self-plagiarism, thereby, resulting in the rejection of the three null hypotheses of no association. Overall, faculty remain troubled by self-plagiarism; their perceptions are mediated by gender and academic rank. Consequently, additional efforts should be made to educate instructional staff about the various forms of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, self-plagiarism, double-dipping, and recycling; increase faculty understanding and awareness of misconduct; and encourage compliance with said policies.

Subject Area

Gender studies|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Vincent-Robinson, Carleen, "Faculty perceptions of self-plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty among university students" (2016). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI10255608.