Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Awareness and Perception of Plagiarism of Postgraduate Students in Selected Universities in Ogun State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Awareness and Perception of Plagiarism of Postgraduate Students in Selected Universities in Ogun State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Higher education all over the world especially in this 21st century is experiencing heightened reported cases of plagiarism. The prevalence is traceable to the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education as well as the plethora of online resources (Gow, 2013; McCab, 2005; Kress, 1999 and Haward, 1999). The inimical act of copious copying of other scholars' intellectual property devoid of proper attribution or what is popularly regarded as 'cut and paste' syndrome is a clear demonstration of the culture of mediocrity. It has the greatest propensity of enthroning superficiality and forestall advancement superficiality and forestall advancement in knowledge and quality of learning. Plagiarism is a contentious issue in higher education, it is perceived, by many to be widespread and increasing among university students. (Flint, Clegg and Mcdonald, 2006 quoted Roberts and Toombs, 1993; Larkham and Manns, 2002). Onuoha and Ikonne (2013) stressed that the incidents of plagiarism nowadays seem to be on the increase especially with the advent of Internet which made information more easily available and accessible without any geographical barriers; therefore, researchers can have access to any document in any part of the world as easily as possible.

The International School of Management (2015) pointed out that in Nigeria, the issue of academic integrity or dishonesty is so crucial in the heart of the higher institutions management. Therefore, the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities in 2012 contacted the United Kingdom (UK) based academic integrity software company called Turnitin for discussions and technical collaboration. Today virtually all universities in Nigeria have access to the Turnitin system and they can now conduct originality checks of diverse publications to ensure genuine intellectual contributions to scholarship.

Literature Review

Awareness refers to the cognitive ability of a person to discern, decipher and judge a given phenomenon. It refers to the knowledge about an object or event, the competences or skills as well as the methods of operation; it has to do with background knowledge about the object, event or any other phenomenon. (Reinhardt, Mletzko, Sloep and Drachsler, 2015.). Merikle (1984) defined awareness as the ability of a person to discriminate among several possible stimuli; it enables the person to make right judgment and decision as well as attain high level of performance.

Awareness and perception are two coins that affect the judgment and action of any individual. Perception is the process of recognizing, organizing and interpreting sensory information, it deals with the human senses and generate signals from the environment through the five sense organs: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. (Human Perception and Information Processing, 2015).

Awareness and perception level of researchers will have effects on their involvement in plagiarism. Flint, Clegg and Mcdonald, (2006) cited Liverpool Hope University College, (2003) and defined plagiarism as the use of material which is not cited and referenced to its source and also the direct use of material, referenced or un-referenced, without a clear indication that the material is taken verbatim from its source. In the same way, Pyer (2000) described plagiarism as theft, he stressed that it is taking the words, ideas and labour of other people and giving the impression and or pretending that they are your own, thereby crediting the idea, opinion, and thought to oneself.

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, Borg and Awala-Ale (2013) quoted Park (2003), also described plagiarism as academic malpractice; and a breach of academic integrity.

Plagiarism occurs as result of certain elements in the academic environment. …

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