Students' perceptions of plagiarism and relevant policies in Cyprus

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Background: Effective plagiarism deterrence in the Republic of Cyprus, requires the identification of any gaps, best practices and case studies relating to plagiarism across the Higher Educational Institutions in the country. This paper discusses the findings of the first research conducted among university students and faculty in Cyprus and focuses on students' awareness of and perceptions towards academic plagiarism. Methodology: The research instrument for students was initially designed based on experts' feedback, as part of the IPPHEAE project. It was translated into the national language and pilot tested. The questionnaire included 33 questions of the following types: i) open-ended questions; ii) multiple choice questions in two variations: those requiring mutually exclusive options and single response and those permitting multiple selected answers and iii) Likert-type scale questions. The target population of the study included all students, undergraduate and graduate, pursuing an academic degree, in public and private universities in Cyprus. A total of 318 correctly completed questionnaires were collected. Results: It is clear from the findings of this study that there is a need for a clear and uniform definition and understating of the terms "plagiarism" and "academic dishonesty". There is also a need to develop mechanisms for communicating these definitions both to students and to faculty, in addition to ensuring that these terms have been understood. In the setting up of policies, procedures and penalties for plagiarism and academic dishonesty, it is necessary to have uniformity and consistency in both implementation and especially in the imposition of penalties. The results also indicate that the use of tools, such as software for the detection or discourage of plagiarism, would definitely contribute positively to reducing plagiarism. Conclusions: Findings and recommendations outlined in this paper have been included to a national report distributed to interested stakeholders and it may contribute towards improved perceptions of students regarding plagiarism and relevant policies in Cyprus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalInternational Journal for Educational Integrity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2015


  • Anti-plagiarism
  • Perceptions
  • Policies
  • Procedures


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