Exploring university students' perceptions of plagiarism: A focus group study

Judith Gullifer, Graham A. Tyson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


Plagiarism is perceived to be a growing problem and universities are being required to devote increasing time and resources to combating it. Theory and research in psychology show that a thorough understanding of an individual's view of an issue or problem is an essential requirement for successful change of that person's attitudes and behaviour. This pilot study explores students' perceptions of a number of issues relating to plagiarism in an Australian university. In the pilot study, focus groups were held with students across discipline areas, year and mode of study. A thematic analysis revealed six themes of perceptions of plagiarism: confusion, fear, perceived sanctions, perceived seriousness, academic consequences and resentment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-481
Number of pages19
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic integrity
  • College students
  • Plagiarism
  • Student ethics
  • University student

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