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      Construction of Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Questionnaire for Assessing Plagiarism

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          This study was conducted to develop a questionnaire in order to evaluate knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of the faculty members and students toward plagiarism.


          A KAP study was conducted from June to October 2011 enrolling 390 volunteers anonymously (response rate 96%). The questionnaire included the following four parts: (a) general characteristics like gender, academic degree and education level; (b) nine questions regarding knowledge (Min=0, Max=9); (c) nine questions regarding attitude (Min=9, Max=27); and (d) eight questions regarding practice (Min=0, Max=8). A pilot study was conducted to assess reliability of the questions regarding knowledge and attitude. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the knowledge and attitude questions was 0.70 and 0.74 respectively.


          The overall prevalence of at least once plagiarism commission was 38% (SD=0.035). The overall mean score of knowledge, attitude and practice was 5.94 (SD=1.66), 24.12 (SD=2.99), and 0.66 (SD=1.15) respectively. Knowledge of plagiarism was significantly higher among higher academic degrees and females. Their negative attitude toward plagiarism was stronger too. No statistically significant difference regarding plagiarism commission was observed among different academic degrees in both sexes. According to linear regression analysis, plagiarism commission decreased 13% per one unit increase in score of knowledge ( P=0.005) and 16% per one unit increase in score of attitude ( P<0.001).


          This knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) questionnaire was developed as a standard tool in order to assess perception of subjects toward plagiarism and to estimate the prevalence and the type of plagiarism commission.

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          The silver tsunami is coming: will pharmacy be swept away with the tide?

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            Are "tomorrow's doctors" honest? Questionnaire study exploring medical students' attitudes and reported behaviour on academic misconduct.

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              Prevalence of plagiarism among medical students.

              To determine the prevalence of plagiarism among medical students in writing essays. During two academic years, 198 second year medical students attending Medical Informatics course wrote an essay on one of four offered articles. Two of the source articles were available in an electronic form and two in printed form. Two (one electronic and one paper article) were considered less complex and the other two more complex. The essays were examined using plagiarism detection software "WCopyfind," which counted the number of matching phrases with six or more words. Plagiarism rate, expressed as the percentage of the plagiarized text, was calculated as a ratio of the absolute number of matching words and the total number of words in the essay. Only 17 (9%) of students did not plagiarize at all and 68 (34%) plagiarized less than 10% of the text. The average plagiarism rate (% of plagiarized text) was 19% (5-95% percentile=0-88). Students who were strictly warned not to plagiarize had a higher total word count in their essays than students who were not warned (P=0.002) but there was no difference between them in the rate of plagiarism. Students with higher grades in Medical Informatics exam plagiarized less than those with lower grades (P=0.015). Gender, subject source, and complexity had no influence on the plagiarism rate. Plagiarism in writing essays is common among medical students. An explicit warning is not enough to deter students from plagiarism. Detection software can be used to trace and evaluate the rate of plagiarism in written student assays.

                Author and article information

                Iran J Public Health
                Iran. J. Public Health
                Iranian Journal of Public Health
                Tehran University of Medical Sciences
                1 November 2012
                : 41
                : 11
                : 54-58
                [1. ]Research Center for Health Sciences and Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
                [2. ]Dept. of Public Health, School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
                [3. ]Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding Author: Tel: +98 811 8380090 Email: poorolajal@
                Copyright © Iranian Public Health Association & Tehran University of Medical Sciences

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 3.0 License ((CC BY-NC 3.0), which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.

                Original Article

                Public health

                practice, knowledge, iran, questionnaire, plagiarism, attitude


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