Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 217-232

First online:

Academic Plagiarism: Explanatory Factors from Students’ Perspective

  • Rubén Comas-ForgasAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Pedagogy, Balearic Islands University Email author 
  • , Jaume Sureda-NegreAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Pedagogy, Balearic Islands University

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The study of academic plagiarism among university students is at an embryonic stage in Spain and in the other Spanish-speaking countries. This article reports the results of a research, carried out in a medium-sized Spanish university, based on a double method approach—quantitative and qualitative—concerning the factors associated with academic plagiarism from the students’ perspective. The main explanatory factors of the phenomenon, according to the results obtained, are: a) aspects and behaviour of students (bad time management, personal shortcomings when preparing assignments, the elevated number of assignments to be handed in, etc.); b) the opportunities conferred by information and communication technologies to locate, copy and paste information; and, finally, c) aspects related to professors-lecturers and/or the characteristics of the subject-course (lecturers who show no interest in their work, eminently theoretical subjects and assignments, etc.).


Academic plagiarism Higher education University students Academic honesty