A Bibliometric Study on Academic Dishonesty Research

  • Tânia MarquesEmail author
  • Nuno Reis
  • Jorge Gomes


Educational policy and social sciences researchers have been studying dishonest behaviors among students for a long time. In this bibliometric study we examine the extant literature on academic dishonesty until 2017. We also analyze the specific case of the literature on plagiarism (as a specific type of academic dishonesty) since it is arguably one of the most common academic dishonest behavior. We aim at identifying the intellectual structure of the field of academic dishonesty and plagiarism. Results show that Donald L. McCabe (academic dishonesty) and Richard L. Marsh (plagiarism) appear as the most productive authors. Furthermore, Whitley (Research in Higher Education, 39(3), 235–274, 1998) “Factors associated with cheating among college students: A review”, and Pennycook (TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), 201–230, 1996), entitled “Borrowing others’ words: Text, ownership, memory, and plagiarism” are the most cited publications on academic dishonesty and on plagiarism, respectively. Additionally, a strong connection between the McCabe and Treviño articles emerged from the co-citation analysis on academic dishonesty, and also a strong relationship between Pennycook (TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), 201–230, 1996) and Pecorari (Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(4), 317–345, 2003), suggesting that these articles are strongly connected. Results suggest that these are the most influential authors and articles of the field.


Academic dishonesty Academic cheating Academic misconduct Plagiarism Bibliometrics 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10805_2019_9328_MOESM1_ESM.docx (75 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 75 kb)
10805_2019_9328_MOESM2_ESM.docx (41 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 41 kb)


  1. Abusafia, A. H., Roslan, N. S., Yusoff, D. M., & Nor, M. Z. M. (2018). The prevalence of academic dishonesty among Malaysian nursing students. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, 13(4), 370–376.Google Scholar
  2. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179–211.Google Scholar
  3. Albort-Morant, G., & Ribeiro-Soriano, D. (2016). A bibliometric analysis of international impact of business incubators. Journal of Business Research, 69(5), 1775–1779.Google Scholar
  4. Anderman, E. M., Griesinger, T., & Westerfield, G. (1998). Motivation and cheating during early adolescence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(1), 84–93.Google Scholar
  5. Angelil-Carter, S. (2000). Stolen words? Plagiarism in writing. Harlow, UK: Longman.Google Scholar
  6. Ashworth, P., Bannister, P., Thorne, P., & Students on the Qualitative Research Methods Course Unit. (1997). Guilty in whose eyes? University students’ perceptions of cheating and plagiarism in academic work and assessment. Studies in Higher Education, 22(2), 187–203.Google Scholar
  7. Baird, J. S. (1980). Current trends in college cheating. Psychology in the Schools, 17(4), 515–522.Google Scholar
  8. Barnhardt, B. (2016). The “epidemic” of cheating depends on its definition: a critique of inferring the moral quality of “cheating in any form”. Ethics & Behavior, 26(4), 330–343.Google Scholar
  9. Beck, L., & Ajzen, I. (1991). Predicting dishonest actions using the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Research in Personality, 25, 285–301.Google Scholar
  10. Beets, S. D., Lewis, B. R., & Brower, H. H. (2013). The quality of business ethics journals: an assessment based on application. Business & Society, 0007650313478974.Google Scholar
  11. Bjork, S., Offer, A., & Soderberg, G. (2014). Time series citation data: the Nobel prize in economics. Scientometrics, 98(1), 185–196.Google Scholar
  12. Bonilla, C. A., Merigó, J. M., & Torres-Abad, C. (2015). Economics in Latin America: a bibliometric analysis. Scientometrics, 105(2), 1239–1252.Google Scholar
  13. Borgatti, S. P., Everett, M. G., & Freeman, L. C. (2002). Ucinet 6 for windows: Software for social network analysis. Harvard: Analytic Technologies.Google Scholar
  14. Borgatti, S. P., Everett, M. G., & Johnson, J. C. (2013). Analyzing social networks. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  15. Bowers, W. J. (1964). Student dishonesty and its control in college. New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  16. Brown, A. S., & Murphy, D. R. (1989). Cryptomnesia: delineating inadvertent plagiarism. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15(3), 432.Google Scholar
  17. Canning, R. (1956). Does an honor system reduce classroom cheating? An experimental answer. Journal of Experimental Education, 24, 291–296.Google Scholar
  18. Chandrasoma, R., Thompson, C., & Pennycook, A. (2004). Beyond plagiarism: transgressive and nontransgressive intertextuality. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 3(3), 171–193.Google Scholar
  19. Cochran, J. K. (2016). Moral propensity, setting, and choice: a partial test of situational action theory. Deviant Behavior, 37(7), 811–823.Google Scholar
  20. Crown, D. F., & Spiller, M. S. (1998). Learning from the literature on collegiate cheating: a review of empirical research. Journal of Business Ethics, 17(6), 683–700.Google Scholar
  21. Cullen, J. G. (2017). Educating business students about sustainability: a bibliometric review of current trends and research needs. Journal of Business Ethics, 145(2), 429–439.Google Scholar
  22. Currie, P. (1998). Staying out of trouble: apparent plagiarism and academic survival. Journal of Second Language Writing, 7(1), 1–18.Google Scholar
  23. Davis, S. F., Grover, C. A., Becker, A. H., & McGregor, L. N. (1992). Academic dishonesty: prevalence, determinants, techniques, and punishments. Teaching of Psychology, 19(1), 16–20.Google Scholar
  24. Deckert, G. D. (1993). Perspectives on plagiarism from ESL students in Hong Kong. Journal of Second Language Writing, 2(2), 131–148.Google Scholar
  25. Dick, M., Sheard, J., Bareiss, C., Carter, J., Joyce, D., Harding, T., & Laxer, C. (2003). Addressing student cheating: definitions and solutions. ACD SIGCSE Bulletin, 35(2), 172–184.Google Scholar
  26. Diekhoff, G. M., LaBeff, E. E., Clark, R. E., Williams, L. E., Francis, B., & Haines, V. J. (1996). College cheating: ten years later. Research in Higher Education, 37(4), 487–502.Google Scholar
  27. Diodato, V. (1994). Dictionary of Bibliometrics. Binghamton: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  28. Ferreira, M. (2011). A bibliometric study on Ghoshal’s managing across borders. Multinational Business Review, 19(4), 357–375.Google Scholar
  29. Ferreira, M. P., Reis, N. R., Almeida, M., & Serra, F. R. (2013). International business research: Understanding past paths to design future research directions. In T. Devinney, T. Pedersen, & L. Tihanyi (Eds.), Philosophy of science and meta-knowledge in international business and management (Advances in international management, volume 26) (pp. 299–330). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.Google Scholar
  30. Ferreira, M., Santos, J., Almeida, M., & Reis, N. (2014). Mergers & acquisitions research: a bibliometric study of top strategy and international business journals, 1980-2010. Journal of Business Research, 67, 2550–2558.Google Scholar
  31. Franklyn-Stokes, A., & Newstead, S. E. (1995). Undergraduate cheating: who does what and why? Studies in Higher Education, 20(2), 159–172.Google Scholar
  32. Genereux, R. L., & McLeod, B. A. (1995). Circumstances surrounding cheating: a questionnaire study of college students. Research in Higher Education, 36(6), 687–704.Google Scholar
  33. Goldie, D., Linick, M., Jabbar, H., & Lubienski, C. (2014). Using bibliometric and social media analyses to explore the “echo chamber” hypothesis. Educational Policy, 28(2), 281–305.Google Scholar
  34. Graham, M. A., Monday, J., O’Brien, K., & Steffen, S. (1994). Cheating at small colleges: an examination of student and faculty attitudes and behaviors. Journal of College Student Development, 35(4), 255–260.Google Scholar
  35. Gundolf, K., & Filser, M. (2013). Management research and religion: a citation analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 112, 177–185.Google Scholar
  36. Gurzki, H., & Woisetschläger, D. M. (2017). Mapping the luxury research landscape: a bibliometric citation analysis. Journal of Business Research, 77, 147–166.Google Scholar
  37. Haines, V. J., Diekhoff, G. M., LaBeff, E. E., & Clark, R. E. (1986). College cheating: immaturity, lack of commitment, and the neutralizing attitude. Research in Higher Education, 25(4), 342–354.Google Scholar
  38. Hallinger, P. (2018). Surfacing a hidden literature: a systematic review of research on educational leadership and management in Africa. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(3), 362–384.Google Scholar
  39. Harding, T. S., Carpenter, D. D., Finelli, C. J., & Passow, H. J. (2004). Does academic dishonesty relate to unethical behavior in professional practice? An exploratory study. Science and Engineering Ethics, 10, 311–324.Google Scholar
  40. Harp, J., & Taietz, P. (1966). Academic integrity and social structure: a study of cheating among college students. Social Problems, 13(4), 365–373.Google Scholar
  41. Hartshorne, H., & May, M. A. (1928). Studies in Deceit. New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  42. Hetherington, E. M., & Feldman, S. E. (1964). College cheating as a function of subject and situational variables. Journal of Educational Psychology, 55(4), 212–218.Google Scholar
  43. Howard, R. M. (1995). Plagiarisms, authorships, and the academic death penalty. College English, 57(7), 788–806.Google Scholar
  44. Jensen, L. A., Arnett, J. J., Feldman, S. S., & Cauffman, E. (2002). It’s wrong, but everybody does it: academic dishonesty among high school and college students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 27, 209–228.Google Scholar
  45. Johnson, M. K., & Raye, C. L. (1981). Reality monitoring. Psychological Review, 88(1), 67–85.Google Scholar
  46. Johnson, M. K., Hashtroudi, S., & Lindsay, D. S. (1993). Source monitoring. Psychological Bulletin, 114(1), 3–28.Google Scholar
  47. Jordan, A. E. (2001). College student cheating: the role of motivation, perceived norms, attitudes, and knowledge of institutional policy. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 233–247.Google Scholar
  48. Koul, R., Clariana, R. B., Jitgarun, K., & Songsriwittaya, A. (2009). The influence of achievement goal orientation on plagiarism. Learning and Individual Differences, 19(4), 506–512.Google Scholar
  49. Kuntz, J. R., & Butler, C. (2014). Exploring individual and contextual antecedents of attitudes toward the acceptability of cheating and plagiarism. Ethics & Behavior, 24(6), 478–494.Google Scholar
  50. Lambert, E. G., Hogan, N. L., & Barton, S. M. (2003). Collegiate academic dishonesty revisited: what have they done, how often have they done it, who does it, and why did they do it. Electronic Journal of Sociology, 7(4), 1–27.Google Scholar
  51. Ma, Z. (2009). The status of contemporary business ethics research: present and future. Journal of Business Ethics, 90, 255–265.Google Scholar
  52. Marques, T., Reis, N., & Gomes, J. F. (2018). Responsible leadership research: a bibliometric review. Brazilian Administration Review, 15(1), 1–25.Google Scholar
  53. Marsh, R. L., & Bower, G. H. (1993). Eliciting cryptomnesia: unconscious plagiarism in a puzzle task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 19(3), 673.Google Scholar
  54. Marsh, J. D., & Campion, J. (2018). Academic integrity and referencing: whose responsibility is it? Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 12(1), A213–A226.Google Scholar
  55. Marsh, R. L., & Landau, J. D. (1995). Item availability in cryptomnesia: assessing its role in two paradigms of unconscious plagiarism. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21(6), 1568.Google Scholar
  56. Marsh, R. L., Landau, J. D., & Hicks, J. L. (1997). Contributions of inadequate source monitoring to unconscious plagiarism during idea generation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 23(4), 886.Google Scholar
  57. Martinson, B. C., Anderson, M. S., & De Vries, R. (2005). Scientists behaving badly. Nature, 435(7043), 737–738.Google Scholar
  58. McCabe, D. L. (1992). The influence of situational ethics on cheating among college students. Sociological Inquiry, 62(3), 365–374.Google Scholar
  59. McCabe, D. L., & Treviño, L. K. (1993). Academic dishonesty: honor codes and other contextual influences. The Journal of Higher Education, 64(5), 522–538.Google Scholar
  60. McCabe, D. L., & Treviño, L. K. (1997). Individual and contextual influences on academic dishonesty: a multicampus investigation. Research in Higher Education, 38(3), 379–396.Google Scholar
  61. McCabe, D. L., Treviño, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (2001). Cheating in academic institutions: a decade of research. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 219–232.Google Scholar
  62. McCabe, D. L., Treviño, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (2002). Honor codes and other contextual influences on academic integrity: a replication and extension to modified honor code settings. Research in Higher Education, 43(3), 357–378.Google Scholar
  63. McCabe, D. L., Butterfield, K. D., & Treviño, L. K. (2006). Academic dishonesty in graduate business programs: prevalence, causes, and proposed action. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 5(3), 294–305.Google Scholar
  64. Michaels, J. W., & Miethe, T. D. (1989). Applying theories of deviance to academic cheating. Social Science Quarterly, 70(4), 870–885.Google Scholar
  65. Moss, S. A., White, B., & Lee, J. (2018). A systematic review into the psychological causes and correlates of plagiarism. Ethics & Behavior, 28(4), 261–283.Google Scholar
  66. Murdock, T. B., & Anderman, E. M. (2006). Motivational perspectives on student cheating: toward an integrated model of academic dishonesty. Educational Psychologist, 41(3), 129–145.Google Scholar
  67. Murdock, T. B., Hale, N. M., & Weber, M. J. (2001). Predictors of cheating among early adolescents: academic and social motivations. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 26(1), 96–115.Google Scholar
  68. Murtonen, M., Gruber, H., & Lehtinen, E. (2017). The return of behaviourist epistemology: a review of learning outcomes studies. Educational Research Review, 22, 114–128.Google Scholar
  69. Mustaine, E. E., & Tewksbury, R. (2005). Southern college students’ cheating behaviors: an examination of problem behavior correlates. Deviant Behavior, 26(5), 439–461.Google Scholar
  70. Newstead, S. E., Franklyn-Stokes, A., & Armstead, P. (1996). Individual differences in student cheating. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(2), 229–241.Google Scholar
  71. Nonis, S., & Swift, C. O. (2001). Personal value profiles and ethical business decisions. Journal of Education for Business, 76(5), 251–256.Google Scholar
  72. Orosz, G., Dombi, E., Tóth-Király, I., Bőthe, B., Jagodics, B., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2016). Academic cheating and time perspective: cheaters live in the present instead of the future. Learning and Individual Differences, 52, 39–45.Google Scholar
  73. O'Rourke, J., Barnes, J., Deaton, A., Fulks, K., Ryan, K., & Rettinger, D. A. (2010). Imitation is the sincerest form of cheating: the influence of direct knowledge and attitudes on academic dishonesty. Ethics & Behavior, 20(1), 47–64.Google Scholar
  74. Oswick, C. (2009). Burgeoning workplace spirituality? A textual analysis of momentum and directions. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 6(1), 15–25.Google Scholar
  75. Park, C. (2003). In other (people’s) words: plagiarism by university students-literature and lessons. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 28(5), 471–488.Google Scholar
  76. Pecorari, D. (2003). Good and original: plagiarism and patchwriting in academic second-language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(4), 317–345.Google Scholar
  77. Pennycook, A. (1996). Borrowing others’ words: text, ownership, memory, and plagiarism. TESOL Quarterly, 30(2), 201–230.Google Scholar
  78. Persson, O., Danell, R., & Wiborg, S. J. (2009). How to use Bibexcel for various types of bibliometric analysis. In F. Åström, R. Danell, B. Larsen, & J. Schneider (Eds.), Celebrating scholarly communication studies: A Festschrift for Olle Persson at his 60th birthday (pp. 9–24). Leuven: International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics.Google Scholar
  79. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Podsakoff, N. P., & Bachrach, D. G. (2008). Scholarly influence in the field of management: a bibliometric analysis of the determinants of university and author impact in the management literature in the past quarter century. Journal of Management, 34(4), 641–720.Google Scholar
  80. Ramos-Rodríguez, A., & Ruíz-Navarro, J. (2004). Changes in the intellectual structure of strategic management research: a bibliometric study of the strategic management journal, 1980–2000. Strategic Management Journal, 25(10), 981–1004.Google Scholar
  81. Reis, N. R., Carvalho, F., & Ferreira, J. V. (2015). An overview of three decades of mergers and acquisitions research. Iberoamerican Journal of Strategic Management, 14(2), 51–71.Google Scholar
  82. Rettinger, D. A., & Kramer, Y. (2009). Situational and personal causes of student cheating. Research in Higher Education, 50(3), 293–313.Google Scholar
  83. Roig, M. (1997). Can undergraduate students determine whether text has been plagiarized? The Psychological Record, 47(1), 113–122.Google Scholar
  84. Roig, M. (2001). Plagiarism and paraphrasing criteria of college and university professors. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 307–323.Google Scholar
  85. Selwyn, N. (2008). ‘Not necessarily a bad thing…’: a study of online plagiarism amongst undergraduate students. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(5), 465–479.Google Scholar
  86. Shi, L. (2004). Textual borrowing in second-language writing. Written Communication, 21(2), 171–200.Google Scholar
  87. Sims, R. L. (1993). The relationship between academic dishonesty and unethical business practices. Journal of Education for Business, 68(4), 207–211.Google Scholar
  88. Stephens, J. M., Young, M. F., & Calabrese, T. (2007). Does moral judgment go offline when students are online? A comparative analysis of undergraduates’ beliefs and behaviors related to conventional and digital cheating. Ethics & Behavior, 17(3), 233–254.Google Scholar
  89. Talukdar, D. (2011). Patterns of research productivity in the business ethics literature: Insights from analyses of bibliometric distributions. Journal of Business Ethics, 98, 137–151.Google Scholar
  90. Tibbetts, S. G. (1997). Gender differences in students’ rational decisions to cheat. Deviant Behavior, 18(4), 393–414.Google Scholar
  91. Uysal, Ö. (2010). Business ethics research with an accounting focus: a bibliometric analysis from 1988 to 2007. Journal of Business Ethics, 93, 137–160.Google Scholar
  92. Von Dran, G. M., Callahan, E. S., & Taylor, H. V. (2001). Can students’ academic integrity be improved? Attitudes and behaviours before and after implementation of an academic integrity policy. Teaching Business Ethics, 5, 35–58.Google Scholar
  93. Wang, G. G., Gilley, J. W., & Sun, Y. S. (2012). The “science of HRD research”: reshaping HRD research through scientometrics. Human Resource Development Review, 11(4), 500–520.Google Scholar
  94. White, D., & McCain, K. (1998). Visualizing a discipline: an author co-citation analysis of information science, 1972–1995. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 49(4), 327–355.Google Scholar
  95. White, H., Wellman, B., & Nazer, N. (2004). Does citation reflect social structure? Longitudinal evidence from the “Globenet” Interdisciplinary Research Group. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 55(2), 111–126.Google Scholar
  96. Whitley, B. E. (1998). Factors associated with cheating among college students: a review. Research in Higher Education, 39(3), 235–274.Google Scholar
  97. Wilkinson, J. (2009). Staff and student perceptions of plagiarism and cheating. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(2), 98–105.Google Scholar
  98. Yazici, A., Yazici, S., & Erdem, M. S. (2011). Faculty and student perceptions on college cheating: evidence from Turkey. Educational Studies, 37, 221–231.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Technology and Management, CARME – Centre of Applied Research in Management and EconomicsPolytechnic Institute of LeiriaLeiriaPortugal
  2. 2.Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG)/AdvanceUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations