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Severity of Types of Violations of Research Ethics: Perception of Iranian Master’s Students of Translation

Abstract

Violations of research ethics including a varieties of plagiarism by students in Iran is a concern which has lately called promising levels of attention as rules are updated and better enforced and more awareness is being raised. As to deal with any problem, a full understanding of its nature is necessary, the current study focused on how a sample of Iranian students construe this phenomenon. To collect the necessary data, an original questionnaire with 34 closed-ended items included the most common instances of violations of research ethics was designed. The items included were mainly varieties of plagiarism identified in the literature. The items were narrowed down with reference to the qualitative data from focus group interviews with a purposive sample of Iranian graduate students. In the main phase of the study, using the questionnaire, quantitative data were obtained from the responses of 274 graduate students of translation studying in various Iranian universities. The findings revealed the participants did not have a fully accurate perception and appreciation of research ethics violation as they failed to distinguish ethically acceptable from unethical conducts. The contributing sample showed indifference to most ethical issues in scholarly publication. Translating a text and presenting it as one’s own in addition to text recycling were identified as the most severe instances perceived. The types, fraudulence, unacknowledged use, duplicate publication, misreferencing, excessive overuse were perceived the most severe to the least severe according to the sample. The typology and the findings on the severity of the types and instances were recommended to be used as an empirically supported guideline for curriculum design of academic writing courses in graduate programs in Iranian universities or similar contexts.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are sincerely grateful for the constructive and insightful recommendations of the editor and the anonymous reviewers on the earlier draft of the manuscript.

We also thankfully acknowledge that the current study was supported by a grant-in-aid of research (No. 39116) from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.

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Correspondence to Masood Khoshsaligheh.

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Khoshsaligheh, M., Mehdizadkhani, M. & Keyvan, S. Severity of Types of Violations of Research Ethics: Perception of Iranian Master’s Students of Translation. J Acad Ethics 15, 125–140 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-017-9277-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-017-9277-y

Keywords

  • Violations of research ethics
  • Plagiarism
  • Types
  • Perception
  • Translation students