Knowledge and Practice of Research Plagiarism by Postgraduate Students Specializing in Science at Myanmar Universities


  • NweNwe Hninn


Plagiarism is the use of concepts, words, manuscript and data without acknowledgment of the original source. It has become a worldwide problem, and a contentious
matter in university education and research. The study aimed to improve knowledge, skills,
and practice of postgraduate students specializing in Science towards research plagiarism in
academic writing. Based on the experience of the Science faculty, some graduate students
are insufficiently aware of the boundaries of plagiarism. In the interest of preventing an
unfortunate problem, this research attempts to clarify what plagiarism is and how it may
be avoided. Thus, the prevalence of research plagiarism still remains as an area of interest.
Research misconducts such as plagiarism might lead to serious outcomes exhibiting a negative
effect on the related Science. In this study, we evaluated participants from different
Science disciplines examining both the knowledge and practice towards plagiarism. The
present study used postgraduate students and academics from Science specializations to
collect data by conducting questionnaire survey with students and follow-up interviews
with supervisor academics. A study for duration of 10 months was conducted in selected
Universities where volunteers answered questionnaires anonymously. There were following
four sections in the questionnaire: (a) demographic data, such as gender and specialization;
(b) three statements regarding knowledge; (c) three statements regarding practice; and (d) ten reasons of committing plagiarism. The
sample size of the study was 99 participants,
among which 26 were males and 73 females
with 80 Science students and 19 Supervisors.
Overall, only 67% of the participants were
aware of the meaning of plagiarism. When
asked on how science students practice
or understand research plagiarism, 82% of
the respondents are aware of the negative
consequences of plagiarism. However, majority of the participants (70%) shared their
work with friends before submission and
did not consider it any harm to show their
work to others regardless of copying. Over
80% of the students reported the lack of
research plagiarism workshop. Students also
mentioned that there is an insufficiency of
training in both research ethics and research
writing for them. The results show although
they have positive attitude, postgraduate
students might plagiarize due to time
constraints and lack of knowledge about
research plagiarism