September 26, 2007

Academic Dishonesty and Graduate Students

CEW Brownbag Discussion
• Research on academic dishonesty among graduate students is comparatively limited. Most studies of academic dishonesty in higher education have tended to focus on undergraduates or on students as a whole, without distinguishing between graduate and undergraduate students. As a result, much of the available information on graduate-level academic integrity issues is anecdotal.

Incidences of Academic Dishonesty By Graduate Students:

• McCabe, Butterfield, and Trevino (2006) found that 56% of MBA students surveyed self-reported having cheated in the previous year, while 47% of non-MBA graduate students reported the same.
On the blog resource “,” graduate student admissions of cheating are broken down by discipline as follows: 54% of engineering students, 48% of education students, and 45% of law students surveyed reported having committed academic dishonesty.

• In August of 2007, a massive plagiarism scandal broke in the physical sciences disciplines, in which two graduate students at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, were discovered to have plagiarized a number of their publications:
“…two of the authors of this paper were graduate students with a prodigious track record of publication: over 40 papers in a 22-month span. Dr. Karasu, who sat on the panel that evaluated their oral exams, became suspicious when their knowledge of physics didn't appear to be consistent with this level of output. … ‘All they had done was literally take big chunks of others' work using the “copy and paste” technique,’ Dr. Sarioglu said.” (From, August 7, 2007)

The case is worse than it seems, however; there were a number of coauthors involved in each of the papers, all of whom (at least 20 people) are now implicated in this scandal.....


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