May 14, 2008

The Plagiarism Decision Process: The Role of Pressure and Rationalization

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 51, NO. 2, Page(s): 152-156, MAY 2008

Richard H. McCuen

AbstractPlagiarism is more than just the failure to use quotation marks or to cite a paraphrased passage. Dual publishing, self-plagiarism, and ghost authorship are other forms of plagiarism. Plagiarism is generally viewed as an act when, in fact, it is a decision process. Five steps are used here to represent plagiarism as a decision process. Various forms of pressure act as stimuli to begin the process, and rationalization is used to justify the decision and to avoid feelings of regret. Education is necessary to decrease the likelihood that an individual will opt to plagiarize when faced with the opportunity. Considerations for education of graduate students and young faculty are discussed.

Index Terms — Decision making, dual publishing, education, ethics, ghost authorship, plagiarism, pressure, rationalization, self-plagiarism.

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