Exploring the Attitude of Dental Undergraduate Students in Saudi Arabia Towards Plagiarism
Author(s): Meer Zakirulla*, Salman Saif Alqahtani, Abdulelah Ahmed Alnami, Mohanned Ali Alnaami, Abdulrahman Yahya Almalki, Abdulrahman Ali Alamri, Saleh Khalid Alqahtani, Fahad Thamer Alshahrani, Faris Mohammed Alqahtani and Salem Almoammar
Aim: The present cross-sectional study was conducted among dental students to know the knowledge and awareness regarding plagiarism.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on the sample size of 246 dental students (Males 179 and Females (67) in College of Dentistry, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia, to know the awareness of plagiarism among dental students. The questions were designed such that they assessed the plagiarism among dental students and was circulated among dental students in the dental college. The survey data was collected and organized into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (Microsoft Inc., USA), and was statistically analyzed utilizing the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20.0 software (IBM Inc., USA). The statistical test used here was the chi-square test, and P values less than 0.05 were statistically significant (P<0.05).
Results: A total of 246 persons responded to the questionnaire. 179 (73%) were males, and 67 (27%) were females. 82% of study subjects were of 20-25 years, 10% were of 26-30 years, 8% were of 31-35 years 42.7% of dental students agreed that short deadlines in academics are a significant impetus to the practice of plagiarism. Only 23.6% % students said that they are studying in a plagiarism-free environment. Our finding showed that more than 44.3% of students thought that plagiarism is sometimes necessary, and 76% agreed that a lack of faculty members to address this issue during their education. Nearly half of them agreed (58.9%) that self-plagiarism should not be punishable in the same way as plagiarism.
Conclusions: The general knowledge and attitudes of dental students were positive. Plan and program to educate students about academic integrity and research methodology required on all educational level.