Plagiarism in the research work of health care students: a survey among dissertation defense panelists from a French university hospital

By Pascale Mancheron, Angélique Chaudron, Michael Le Corvic, Jean-Yves Leblanc, Marielle Boissart, Rémi Beranger, Patricia Dauce

Context: Some publications have suggested that students might have difficulties identifying the outlines of plagiarism, as well as a possible high frequency of such scientific misconduct. However, little data exists for health care students in France.
Objectives: To describe the prevalence of professionals having experienced plagiarism over the past two years, and the practices associated with plagiarism within our institutes.
Methods: Using an online self-questionnaire, we surveyed all professionals who had been on a dissertation defense panel in 2019 in at least one of the six training institutes of a French university hospital (n = 152).
Results: 15 out of 62 participants reported at least one situation of plagiarism over the past two years. All parts of the dissertation have been plagiarized at least once. The reported sanctions varied from none to definitive exclusion from the training institute. The main strategy for detecting plagiarism reported by participants was the search for variations in the writing style (85%).
Conclusion: Training institutes should set up effective prevention measures against plagiarism and help panelists by defining clear strategies for detection, orientation, and sanction in situations of plagiarism.

  • plagiarism
  • teaching
  • research
  • nursing training institute
  • ethics
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