Four Functions of Management
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Franklyn-Stokes and Newstead (1995) found that 64 per cent of students questioned reported they had copied work with knowledge, while 66 per cent paraphrased without references and 54 per cent copied without using references.
In 2003, I asked 64 third-year diploma and ten degree nursing students I was teaching about plagiarism. Fifty per cent of the diploma students and 30 per cent of the degree students said they had at some stage intentionally or unintentionally paraphrased material in an assignment without referencing the source. Twenty per cent of the diploma students said they had intentionally or unintentionally copied material directly into an assignment without referencing the source, but none of the degree students said they had.
This enquiry was impromptu and not rigorous, which may account for the degree students responses to the second question. Even so, that the students were willing to acknowledge they had plagiarised should alert us to the fact that nursing students are no different to other students when it comes to plagiarism. A proper study would be useful to gauge the extent of the problem in nursing education. Should a student who has plagiarised be awarded grades or given a professional qualification achieved partially or wholly from the work of others?
Ryan (1998) reports that reference to non-existent books or articles is commonplace in the US. In almost 30 years of teaching I have only once been aware of the inclusion in an essay of a non-existent reference source. I discovered the students invention of the fictional author because the citation was so interesting that I tried to locate the original article. I realised, after fruitless searches, that the quotation that seemed so noteworthy had been made up and no such article existed. While this may not be plagiarism in strict terms, the false reference was included by the student with the intention to deceive.
Cheating in universities is not confined to the student population. Some lecturers are also guilty of similar offences. It is important to acknowledge the lead given by medical colleagues in this area, and in particular to recognise the openness of editors of medical journals in acknowledging that fraud and misconduct in medical research and publication not only exist but are a major problem. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) was formed in 1997 as a sounding board for editors who suspected that data had been falsified or fabricated (COPE 2001).
As a journal article and book reviewer, the author is aware of the need to be constantly vigilant for plagiarised, falsified or fabricated work. In the world of nursing publication the fraudsters are not likely to be students but academics, clinicians, researchers and managers, because they are the major contributors to journals and books.
Institutionalised plagiarism is described as a feature of systems of formal hierarchy in which credit for intellectual work is more a consequence than a cause of unequal power and position (Mitroff and Bennis 1989). In other words, it occurs when a superior, because of his or her position, gets the credit for the work of a subordinate. Martin (1994) writes that this includes ghostwriting, when the actual writing is done by someone else; honorary authorship, where a supervisor who has done little or no research is listed as co-author of the article; or where work done by junior workers is commonly signed by more senior academics.
Competitive plagiarism is found in academic and intellectual circles claiming credit for ideas is the basis of status and advancement in a system based on autonomous and individual intellectual production. in this context plagiarism [is] gaining undue credit in a competitive intellectual endeavour (Martin 1994). The temptation is great because the rewards are so great.
The line between institutionalised and competitive plagiarism is not always clear and there may be overlap and inconsistencies, such as seniors who demand their name on every publication, which would be institutionalised plagiarism in a competitive setting, as Martin (1994) describes it.
As one American student commented, with some justification: If the [university] president can use a ghostwriter, why cant I? Indeed the problem of using one standard for college students and another for public officials at the very least imposes a rather perverse situational ethics on the whole idea of literary honesty (Hawley 1984).
The practice of putting your name to a piece of work when you have had little or no input is so extensive in academic and research communities that it is often regarded as the norm. Looking at the number of multi-authored articles published in journals, many claim to be written by more than 15 authors.
There is pressure