Plagiarism – What is it?


Explore the main findings of a recent CBS Library survey of student understanding of and attitudes towards plagiarism.


Plagiarism - results from survey

In fall 2017, CBS Library conducted a survey to gauge CBS students´ understanding of and attitudes towards plagiarism. 755 students completed the survey and the results were interesting if not exactly surprising.

The main findings were:

  • CBS students´ grasp of plagiarism is overwhelmingly conservative and mainly focuses on the appropriation of other people´ ideas and words without proper referencing.
  • One third of respondents feel either explicitly insecure about their understanding of plagiarism or have no idea what to make of their understanding. 
  • The primary source of information on the topic of plagiarism are professors and supervisors, closely followed by fellow students and CBS Library staff.
  • Passing other people´s thoughts and ideas off as your own are viewed as a more serious offense than simply copying words and phrases.
  • Self-plagiarism is not a concept that resonates to any great extent with students. Thus, 60 % of respondents do not consider the re-submission of previously assessed contents for a second exam in any way problematic. 
  • A not entirely insignificant number of respondents do not consider the submission of borrowed or purchased contents for assessment a cause for scandal.
  • 20 % of respondents were at some point tempted to plagiarise. Of these 19 % did in fact go ahead and knowingly plagiarised whereas a staggering 36 % have no clue if they plagiarised or not.
  • 45 % of respondents know of somebody else who plagiarised.
  • The main reasons for plagiarism are: time constraints, convenience, desperation, misunderstanding
  • An as of yet non-existing brush-up course on principles of ethical referencing for plagiarism offenders are seen by respondents as a relevant service

Once we have completed the review of our findings, we will push forward with relevant initiatives to support correct and ethical referencing practices at CBS.

Thanks a lot to all CBS-student for all your inputs.



The page was last edited by: CBS Library // 06/01/2018