A comparison of Chinese and Australian university students' attitudes towards plagiarism

John Ehrich, Steven J. Howard, Congjun Mu, Sahar Bokosmaty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Student plagiarism is a growing problem within Australian universities and abroad. Potentially exacerbating this situation, research indicates that students' attitudes toward plagiarism are typically more permissive and lenient than the policies of their tertiary institutions. There has been suggestion that this is especially so in Asian countries relative to Western countries; however, very little research has sought to empirically validate this suggestion. Moreover, existing research in this area has typically compared international and domestic students studying in Western countries. As yet, no studies have directly compared Chinese and Australian university students' attitudes toward plagiarism, as they exist within their native countries. Rasch analysis/differential item functioning were conducted to contrast 131 Australian and 173 Chinese undergraduate university students' attitudes towards plagiarism. Results indicated distinct cross-cultural differences in aspects of students' plagiarism attitudes. Regardless of ethnic background, the results highlight undergraduate students' typical lack of understanding of plagiarism and plagiarist behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-246
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • plagiarism
  • attitudes
  • university
  • tertiary
  • Rasch analysis


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