Personal Culture

In the age of globalisation and internationalisation of education there is a need to recognise that the views on plagiarism differ across cultures. Students who have been educated in a different culture may have different understandings and beliefs about plagiarism. 

For example:

  • Plagiarism may not mean much to a student from a culture which places low social value on individual work
  • Students who have been rewarded for rote learning may believe that adapting the work of others is acceptable
  • Some national cultures may not value intellectual property rights
  • There is a growing tendency within the internet based culture not to value copyright and property rights (eg downloading pirated DVD's).

Students do not necessarily come to university with an understanding of plagiarism, and will need to be educated explicitly about knowledge in an academic culture.

(Based on Zobel, J. and Hamilton, M. (2002) Managing student plagiarism in large academic departments. Australian Universities Review. 45(2):23-30.)