Plagiarism at tertiary institutions: perceptions of lecturers at the UFS campuses


  • Mercia Coetzee University of the Free State
  • H. J. Breytenbach University of the Free State


Plagiarism has increased alarmingly on campuses world-wide. The Internet has largely contributed to this problem. Students are able to download complete articles, assignments and essays from the WWW and present it as their own original work. Students also copy sections of articles and paste it into their assignments or dissertations without acknowledging sources. Additional pressure is placed on lecturers to trace the sources from which the work was copied. World-wide research has indicated that plagiarism occurs on nearly all campuses and that students are increasingly guilty of committing plagiarism. Electronic programmes for the detection of plagiarism are already in use on many European and American campuses, while only few South African universities utilise this facility. This study was undertaken to investigate the opinions of lecturers regarding the extent of plagiarism on the campuses of the University of the Free State. The prevalence of plagiarism, sources from which were plagiarised, and resultant steps that should be taken according to lecturers, were investigated.


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