BMC Medical Ethics 23 (1):1-15 (2022)

BackgroundExisting research on perceptions of plagiarism and cultural influences mainly focuses on comparisons between the Western World and the Eastern World. However, possible differences within the Western World have hardly been assessed, especially among biomedical academics. The authors compared perceptions of plagiarism among European biomedical researchers who participated in an online survey.MethodsThe present work is based on the data collected in a previous online survey done in 2018 among biomedical researchers working in leading European and Chinese universities. Respondents based in Europe were grouped into three geographical regions and their responses were analyzed using logistic regression analysis with adjustments for demographic factors.ResultsData were available from 810 respondents. In addition to their generally similar responses, different perceptions of plagiarism were observed among respondents in the three European regions. In summary, among the three European regions, Nordic respondents identified the most types of practices as plagiarism. Compared to the southern respondents, Nordic and northwestern respondents were more likely to consider less evident practices as plagiarism, such as Rephrasing another person’s work without crediting the source [aORN|S 1.99, aORS|NW 0.50 ] and With permission from the original author, using another’s text without crediting the source [aORN|S 3.16, aORS|NW 0.26 ]. In contrast, the southern respondents were the most inclined to recognize recycling of one’s previously rejected research proposal as plagiarism.ConclusionsIn spite of a generally similar response pattern, the present study indicates different perceptions of plagiarism among European biomedical researchers. These intra-European differences should be considered when addressing plagiarism.
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DOI 10.1186/s12910-022-00818-4
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