Volume 12 Issue 2 (2016)
Viewpoints & Discussion

Self-Reporting in Plagiarism Research: How Honest is This Approach?

Julia Ann Colella-Sandercock
University of Windsor
Published January 24, 2017
  • plagiarism,
  • higher education,
  • self-reporting,
  • academic integrity


Plagiarism is a growing phenomenon in higher education institutions. The primary method used to measure student engagement in plagiarism is self-reporting. Self-reporting is problematic for a number of reasons, and with respect to investigating plagiarism rates, it does more harm than good. Inaccuracy in student self-reported plagiarism rates, limited student understanding of plagiarism, the inability to compare findings across studies, and requesting students self-report within a specified timeframe lead to reliability and validity concerns in these studies. This article addresses these issues and provides suggestions for researchers when investigating plagiarism rates.