Aim and Objectives: In a student academic learning process, process of plagiarism starts very early from preparation for assessment, followed by seminar presentation. This plagiaristic research practice knowingly or unknowingly gets inculcated in student as habit. Studies published on ethics in research practice until now are from developed nations where ethics in research is taught in undergraduate training itself. Aim of study is to investigate knowledge, attitude and practices towards plagiarism in undergraduate medical students at a teaching school in south East Asia.
Materials and Methods: We adopted cross sectional study design and study was done during February-April 2022 in a sample of 200 undergraduate medical students to assess knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) towards plagiarism. All undergraduates (from 1 year to final year) of both genders were allowed to participate. Students not willing to be part of study were excluded. Validated questionnaire consisting of three sections addressing knowledge, attitude, and practice of plagiarism was utilized for assessment. Questionnaire consists of (a) Questions related to knowledge (b) Questions related to positive and negative attitudes towards plagiarism and (c) questions related to practice of plagiarism. Students were encouraged to fill all questions. These KAP Questionnaire forms were analysed after taking back from students and percentages were calculated. Data was analyzed by using Microsoft excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) statistical software, version 16.
Results: Out of 200 participants, 52% were females and 48% were males. Mean±SD age of participants is 18.7±2.6 years. Majority of students (80%) know aboutethical principles in research and practices of plagiarism. Half of students (50%) had experience with research and instances of plagiarism and some know problems they should encounter if they do plagiarism. 70% appropriately answered domains which include plagiarism, 65% answered appropriately practices that may be considered as plagiarism and 50% answered appropriately practices that may not be regarded as plagiarism and only 40% appropriately answered republishing one’s own previous works whether to be considered plagiarism or notResponse to practices of plagiarism is around 20 to 40%. Questions like whether self-plagiarism should be considered serious or not has same response.
Conclusion: This shows that majority of undergraduate medical students had knowledge regarding principles of ethics in research and problems they should encounter if they practice plagiarism. Majority have negative attitude towards plagiarism.
Plagiarism, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice and Questionnaire.