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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 181-184

The practice and attitude towards plagiarism among postgraduate trainees in Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA
3 Department of Medical Student, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA

Correspondence Address:
Feras Alshomer
Department of Surgery, King Khalid University Hospital, 37, P. O. Box: 7805, Riyadh 11472
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DOI: 10.4103/jhs.JHS_64_17

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Introduction: Plagiarism is 'The wrongful appropriation or purloining and publication as one's own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas'. It is the most commonly committed research misconduct with the prevalence of 2%. Its effect can be devastating and damaging to science, indicating the need to recognise and curb such an act. Methodology: A cross-sectional survey was distributed to in-training residents from all specialities in one academic hospital using the attitude towards plagiarism questionnaire. Results: A total of 221 physicians in-training participated in this study. 52.2% were males and 47.5% were females. About half of the respondents (48.9%) had attended a medical writing course, 45.2% published manuscripts and 67% had attended courses in medical research ethics. Respondents had a mean positive attitude towards plagiarism score of 29.56 ± 6.81, indicating an inclination towards plagiarism. Moreover, the mean negative attitude towards plagiarism score was 26.26 ± 3.78, indicating the tendency towards diminished tolerance of plagiarism. Furthermore, subjective norms score showed a mean value of 24.84 ± 5.47, representing an inclination towards personal approval of plagiarism practice in society. No strong correlation was found between attending research ethics course and plagiarism. However, we found that having a previous publication or attending medical writing courses was significantly associated with positive leaning towards plagiarism. Conclusions: Despite having had courses in medical writing, research ethics and/or published a scientific manuscript before; we still found a positive lean towards plagiarism. This emphasises the importance of tackling such behaviour by increasing the level of awareness among trainees to avoid such misconduct.

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