Plagiarism Perceptions and Attitudes Among Medical Students in Saudi Arabia

Abdulmajeed S. Alhadlaq, Abdulmajeed Bin Dahmash, Feras Alshomer


Objectives: This study aimed to determine attitudes towards and perceptions of plagiarism among medical students in Saudi Arabia. Methods: This cross-sectional, multicentre study was conducted between April and May 2018 and involved medical students enrolled in three medical schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The previously validated Attitude Towards Plagiarism questionnaire was used to evaluate approval (i.e. a positive attitude) and disapproval of plagiarism (i.e. a negative attitude) among medical students. Furthermore, this study evaluated whether attending medical writing courses or courses in medical ethics influenced medical students’ attitudes towards plagiarism. Results: A total of 551 students participated in the study (response rate = 73.5%). A significant association was found between mean negative and positive attitude scores and grade point average (GPA; P = 0.004 and 0.007, respectively). Students attending medical ethics courses had higher mean negative attitude scores compared to students who did not attend such courses (odds ratio = 2.369, 95% confidence interval: 1.540–3.645; P <0.001). Attending medical ethics courses was associated with a significantly more negative attitude towards plagiarism (P <0.001, each). Conclusion: The majority of medical students in Saudi Arabia included in this study indicated a highly negative attitude towards plagiarism. A higher GPA, the authoring of a published manuscript and attending courses in medical ethics were associated with negative attitudes towards plagiarism among medical students.

Keywords: Plagiarism; Attitude; Cross-Sectional Study; Medicine; Medical Students; Saudi Arabia.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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