Academic integrity policies against assessment fraud in postgraduate studies: An analysis of the situation in Spanish universities
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Higher educationAcademic integrityResearch integrityFraud
Antoni Cerdà-Navarro... [et al.]. Academic integrity policies against assessment fraud in postgraduate studies: An analysis of the situation in Spanish universities, Heliyon, Volume 8, Issue 3, 2022, e09170, ISSN 2405-8440, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e09170]
Sponsorshipproject 'Academic integrity amongst postgraduate students: empirical approach and intervention proposals' RTI2018-098314-B-I00
We aimed to analyse the strategies and policies of academic integrity in the face of assessment fraud in postgraduate studies in Spain. To this end, we examined the three strategies most commonly used by higher education institutions to address and prevent dishonest behaviour among students: (1) the use of technological mechanisms to detect plagiarism and identity control on assessment tests; (2) regulatory devices and resources (academic regulations and codes of conduct); and (3) training and awareness-raising activities. We scrutinised the results by means of a questionnaire administered to 102 academic heads of postgraduate studies at 42 Spanish universities. We found that almost all universities have plagiarism detection tools, the majority have academic regulations or specific codes of conduct for postgraduate students that address the issue of fraud or dishonesty. It was also found that specific training programmes on academic and research integrity for PhD students are more frequent than those for master's students, and the least used strategies to deal with dishonest student behaviour are the use of awareness-raising mechanisms and the use of an identity control system for online assessable activities. Moreover, there are some significant differences in the outcomes between public and private universities. Our findings highlight the need for Spanish universities to address the development of a clear academic integrity policy.