Brazil: Plagiarism common; little awareness of academic integrity

July 1, 2014
  • AACRAO Connect
  • International Education

By Ann M. Koenig, AACRAO International Education Services

While the world focuses on issues of “fair play” in the World Cup events in Brazil, a report presented in the United Kingdom (UK) at a conference on international integrity and plagiarism during World Cup opening week reveals that plagiarism is common in Brazilian higher education and that there is little awareness there of the principles of academic integrity.

 The UK Times Higher Education reports that the presenters found that among students, borrowing and lending papers between friends is very common, and that just over half the students interviewed had copied texts directly from the Internet without appropriate citation. About 8-10% admitted having purchased papers or essays. About half the students surveyed reported that their instructors did not use anti-plagiarism software and one-third said that their instructors did not give them any guidance in proper reference citing. The authors note that as the number of students in higher education in Brazil has more than doubled in the last 10 years, raising awareness about academic integrity and improving quality control in this area is vital.

Another presentation at the conference reported having found evidence of plagiarism in papers submitted to Brazilian science journals. In a sampling of 47 papers checked, about 60% showed evidence of various kinds of plagiarism.