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Scientists Admitting to Plagiarism: A Meta-analysis of Surveys

Overview of attention for article published in Science & Engineering Ethics, October 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#27 of 669)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (84th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
2 news outlets
twitter
18 tweeters

Citations

dimensions_citation
33 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
70 Mendeley
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Title
Scientists Admitting to Plagiarism: A Meta-analysis of Surveys
Published in
Science & Engineering Ethics, October 2014
DOI 10.1007/s11948-014-9600-6
Pubmed ID
Authors

Vanja Pupovac, Daniele Fanelli

Abstract

We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of anonymous surveys asking scientists whether they ever committed various forms of plagiarism. From May to December 2011 we searched 35 bibliographic databases, five grey literature databases and hand searched nine journals for potentially relevant studies. We included surveys that asked scientists if, in a given recall period, they had committed or knew of a colleague who committed plagiarism, and from each survey extracted the proportion of those who reported at least one case. Studies that focused on academic (i.e. student) plagiarism were excluded. Literature searches returned 12,460 titles from which 17 relevant survey studies were identified. Meta-analysis of studies reporting committed (N = 7) and witnessed (N = 11) plagiarism yielded a pooled estimate of, respectively, 1.7 % (95 % CI 1.2-2.4) and 30 % (95 % CI 17-46). Basic methodological factors, including sample size, year of survey, delivery method and whether survey questions were explicit rather than indirect made a significant difference on survey results. Even after controlling for these methodological factors, between-study differences in admission rates were significantly above those expected by sampling error alone and remained largely unexplained. Despite several limitations of the data and of this meta-analysis, we draw three robust conclusions: (1) The rate at which scientists report knowing a colleague who committed plagiarism is higher than for data fabrication and falsification; (2) The rate at which scientists report knowing a colleague who committed plagiarism is correlated to that of fabrication and falsification; (3) The rate at which scientists admit having committed either form of misconduct (i.e. fabrication, falsification and plagiarism) in surveys has declined over time.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 18 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 70 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 1 1%
Brazil 1 1%
New Zealand 1 1%
Unknown 67 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 14 20%
Researcher 12 17%
Student > Master 9 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 6 9%
Unspecified 5 7%
Other 24 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 15 21%
Unspecified 8 11%
Arts and Humanities 8 11%
Psychology 7 10%
Social Sciences 6 9%
Other 26 37%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 31. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 February 2016.
All research outputs
#500,625
of 13,047,663 outputs
Outputs from Science & Engineering Ethics
#27
of 669 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#10,993
of 231,822 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Science & Engineering Ethics
#1
of 13 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,047,663 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 669 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 7.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 231,822 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 13 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its contemporaries.