Challenging the profiles of a plagiarist: a study of abstracts submitted to an international interdisciplinary conference

Amy Hodges
Troy Bickham
Elizabeth Schmidt
Leslie Seawright, Missouri State University

Abstract

Much of the current literature on plagiarism focuses on students, attempting to understand how students view the concept of plagiarism, the best ways to prevent it, and the impact of collaboration on the concept of original authorship. In this article, we look at the role of plagiarism in 761 conference abstracts written by graduate students, early- to late-career faculty, and industry representatives, representing institutions from nearly 70 countries. These abstracts were submitted for participation in an international conference focused on the liberal arts hosted by our institution over the past four years. This study analyzes the corpus for patterns of plagiarism among professional academic writers. Our findings indicate that, while other demographic categories were not consistent indicators of text-matching, full professors were the most prevalent group to produce self-plagiarized abstracts. Overall, our study illuminates the significance of power dynamics in conferences' efforts to maintain academic integrity.