Postgraduate nursing student knowledge, attitudes, skills, and confidence in appropriately referencing academic work
Greenwood, M and Walkem, K and Smith, LM and Shearer, T and Stirling, C, Postgraduate nursing student knowledge, attitudes, skills, and confidence in appropriately referencing academic work, Journal of Nursing Education, 53, (8) pp. 447-452. ISSN 0148-4834 (2014) [Refereed Article]
Preventing plagiarism is an ongoing issue for higher education institutions. Although plagiarism has been traditionally seen as cheating, it is increasingly thought to be the result of poor referencing, with students reporting difficulties citing and referencing bibliographic sources. This study examined the academic knowledge, attitude, skills, and confidence of students in a school of nursing to understand poor referencing. A cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative survey was distributed to postgraduate (N = 1,000) certificate, diploma, and master's students. Quantitative data gathered demographics, cultural and linguistic background, and use of technology. Thematic analysis discovered patterns and themes. Results showed participants understood requirements for referencing; half indicated poor referencing was due to difficulty referencing Internet sources or losing track of sources, and many lacked confidence in key referencing tasks. Despite this, 50% did not make use of referencing resources. Overall, these data suggest incorrect referencing is rarely intentional and predominantly caused by skills deficit.