What do academics know and do about plagiarism? An interview study with Chinese university teachers of English

Xiaoya Sun, Guangwei Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research on plagiarism has increased awareness and knowledge of the various aspects of this issue, such as contributing factors to plagiarism, students’ and teachers’ perceptions of plagiarism, and institutional policies and regulations on plagiarism. Yet much of this research, especially on the latter two aspects, has been conducted in Anglo-American contexts or English-as-a-second-language (ESL) settings (where English is an official or important language in the larger societal context), while the diversity of English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) contexts (where English as a foreign language is largely used only in the language classroom) remains relatively under-researched. Of those studies that did focus on EFL contexts, the majority were based on survey data that were limited in the depth of information collected. To address this relative lack of in-depth understanding of how plagiarism is understood and acted against in EFL contexts, this paper reports on an interview study with 13 EFL teachers from 12 universities in mainland China. The study focused on the teachers’ knowledge and attitudes concerning plagiarism, plagiarism-related pedagogical practices, as well as perceived stances and expectations of their institutions in plagiarism prevention. Its findings contribute to the current knowledge base of EFL academics’ views and practices regarding plagiarism, add to our understanding of EFL teachers’ experiences concerning plagiarism in specific educational settings, and inform institutions’ efforts to develop and improve strategies and policies for preventing plagiarism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-479
Number of pages21
JournalEthics and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Chinese EFL teachers
  • English as a foreign language (EFL)
  • institutional policies
  • plagiarism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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