Academic dishonesty among academics in Malaysia: a comparison between healthcare and non-healthcare academics

John Jeh Lung Tiong, Hui Ling Kho, Chun Wai Mai, Hui Ling Lau, Syed Shahzad Hasan

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11 Citations (Scopus)


This study was carried out to gauge the prevalence of academic dishonesty among academics in Malaysian universities. A direct comparison was made between academics of healthcare and non-healthcare courses to note the difference in the level of academic integrity between the two groups. In addition, the predisposing factors and implications of academic dishonesty, as well as the different measures perceived to be effective at curbing this problem were also investigated.

A cross-sectional study design with mixed qualitative and quantitative approaches was employed and data collection was carried out primarily using self-administered questionnaire.

Approximately half (52.5%, n = 74) of all respondents (n = 141) reported having personally encountered at least one case of academic dishonesty involving their peers. The results also revealed the significantly higher prevalence of various forms of academic misconduct among healthcare academics compared to their non-healthcare counterparts. Although respondents were generally conscious of the negative implications associated with academic dishonesty, more than half of all cases of misconduct were not reported due to the indifferent attitude among academics. Low levels of self-discipline and integrity were found to be the major factors leading to academic misdeeds and respondents opined that university managements should be more proactive in addressing this issue.

The outcome of this study should serve as a clarion call for all relevant stakeholders to start making immediate amends in order to improve the current state of affairs in academia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number168
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Medical Education
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


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