Experts in education jobs are unable to agree on a proper definition of plagiarism, a new report has suggested.
Research conducted by Diane Pecorari of Malardalen University in Sweden involved a team of academics studying five separate texts and assessing them for signs of uncredited work, the Times reported.
Dr Pecorari presented her findings to the fourth annual International Plagiarism Conference at Northumbria University.
She explained: "The staff held extremely heterogeneous views about the examples and also had different explanations for those views. No two lecturers gave the same response."
One of the central issues was that some academics were reluctant to label uncredited work as plagiarism as many countries have very strict rules on the issue, meaning students found guilty can feel the repercussions well beyond university life.
The subject can also affect lecturers too, as last month a Cambridge don was forced to apologise for publishing a paper which contained the un-cited work of one of her undergraduate students, the Guardian reported.
Posted by Charlotte Michaels