Residency

Essay plagiarism more common in international applications, study says

Residency Program Insider, August 2, 2010

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About 5-10% of application essays to residency programs are plagiarized, according to a new study, “Plagiarism in residency application essays,” published in the July 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In a study of nearly 5,000 application essays at a large academic center from 2005 to 2007, researchers used software that identified a tenth of the applications as plagiarized; a fifth of all the essays showed evidence of plagiarism. Plagiarism was identified more often with international applicants compared to U.S.-based applicants.

“Evidence of plagiarism in residency application essays is more common in international applicants but was found in those by applicants to all specialty programs, from all medical school types, and even among applicants with significant academic honors,” states the study.

The study was limited to only one institution. “Evidence of matching content in an essay cannot be used to infer the applicant's intent and is not sensitive to variations in the cultural context of copying in some societies,” the study states.



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