Bachelor and Master Theses

4 Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism and cheating can lead to suspension and as a student, it is therefore a good idea to know and understand what this is.

Definitions

Plagiarism

It is called plagiarism when someone uses someone else’s texts without properly referring to the source, or copies texts verbatim or almost verbatim without using quotation marks. Even when using quotations mark to quote verbatim a text, this can be considered as plagiarism for large portion of text or if the students abuse of quotations. There is no clear line on what is considered plagiarism. However, this simply implies that you are using someone else’s words as your own.

Given that, thesis reports must contain parts which descibe background information to the work and compare the solution to other’s work, plagiarism is an easy pitfall to fall into. To avoid being accused of plagiarism, students should always refer to sources of information and place verbatim text passages inside quotation marks.

To better understand how to refer to someone else’s work, many sources of information can be found online (including examples, tutorials): http://bi.lnu.se/Refero_eng/1intro.php

Cheating

When you are a student, it is your responsibility to find out information about what is allowed and not allowed for exams, essays, and so on. Please note that different Schools have different rules. Different rules may also apply to different course components within the same School.

An obvious example of cheating is the use of aids which are not permitted, such as inappropriate notes and documents, when taking exams. Copying other people’s texts, for instance when writing essays and take-home exams, without stating that it is a quotation, can also be seen as cheating. Other examples are cooperation among students in the case of mandatory individual tasks and changes/additions to texts in an exam which has been graded and returned.

The law states that it is sufficient for a student to make an attempt at cheating for disciplinary measures to be taken. It is not necessary for cheating to actually take place. It is enough, for example, to bring notes to an exam with the intention of using them as aid, whether or not the notes are actually used.

Preventing Plagiarism and Cheating

MDH and IDT take plagiarism very seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy against it. This means that if plagiarism is detected (or even suspected) in a student’s report, the case will be brought to MDH’s disciplinary commission and the student risks to get expelled. To detect plagiarism, all thesis reports go through a anti-plagiarism webservice called Urkund (http://www.urkund.com/en/).

Students also risk disciplinary measures if they do the thesis work in pair and one of teammate has plagiarized with the intent to mislead about his knowledge. In that case everyone in the group will become the object of investigation regarding their responsibility.

The student:

  • submit the final version of their thesis work to Urkund. (see How to Submit examination report).

Resources to learn how to cite, quote and use someone else’s work

Numerous sources can be found online which might remind you on what is plagiarism and how to avoid it. Here is a small selected samples:

  1. Tutorials and Guides
  2. Videos

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