Plagiarism

Plagiarism in written submissions is taken extremely seriously in the Department and within UCL. The following definition is taken from UCL’s guidance to students on plagiarism:  

Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of another person's thoughts or words or artefacts or software as though they were a student's own. Any quotation from the published or unpublished works of other persons must, therefore, be clearly identified as such by being placed inside quotation marks, and students should identify their sources as accurately and fully as possible. A series of short quotations from several different sources, if not clearly identified as such, constitutes plagiarism just as much as does a single unacknowledged long quotation from a single source. Equally, if a student summarises another person's ideas, judgements, figures, software or diagrams, a reference to that person in the text must be made and the work referred to must be included in the bibliography.

Recourse to the services of 'ghost-writing' agencies (for example in the preparation of essays or reports) or of outside word-processing agencies which offer correction/improvement of English is strictly forbidden, and students who make use of the services of such agencies render themselves liable for an academic penalty.

Use of unacknowledged information downloaded from the internet also constitutes plagiarism.

Where part of an examination consists of 'take away' papers, essays or other work written in a student's own time, or a coursework assessment, the work submitted must be the candidate's own.

It is also illicit to reproduce material which a student has used in other work/assessment for the course or programmes concerned. Students should be aware of this ‘self-plagiarism’. If in doubt, students should consult their Personal Tutor or another appropriate teacher.

Failure to observe any of the provisions of this policy or of approved departmental guidelines constitutes an examination offence under UCL and University Regulations. Examination offences will normally be treated as cheating or irregularities under the Regulations in respect of Examination Irregularities. Under these Regulations students found to have committed an offence may be excluded from all further examinations of UCL or the University or of both.

The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).

Plagiarism is defined at UCL as covering one or more of the following:      

· turning in someone else's work as your own

· copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit

· failing to put a quotation in quotation marks

· giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation

· changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit

· copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not

Changing the words of an original source is not sufficient to prevent plagiarism. If you have retained the essential idea of an original source, and have not cited it, then no matter how drastically you may have altered its context or presentation, you have still plagiarized.

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources and putting material in your own words. Acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. Please see the Departmental Writing Guide for further guidance on referencing and avoiding plagiarism and the UCL guidelines.

Page last modified on 31 mar 14 10:03