Fraud and plagiarism

Committing plagiarism and other forms of fraud is a violation of academic integrity. Committing plagiarism and fraud is viewed as intellectual theft, and it is a very serious offence that carries penalties. That is why it is important to know what plagiarism and fraud are, and how they can be prevented. 

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is defined as the implication that your work is your own when it actually is not. Plagiarism involves taking ideas, data or sections of text from others without adequately acknowledging the source. Plagiarism includes: 

  • Cutting and pasting or copying text from the internet or digital and printed sources without using quotation marks or citing the source
  • Copying visual, audio or test materials from others without citing the source and subsequently passing the work off as one’s own work
  • Using a translation of the aforementioned types of text without using quotation marks or citing the source
  • Paraphrasing the aforementioned types of texts without adequate source citation: paraphrases must be recognisable as such (e.g. by explicitly mentioning the original author in the text or note) to avoid giving the impression that they are your own ideas
  • Resubmitting work that you previously created or resubmitting work that was previously created by other students or third parties (whether this was done in return for payment or free of charge) without citing the source and passing it off as your own work.

You may also be complicit in plagiarism, for example when:

  • Another student submits work that you previously created and passes it off as their own, even with your permission or knowledge.
  • Plagiarism is committed by one of the authors of a joint paper, providing the other authors could or should have known that plagiarism was being committed.

What is fraud?

Fraud includes:

  • Being in possession of aids such as a mobile phone, pre-programmed calculator, books, syllabi, notes etc. during the exam, unless consultation of such aids is expressly permitted
  • Cheating during the exam or copying someone else’s answers during the exam; the person who provides the opportunity to cheat is an accessory to fraud
  • Already being in possession of the questions, exercises or answers for the relevant exam prior to sitting the exam
  • Providing fake (i.e. making up) interview answers or faking or making up your own research data

ChatGPT and other AI tools

The use of AI large language models such as ChatGPT offers all kinds of new possibilities for text creation. You should realise that if you do use these types of language models and present the work as your own, it will be considered fraud. This means that you may only use ChatGPT or other AI tools during your studies when you have lecturer’s approval and when you mention that you have used it.

The Education and Examination Regulations (EER) for your study programme or the corresponding rules and guidelines explain the formal course of action if fraud/plagiarism is suspected and lists the sanctions that may be imposed. The strongest sanction involves expelling a student from the study programme.   


Students regularly encounter copyright issues. For example, you may use copyrighted work in a research study. But publishing your thesis, for example, also makes you an author yourself. The Copyright Information Point can answer any questions that pertain to copyright issues.