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Fraud and plagiarism

Submitted the essay of an older student?
Forgot to reference the article on which you based your reasoning?
Keeping a summary on your lap during an exam?

Science and plagiarism

In science, the development of your knowledge is your primary goal, which is a result of the interaction between theories and ideas, and contributing to science with new ideas, opinions, observations, etc. To make sure these new ideas are indeed authentic and original, scientists are typically very concerned with precision, reliability, impartiality, independence, and verifiability. This is also expected of students. To claim the authenticity and originality of your ideas, it is necessary to clearly distinguish your own insights from elements which you have taken from the work of others. Fraud does not belong in science. The department takes every form of fraud very seriously and the Examination Board will impose sanctions on students who commit plagiarism and fraud.

If a lecturer or observer suspects someone of committing fraud or plagiarism, they will notify the Examination Board, after having had a conversation with the concerning student, if necessary. The Examination Board will judge if there is indeed a matter of fraud or plagiarism, and the student will have the opportunity to respond. If a student has been found guilty of fraud or plagiarism, sanctions will be imposed. Depending on the gravity of the act, the sanctions will range from a warning to exclusion from courses for a certain amount of time, with a maximum of two years.

Forms of plagiarism
You commit plagiarism when you:

  • Submit someone else's text as your own.
  • Use texts, ideas, conclusions, designs, and/or theories of another author partly or in their entirety without referencing the source (book, magazine article, reports, internet websites, etc).
  • Use information partly or adapt information without referencing the source.
  • Use your own work for multiple purposes without referencing it (self-plagiarism).
  • Submit a text that you have written in collaboration with others, without explicitly stating it.
  • Invent a source.
  • Cite or paraphrase a source while not making that clear in the text.
  • Do not or incompletely mention the source.
  • Do not use quotation marks when quoting literally or if you have placed the quotation marks in such a way that it incorrectly gives the impression that a part of the cited passage is your own work.
  • Do reference the source, but not at all places in the text where information from this particular source has been used. As a result, a part of the copied information will incorrectly be presented as one's own work.
  • Reference a source in such a way that someone else cannot find the source.
  • When your paper, thesis, or any other written assignment consists more of one source (even though this source is referenced) than of your own work.

In the same way that, for example, stating an incorrect name on the answer sheet, purloining questions that will be in the exam, and cheating during an exam, plagiarism is considered a very serious form of fraud, and will thus also be punished as such.

Examples of plagiarism in the Science department

  • Students changing the outcome/data resulting from a practical (e.g. because a student finds that their results deviate from those of other students and conclude that their own results are most likely incorrect, and therefore change the results).
  • Students inventing results of a practical or survey.
  • Students citing texts from the internet or from books/magazines without referencing the source.
  • Students paraphrasing texts of others without referencing the source.
  • Students submitting the work of another student who has taken the same course some years ago, or a similar course at another university.
  • Students submitting the same results of a more general assignment to two different courses without discussing this with the lecturer or requesting exemption (e.g. submitting the same results concerning an assignment about ethics to ‘Introduction to Philosophy' and ‘Laboratory Animal Studies')

Checking for plagiarism
There are various systems that are able to detect plagiarism. Such systems indicate whether or not plagiarism has been committed. The lecturer and Examination Board will eventually confirm whether or not this has happened.

The authority to punish students for plagiarism lies with the Examination Boarde. (art. 7,12 lid 4 WHW). Depending on the severity of the verified act of plagiarism, the Examination Board of your department can impose sanctions such as the following:

  • Reprimand
  • Exclusion from (further) participation of the exam of which the assignment is a part
  • Declaring the results of the exam in which plagiarism has been detected to be invalid
  • Exclusion of participation of the next exam opportunity
  • Exclusion of participation of one or more exams and/or all exams at the university during a period of maximally 12 months

Please make sure that you:

  • Stick to the academic norms and rules of APA
  • Stick to the rules during exams. Prevent yourself from being suspected of plagiarism or fraud: for example, do not ask to borrow a calculator from your neighbor, but first discuss this with the observer.