08.09.2010

Plagiarism and good scientific practice

Students are expected to follow good scientific practice in their work. This is taught in bachelor’s and master’s seminars, and especially in research communication studies that are part of the bachelor’s seminar. The Department provides a brief guide on citing and referencing. HELA complies with the following instructions regarding plagiarism established by the Faculty of Humanities:
Plagiarism refers to the use of ideas, text, findings, or images belonging to other people and presenting them as one’s own. In essence, plagiarism can be said to be copying someone else’s work and making it look like it is the original work of the present author. This kind of practice is not only illegal and against all professional ethics, but it is also against the principles of good scientific practice.

If a teacher suspects a student of fraudulently using someone else’s material, either partially or throughout a piece of work, and if it seems evident that the student is trying to take credit for someone else’s work, the following procedure takes place:

  1. The teacher consults a colleague in order to receive a second opinion on the matter.
  2. If the teachers consider their suspicions to be well-founded, they will ask the student to justify the decisions made.
  3. If the plagiarism charges prove to be true, the assignment will be graded as failed. The student is given another opportunity to complete the assignment in question if the plagiarism offence was the student’s first, and if it seems plausible that the misconduct was caused by a lack of legal/academic knowledge or due to some other understandable reason.
  4. If plagiarism recurs or is exceptionally extensive, the assignment cannot be passed. The case is then brought to the attention of the Head of the Department, and the entire course can potentially be failed.
  5. At the seminar stage and in master’s theses, plagiarism is unacceptable in all circumstances. The University is committed to handling severe plagiarism cases in accordance with the guidelines of the National Advisory Board on Research Ethics.