Good Academic Practice

Good academic practice, Principles of ethical conduct, Preventing and dealing with academic fraud and plagiarism

As a student you are expected to follow a good academic practice and avoid fraud and plagiarism in all your work (thesis, course work, exams, etc.) Good academic practice is based on research ethics and ethical principles of the scientific community. Any misconduct is taken seriously. The Rector of the University of Jyväskylä has given guidelines for preventing and dealing with academic fraud and plagiarism. As per the guidelines, when misconduct is suspected, the process of investigation is conducted at the Department of Language and Communication Studies as follows:

1)  If teacher suspects plagiarism in a study assignment, she/he always takes action.

2) First step is to consider, whether the case is severe. Teacher may also discuss confidentially with a colleague.

3) According to teacher’s consideration, he/she may end up to guide and advise student to work according the ethical code. If the case is severe, the teacher acts to start the investigation process.

4) The teacher informs the student about suspicion and also expresses his/her suspicions to the Head of Department and shows the available evidence, but the teacher is not making any other actions in the process.

5) The inquest is conducted by the Head of the Department. If the suspicions concern theses (MA, Doctoral), the investigation is done by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

6) The Head of the Department makes a decision after he/she has familiarized him-/herself with the documents and after hearing the student. If the evidence is clear enough, the study attainment will be failed. If the decision is "liberating", a possibility to complete the course / assignment will be arranged immediately.

7)  If the misconduct is perceived in pre-assessment of a thesis, the pre-assessment will be stopped. Before continuing the student has to make an explanation on how to progress according to the ethical code.

At the Department of Language and Communication Studies the plagiarism detection software Urkund is used to recognize plagiarism. All the theses (BA, MA, Doctoral) will be checked with Urkund. Also other essays and study-related documents may be submitted to the system - this depends on the teacher in question.

Using Urkund is optional for students. If a student does not give permission, his/her thesis or assignment will be checked together with the teacher/supervisor. Student brings all the sources and references to teacher and gives a detailed explanation about the working process and references used. This is how the teacher can evaluate both the adhesion of the ethical code and decisions made in the writing process.

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