14.05.2009

Policy on Plagiarism

Department of Languages / English

In Finnish

Plagiarism means taking other people's ideas, text, research findings or pictures and presenting them as though they were your own. It means copying someone else's work and pretending it is yours. It is illegal, unprofessional and contrary to all the principles of good academic or scientific practice.

Everyone uses other people's ideas in the academic world. It is essential to research. When you read, whether books, journals or on the Internet, you will come across good ideas that you will want to mention or discuss in your own writing. There are three ways of doing this: direct quotation, paraphrasing or summarizing. What is important is that when you do any of these things, you acknowledge the fact: always acknowledge all your sources.  It must always be made clear to the reader which ideas are your own, expressed in your own language, and which ones derive directly from what you have read.

If a teacher suspects that you have handed in work in which you have used a source or sources without proper acknowledgement, either wholly or in part, in such a way that it looks as though you are trying to pass someone else's work off as your own,

  • they will, first of all, show it to a colleague for a second opinion. They will discuss your work together.
  • If they feel that there is evidence of plagiarism, your teacher will ask you to come and see them.
  • You will not be given a grade for that piece of work unless you can somehow convince the teacher that it was indeed your own work. After discussion with the teacher, you will be allowed to do the work again, or something comparable, if this is the first time you have been involved in such a case and if the teacher believes that ignorance of the law or truly exceptional circumstances led you to present it as your own.
  • If there is a repetition of this, or if the plagiarism is particularly serious or extensive, the teacher will be unable to give you a grade for the course. In this case, the head of department and the Department Council will be informed. You may well fail the course.
  • Plagiarism at the seminar paper or pro gradu level is totally unacceptable and will be dealt with accordingly. The University has established procedures for dealing with serious cases and follows the 'good scientific practice' outlined at http://pro.tsv.fi/tenk/index.htm.

If you are short of time or ideas, try to solve the problem by explaining the situation to your teacher. Do not cheat!


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