Aberystwyth University BAD
Plagiarism is intellectual dishonesty. It is taken very seriously by the University. As a breach of the regulations on Unfair Practice, it is a disciplinary matter which can lead to severe penalties up to and including permanent exclusion from University. This statement sets out how the University defines plagiarism and how it deals with suspected cases in student work.
Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work with the intent to deceive by presenting it as your own. This can include using, in your coursework, particular phrases or expressions, individual sentences, or substantial chunks of text from the work of others, without making it clear where they are from. The source material could be essays written by other students, articles or information downloaded from the internet, or books and other published works. In extreme cases, students might submit work which is entirely written by someone else, or use only a small amount of material which forms a critical part of the coursework, such as a few lines of computer code. Translating work from another language and presenting it as your own is another form of plagiarism.
The purpose of plagiarism is normally to obtain higher marks than you think you would get for your own unaided efforts. There are various reasons for this. You may lack confidence in your ability, perhaps in a particular subject area within the degree, or early on in your studies. You may desperately want a very good degree result and doubt that you can achieve that on your own. You may not have managed your time effectively and panic at the last minute before a deadline. Whatever the reasons, presenting the work of others as your own is unacceptable. It is regarded by the University as cheating.
No academic work is ever absolutely original. All students and academics build on the thoughts and discoveries of their predecessors. Students are expected to demonstrate familiarity with the established literature in their field. They will be citing articles and books that are especially relevant before making their own contribution. It is essential to identify clearly the sources of the ideas and text which are being borrowed from elsewhere, and to ensure that credit is not claimed for the work of others.
Student work is assessed by experienced markers who are alert to the possibility of plagiarism, and familiar with the sources students might use. Markers can tell when work is not the student’s own. Text-matching software enables student work to be checked against a vast range of sources. If you cheat, you can expect it to be detected.
The University has procedures for handling suspected cases of plagiarism and other unfair practices, which are available on the web site. These ensure that students receive a fair hearing and have an opportunity to present their case. After investigation, students may be found not to have committed unfair practice. They may be completely exonerated or it may be that their work receives reduced marks due to bad practice, such as inadequate referencing. If a case of plagiarism is established, the penalty will normally be at least the cancellation of marks for that piece of work. It could be far more severe.
Each Department/Institute will give its own subject-specific advice on the best ways to avoid plagiarism, as part of the induction process and in written information. Students should familiarise themselves with this guidance. Information Services and Learner Support also provide support and guidance on good study practices. All students should be fully aware of what is acceptable and what is not, of the importance of avoiding plagiarism, and of the sound working practices which can ensure that this is done, and avoid any accusation of plagiarism.