Plagiarism is the act of presenting the work or ideas of another as your own.

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1 4 Plagiarism Contents What is plagiarism?... 1 Unintentional Plagiarism... 2 Penalties for plagiarism... 2 How is plagiarism detected?... 3 How do I avoid plagiarism?... 3 Why is referencing style so important?... 3 When you do not need to use references... 3 Referencing dos and don ts... 4 Referencing tools... 4 Further help... 5 What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is the act of presenting the work or ideas of another as your own. It is a form of dishonesty, cheating and theft. Plagiarism can be both intentional and unintentional. Examples of plagiarism include: Presenting another student s work as your own. Paraphrasing someone else s ideas or words without referencing the source. Quoting phrases, sentences, complete paragraphs or more, from a source without using quotation marks and/or without referencing the source. Cutting and pasting from a website, electronic journal article or other source without using quotation marks and/or without referencing the source. Purchasing an essay or dissertation from an internet service and submitting it as your own work. Recycling assignments that you ve already submitted. This is selfplagiarism. Remember the purpose of assignments is to help you to learn. If you resubmit the same content you ve already submitted in a different assignment, you risk undermining your own learning as well as not properly answering the assignment brief. It is helpful to view every new assignment as an opportunity for you to develop your skills, knowledge and understanding. Page 1

2 Forms of plagiarism Intentional Plagiarism This is the deliberate failure to reference anything. Lack of time is not an excuse. Unintentional Plagiarism Plagiarism can be unintentional. For example, if you have not kept accurate notes, you may paraphrase or copy someone else s work into your assignment thinking that it s your own. Students may also unintentionally plagiarise if they don t understand how to reference the work of others in their assignments. There is NO excuse for unintentional plagiarism. You are responsible for knowing what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. Remember, you can ask for help from your Information Skills Adviser should you need it (see Further help below). Collaboration The University expects that all work submitted for assessment and leading to an award is the sole work of the individual submitting the work. The exception is when you are asked to do a group assignment in which case collaboration is expected. It is also acceptable to ask a peer to proofread your work for spelling or grammatical errors. However, do not allow anyone to rewrite your work if you are being assessed on an individual basis. Collusion This occurs if you work with others on an assignment where you are going to be assessed on an individual basis. For example, if you allow your work to be copied by another student or they allow you to copy their work. Penalties for plagiarism The penalties for plagiarism are set out in the following document: Student s code of Practice 4 (SPC4): Academic Misconduct This can be accessed on The regulations and policy page of MyLSBU at For first offences you may be asked to re-submit the work. However, if you are reported for plagiarism on a regular basis you risk being asked to leave the course and the University. The implications of cheating can also go beyond LSBU if you are studying for professional exams or recognition. Your Head of Department may be obliged to Page 2

3 report any suspected misdemeanour on any application you make on completion of your course. How is plagiarism detected? It is usually easy for lecturers to identify plagiarism within students work. The University also actively investigates plagiarism in students assessed work through electronic detection software called Turnitin. This software compares students work against text on the Internet, in journal articles and within previously submitted work (from LSBU and other institutions) and highlights any matches it finds. How do I avoid plagiarism? To avoid plagiarism you must always clearly acknowledge in your assignments when you are quoting or paraphrasing the work of another. This method of acknowledging other people s work is called referencing. Most departments at LSBU ask you to follow the LSBU Harvard Referencing style. Other types of referencing include OSCOLA (used by Law), APA (used by Psychology) and Numeric style (used by some engineering departments). If you re not sure which style you need to follow, check your module guides or ask your lecturers. The following guides are available on the My LSBU library pages. How to do your Referencing Using the Harvard System How to do your Referencing: the OSCOLA System (Law Resources) How to do your Referencing: Numeric Style How to do your Referencing: APA system Why is referencing style so important? At university you need to present your work in an acceptable academic style. By following the recognised guidelines and respecting and building upon the existing work of other people you are not only avoiding plagiarism but also providing evidence of your research, protecting the originality of your work and enabling your reader to identify your sources. When you do not need to use references If you are writing up your own genuine experiences, observations, experimental data, fieldwork, etc. You are mentioning something which is common knowledge, such as well known facts or historical dates. However, if in doubt cite! Page 3

4 Referencing dos and don ts Do Give yourself time to research and write your assignments. Start early! Paraphrase the original work or summarise it in your own words. (Remember that you will still need to reference the original). Put any phrase or sentence which you have copied word for word into quotation marks ( ) and include the page number in the in-text citation or footnote. Keep accurate notes and records of where you ve found information. It is very difficult and time-consuming to try and find out where you ve copied or paraphrased other people s work afterwards. Ask for help in the library or attend a drop-in workshop on referencing (these are held frequently in the library). You can also your Information Skills Adviser if you have any queries about plagiarism or referencing (contact details below). Visit the Referencing your work page on My LSBU for help sheets, quizzes and tutorials on referencing. There are also referencing tutorials on the LLR: Library and IT Support site on Moodle Don t Ever consider using any of the essay writing or document purchasing services available on the internet. Let other students copy your work or copy other students work in which you will be assessed individually (this is collusion). Substantially resubmit the same content for a different assignment (this is self-plagiarism) Put off writing assignments. Remember they re designed to help you develop your skills and knowledge. Referencing tools NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you proofread any citations or references generated by the tools below to check for accuracy, consistency and style and to ensure they comply with the referencing style you re following. RefMe ( This is a free web and mobile tool to generate citations, reference lists and bibliographies. It includes LSBU Harvard, LSBU Numeric, APA and OSCOLA styles. Ready-made references on library e-resources and websites Many of the library s subscription databases such as Academic Search Complete and Myilibrary provide ready-made references to their records. Page 4

5 However, they don t provide LSBU Harvard or LSBU Numeric style so you will have to edit them. Worldcat ( allows you to search the catalogues of libraries around the world and provides references in a variety of styles for every record. Again, you may need to reformat them into the referencing style you re following. Reference managers You may wish to use referencing management tools for longer research projects. If you d like training on these, please contact your Information Skills Adviser. RefWorks The university has a subscription to RefWorks so it s free for all LSBU staff and students. To access RefWorks, search for RefWorks on the library catalogue. You ll need to register and create your own login. Mendeley Free referencing manager. Allows you to store up to 2GB of content. Further help Do ask for help if you need it. There s lots of support available so if you re confused, worried or anxious at all about plagiarism or referencing here are some ways of getting help: Library Information Skills Advisers You can send an to your Information Skills Adviser if you have any queries regarding referencing or plagiarism or if you d like to arrange a 1-to-1 training session: Applied Science Arts and Creative Industries Built Environment and Architecture Business Engineering Health and Social Care Law and Social Sciences Research help desk The research help desk on level 3 Bridge of the Perry Library is staffed by Information Skills Advisers and Senior Information Advisers on weekdays between 11am 4.30pm. Students can drop-by for help with referencing and research skills Page 5

6 Library Skills days and Workshops The library regularly hosts drop-in workshops on referencing and reference management software. These are advertised on My LSBU, Moodle and in the library. Skills for Learning The Skills for Learning team based in the Student Life Centre provide a programme of study skills sessions including academic writing. Updated April 2015 Page 6

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