Academic Services

Plagiarism

What plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

The University takes plagiarism very seriously and is committed to ensuring that so far as possible it is detected and dealt with appropriately.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of copying or including in one’s own work, without adequate acknowledgement, intentionally or unintentionally, the work of another or your own previously assessed original work.

How to avoid plagiarism

You must ensure that any work you submit for assessment is your own. Where your work includes quotations, theories, ideas, data or any other materials which are the work of another person or persons, you must ensure that you have taken all reasonable steps to acknowledge the source. You should ensure that you are familiar with the referencing requirements for your programme of study.

Guidance and factsheets on good academic practice and avoiding plagiarism are available from the Institute for Academic Development.

www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/undergraduate/good-practice

Plagiarism software

Many areas of the University now use ‘Turnitin’ plagiarism detection software to assist in detecting possible cases of plagiarism. ‘Turnitin UK’ is an online service which searches the World Wide Web and extensive databases of reference material, as well as content previously submitted by other users.

Once work has been submitted to the system, it becomes part of the ever-growing database of material against which subsequent submissions are checked. Turnitin makes no decisions about whether a student has plagiarised, it simply highlights sections of text which are duplicated in other sources. In most cases, the text will have been correctly cited. Where highlighted sections are relevant and appropriate cited, the course tutor will be able to see this.

Further information on Turnitin is available from Information Services.

Information Services plagiarism guidance