What is plagiarism?

What is considered plagiarism and what is not considered plagiarism? Sometimes it is difficult to determine if something can be considered plagiarism. However, that does not change the fact that committing plagiarism is a form of fraud, and therefore constitutes a punishable offense. When the university discovers that a student has plagiarized, the student risks to suspend the course, and could even be expelled from it.

Definition of plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when an author, deliberately or accidentally, presents as his own work that is not the original author. Plagiarism is a violation of the intellectual property rights of another person. Most universities have their own definitions of plagiarism. Here are several examples.

University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain)

“Plagiarism is using the work, ideas, or words of another person as if they were their own, without explicitly certifying where the information comes from.

The information of another is owned by another person (such as a car or anything else we have), regardless of whether it is free or not, or the way we have accessed it (on the Internet, a magazine, a book) . Our words belong to us and can not be used without our permission.

Therefore, plagiarism is an infringement of the copyright on a work of any kind, which is produced by copying it, without the authorization of the person who created it or who owns or owns the rights of said work, and its presentation as an original work.”

Source: University of Alcalá.

University of San Andrés (Argentina)

“Plagiarism, consists of the use of the work or the ideas of one or more authors without the corresponding mention of the name of the author, the title of the work (book, article, essay, etc.) and other related data. Plagiarism may be unintentional, due to lack of knowledge of citation forms or due to the absence of bibliographic references in a written text.

That is why it can be avoided through certain careful work practices. Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is considered a serious offense in any university community. “

Source: University of San Andrés.

University of Alicante (Spain)

According to the Royal Academy plagiar “is copying in the substantial works of others, giving them as their own.”

Like the Royal Academy, the Supreme Court Doctrine understands by plagiarism “everything that involves copying other people’s works in substance.” Likewise, it broadens the definition of the concept when presenting plagiarism “as a mechanized material activity, not very creative and lacking in originality, although it does provide a certain manifestation of ingenuity”.

Concluding that “the concept of plagiarism must refer to basic and fundamental structural coincidences and not to accessory, added, superimposed or transcendental modifications” (STS No. 12/1995 of January 28)

Source: University of Alicante.

What activities are affected by plagiarism?

Plagiarism is not just about copying and pasting another person’s work. The translation or paraphrasing of texts using synonyms are considered as plagiarism, as well as the writing of an existing theory in own words without properly citing the source.

To put it simply, plagiarism is to use the ideas of another person without giving due credit to that person’s property of those ideas.

How to avoid plagiarism (involuntary)

It is very important to work in a structured way. Be sure to keep all the sources that are going to be used, and do it from the beginning. In addition, quotations and paraphrasing should be made good use of, at all times, using the correct style of including references when citing another person’s work. Only in this way can plagiarism be easily avoided.

Plagiarism check

Increasingly, universities use scanning tools to detect possible plagiarism. As soon as you submit an essay or thesis, the documents will be scanned for plagiarism with one of these scanning tools.

A well-known plagiarism checking tool is Turnitin, of which Ephorus is a part. The Ephorus tool scans your thesis in search of plagiarism by comparing its content with other theses, academic texts and other texts on the internet.

As is natural, it is very unpleasant to commit plagiarism involuntarily and have to suffer the consequences of it. However, this can easily be avoided.

You can load your document right now to check its originality using our plagiarism checking tool. By using the Ephorus database, this check will help you know if you have committed plagiarism.