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Scientific Information Retrieval

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as the usage of other people’s texts or ideas in your own texts without properly marking their origin. Such a behaviour is considered academic dishonesty and against academic ethics. It can lead to failure of a course or even to expulsion.

Plagiarism happens often unintentionally, but it is easily avoided by a good citation practice. The goal is to mark all ideas, text fragments or summary of works that ore not one’s own, so it is clear which thoughts are developed by yourself.

Plagiarism at its most obvious form is just to copy and paste some text from a internet recourse without mentioning that resource, but it is also using images/maps/graphs without marking their origin, rephrasing a sentence without mentioning that the idea behind is not one’s own. It is, however, quite easy to avoid plagiarism by writing a citation when

  • writing about the contents of another person. That includes rephrasing a passage or just mentioning the contents.
  • using direct quotation marks when you copy some text directly and state the source
  • using images/maps/figures/data produced by someone else
  • presenting facts that belong not to ‘common knowledge’

To help your work remember to always write down the source in which you find some interesting ideas that you want to use in your work. In the process of writing you don’t have to spend time anymore searching where you found this idea originally.


Some sites on plagiarism: