Cheating and plagiarism

Last changed: 25 May 2016
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As a student at SLU, you have a responsibility for your own education. This means that you have a responsibility to be aware of the rules that apply at the university with regard to cheating and plagiarism.

What is cheating?

Cheating is where you use prohibited aids or other methods to attempt to deceive during examinations or other forms of assessment. Examples of cheating include:

  • using prohibited aids during written examinations
  • changing a returned and corrected piece of work
  • prohibited collaboration between students on individual assignments
  • copying another student’s work, copying without correctly attributing the source
  • fabricating data
  • falsely recording attendance of compulsory teaching
  • providing inaccurate information about previous study performance that is to be assessed for credit transfer
  • etc.

To be considered cheating, there must be intent to deceive. The student must have intentionally tried to deceive the teacher. This requires the student to have done this intentionally (not by mistake or through carelessness) and to have known that what he or she was doing was not allowed and this must have related to something forming part of the assessment of a study performance.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you copy another’s text or reproduce another’s tables, images or other illustrations without crediting the source. It is also plagiarism if you reproduce texts word for word without indicating that this is a quotation, whether or not you indicate the source. Plagiarism is always wrong and can be considered to constitute cheating if it is thought to have been done with the intention to deceive in the assessment of study performance.

It must be clear to see what you have produced yourself and what has been obtained (and possibly edited) from another source through the application of the correct technique for quotations and acknowledging sources. Find out more about copyright and how to avoid plagiarism in the SLU library Guide on searching and writing.

How does Urkund work?

SLU’s teachers have access to the Urkund anti-plagiarism system. Using Urkund, all kinds of examination assignments and other written assignments can be checked against a large number of sources in order to identify possible plagiarism. All independent projects (degree projects) will be checked for plagiarism (in Urkund) before being approved. Urkund compares the submitted document with material from three central sources: the Internet, published material and student material.

Urkund works with leading information providers, such as ProQuest, DiVA (The Digital Scientific Archive), Iustus and The Swedish National Encyclopaedia. This means that a large volume of published material is included in Urkund’s checks. This includes scientific and popular science articles, daily newspaper articles, reference works, books and database material, etc. Urkund continuously works to establish new collaborations.

What does SLU do?

SLU actively works to combat cheating and plagiarism. This includes both preventive and monitoring measures. Find out more in SLU’s policy and action plan to prevent cheating and plagiarism within education (pdf 117 Kb).

SLU may take disciplinary action against you if you have cheated or have done one of the other things indicated below. If there are good grounds for suspicion, a report must be made to the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor will then decide whether the matter should be examined by SLU’s disciplinary board. The board investigates the case and listens to what the student has to say. The consequences may be a warning or a suspension from study for up to six months.

What does the law say?

Disciplinary measures may be invoked against students (Swedish Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 10) who:

  1. use prohibited aids or other methods to attempt to deceive during examinations or other forms of assessment of study performance
  2. disrupt or obstruct teaching, tests or other activities within the framework of courses and study programmes at the higher education institution
  3. disrupt activities in the library of the higher education institution or other separate establishments at the institution
  4. subject another student to racial harassment, harassment on the basis of religion or other belief, harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, harassment on the basis of disability or sexual harassment
  5. subject an employee of the university to any of the forms of harassment stated in 4

Disciplinary action may not be taken more than two years after the offence has been committed.

Page editor: Johan.Toren@slu.se