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Plagiarism and Copyright

In the academic world it is essential to have a grasp of issues pertaining to plagiarism and copyright, issues that are often clouded in confusion. Here we give you the basics.


To plagiarize means using somebody else's work and presenting it as your own without referring to the source. It may be a text, idea, theory, image, chart, figure, music, computer program or a product. Even reformulation, paraphrasing, text to your own words, without referencing the source is plagiarism.
Plagiarism may also violate Copyright laws.
Read more at LiU's webpage on Cheating.

Copyright legislation regulates how you are permitted to use someone else's work (e.g. text, figure, photo, video, sound etc.). Learn more.

Self-plagiarism is when you re-use your own previously published / submitted texts in a new work. You should refer to your own texts in in the same way as you do with other sources.

Plagiarism is a serious offense against good academic practice and can if worse comes to worst result in temporary suspension from studies by decision of The Disciplinary Board at Linköping University. A student who is suspended may not participate in lectures, laboratory sessions, seminars, exams, tutorials, assignments, and may not access to LiU's computer labs. The suspension may also affect payment of student support.
Learn more at LiU's website Disciplinary measures.

  • When using other writers' work, re-write the original entirely in your own words. When giving exact quotes from someone else’s work use the original text in quotations marks and give a correct reference.
  • Always refer and quote in accordance with good academic practice. You can read more about this on the page Cite and refer.
  • Always ask the copyright holder’s permission to use photographs, figures, diagrams in your own work. Not doing so is a violation of copyright law.
  • Learn more about how to avoid plagiarism through the library's self-study tutorial NoPlagiat.
  • Always ask if you are unsure. First ask your supervisor or the library.

Linköping University can submit student texts to Urkund, which is a plagiarism-checking tool for teachers. Submitted texts are checked against a very large database of material taken from the internet, published material and student material.
Plagiarism-check of publications at a higher scientific level and theses, can be done using Similarity Check which check against academic sources such as journal articles and the internet. For further details, contact Peter Berkesand.

The library has been informed that a few newly graduated PhDs have had difficulty publishing articles based on their dissertation's introduction/summary (kappan). The reason is that journals regularly send manuscripts for plagiarism control. If the introduction/summary of the dissertations is posted in DiVA (and hence freely available on the internet) in connection with the defense of the Ph.D. and portions of the manuscript are copied and pasted directly from the thesis then the manuscript may get caught in the publisher's plagiarism control.

There are major advantages to publishing a thesis electronically. This helps to spread and visualize research produced at Linköping University. A problem arises if text is then reused in unmodified form for an article

If this has happens to you, explain to the editor that the introduction/summary is the frame of a thesis that binds together the articles which constitute a dissertation in Sweden; the research has not yet been published in academic form.

Within some research areas, the issue of self-plagiarism is sensitive (self-plagiarism = reusing your own previously published text without referring to the source). It may be important to know that plagiarism control programs, such as Similarity Check, used by many publishers, also detect self-plagiarism. One should therefore be aware of the benefits of rewording your text before publishing. Because the library has access to Similarity Check, we can also help to provide a check of a manuscript before you send it to the publisher.

For those who work in a research field that is skeptical to making a dissertation available before the article is officially published, we can delay the electronic publication of the dissertation during an optional period of up to 12 months.

Find the answers to further questions about copyright and plagiarism on the library's FAQ page:Questions and Answers




More about plagiarism and copyright



NoPlagiat exercises


Plagiarism- and reference management group at Linköping University Library: plagiering@bibl.liu.se

Page manager: webmaster@bibl.liu.se
Last updated: Wed Jun 20 10:53:19 CEST 2018