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Plagiarism

This category includes major incidents of unethical documentation practices. Incidents are more significant than isolated technical errors or omissions.

First incidents are classed as offences. Academic penalties, as well as assigned learning tasks, may be applied.

Plagiarism Applies to Every Type of Information

Submitting any type of work produced by someone other than yourself without acknowledging that source may be considered plagiarism. This includes writing, mathematical solutions, data, code, images, graphical designs, and more.

Types of Plagiarism

Review the definitions, examples and case studies below.

Copying Others' Work and Self-Copying

Definition

Submitting work from a previous course or the work of another student.

Examples

  • Recycling work without permission; submitting an assignment or parts of an assignment that was submitted by the student in a previous course.
  • Copying work from another student.

Case Study 1

Mira has to write a short paper for one of her classes but is struggling to come up with ideas.  Mira asks her friend Anna for help. Anna is taking the same course but with a different professor. Anna provides Mira with a draft version of her short paper to help Mira get some ideas on how to write her own. Mira really likes the version that Anna is working on and decides to copy Anna’s work and submit it.  Mira has copied Anna's work, which is an academic offence.

Case Study 2

Amisha is in her second year of the nursing program. For one of her assignments, she has to write a research paper on interdisciplinary care in a diabetes clinic. As Amisha conducts her research, she realizes that the topic is very similar to one that she worked on in her first year. She decides to take several pages from her first semester research paper and incorporate them into her current research paper. She did not ask permission from the instructor before using her previous work. Amisha feels it is OK to copy her own work, but this is "self-plagiarism" and is an academic offence.

Plagiarism

Definition

Submitting or presenting work of another person(s)/organization in whole or substantial part as one’s own without proper citation and referencing.

Examples

  • Making up references.
  • Failing to cite and reference multiple sources.
  • Copying part, or all, of a work without in-text citations or references.
  • Using an online translator to convert someone else’s work and then claiming it as one’s own work.
  • Copying material from the Internet without citations or referencing.

Case Study 1

For one of her assignments, Katrina is required to write a personal reflection on her growth as a student. She finds a blog written by a student in another part of Canada. The personal reflection within the blog is exactly how Katrina feels about her progress. Because the reflection is so similar to how she feels, Katrina copies the blog entry. She adds an introduction and conclusion to the copied material and submits the complete work to her teacher as her own personal reflection. For this assignment, Katrina is expected to submit her own thoughts, but instead, Katrina has copied from another source without citing or referencing. This is an academic offence.

Case Study 2

Chris has to write computer code for one of his computer science assignments. The instructor states that students must submit original work for the assignment. Chris visits the StackOverflow website, which has freely available snippets of code. A notice on the website states that all code within the site has a Creative Commons licence requiring attribution. Chris copies several snippets of code from the site and includes it as a solution to his assignment. He does not cite where he got the code because it was freely available. For this assignment, Chris is expected to submit his own, original code, but instead, Chris has copied from another source without citing or referencing it. This is an academic offence.