The responsible conduct of research and good academic practice are essential requirements in all university studies. Credits must be earned honestly, with the student accurately demonstrating their knowledge. All types of cheating and plagiarism are forbidden.
Cheating refers to dishonest conduct that goes against the responsible conduct of research and good academic practice. A person who engages in cheating acts contrary to the generally accepted scientific and academic practices either intentionally, for the purpose of deception or through negligence (due to ignorance or indifference).
Plagiarism refers to the unauthorised use of someone else’s work (text, chart, software code, picture, etc.) as your own. In addition to the unauthorised use of someone else’s work and presenting it as your own, plagiarism can also take the form of self-plagiarism.
Cheating includes, among other things, the following types of conduct:
• Fabrication (presenting fabricated observations or facts).
• Misrepresentation (intentionally altering or presenting original findings or information in a distorted way).
• Stealing (unauthorised presentation of a confidentially presented original idea, plan or observation as one’s own).
• Cheating in examinations (using forbidden methods or study aids in a context such as an examination, or attempting to do so).
• Falsifying attendance records (giving a false representation of one’s own attendance, or another person’s attendance, in a course).
• Forbidden cooperation (e.g. jointly completing an assignment intended as an independent exercise or using a “ghost writer”).
• Plagiarism (presenting someone else’s work, or part thereof, as your own).
Plagiarism includes, among other things, the following types of conduct:
- Using someone else’s text as one’s own by omitting the author entirely.
- Using someone else’s text as one’s own by making minor changes to the text (also known as “servile imitation”, for example, by changing a few words or slightly altering the word order).
- Exact quotations that include the source information but no indication that the text is a direct quotation rather than a reference (the “copy-paste” method).
- Using an insignificantly altered text with source information (the “copy-paste” method combined with “servile imitation”).
- Self-plagiarism, or presenting one’s own prior work as a new work for another assignment without indicating that the work in question has already been submitted elsewhere.
Source: Walker, J. (2010) Measuring plagiarism: researching what students do, not what they say they do, Studies in Higher Education, 35:1, 41-59.
Please note that ideas and practices concerning plagiarism and the sharing of information may vary from culture to culture. You cannot assume that all foreign students in Finland share our idea of citations and the use of sources. It is necessary to have a discussion of what is understood by plagiarism at the University of Helsinki and what kind of academic writing is the expected in the studies. Language-related problems may cause plagiarism or comparable expressions if the student’s language skills or faith in their own writing are not sufficient to support autonomous processing and writing.