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Anti-Plagiarism Guide

Tags: English

How is plagiarism detected and what happens if I plagiarise?

How is plagiarism detected?

Plagiarism can be detected by web-based text-matching tools and by the teacher or other students reading the text. A text which suddenly shows another literary style, improved language or suddenly "seems familiar" to the teacher could arouse suspicion (Carroll & Zetterling, 2009). If plagiarism is detected after an assignment has passed, the pass can be revoked and the assignment rejected. In connection with this, the student can be reported to the Disciplinary and Expulsion Committee (DEC).

Text-matching tools seek resemblance between your text and the Internet, previously submitted texts to the text-matching tool and a number of databases. Jönköping University uses the text-matching tool Ouriginal (formerly Urkund). This is how a text-matching test is conducted:

When students send their documents to their teachers, the documents go through three basic sources; The Internet, academically published material and students' documents previously submitted to Ouriginal (PM:s, theses, case studies et cetera). Then Ouriginal presents the information that the teacher needs to make a judgement whether plagiarism has occurred or not. Source: The Ouriginal website [retrieved: 2021-06-28].

In the Ouriginal Plagiarism handbook, you will find a lot of good and tangible advice that helps you to avoid plagiarism. You need to register with your name and e-mail address to download the book. 

Watch the multi-slide presentation (6 min) of cases of plagiarism from the Disciplinary Committee (DEC) at Jönköping University.

What happens if I plagiarise?

All academic staff who suspect cheating or plagiarism has a duty to report this to the Disciplinary and Expulsion Committee (DEC) at Jönköping University as soon as possible. The DEC consists of an external solicitor (the chairperson), a secretary, teacher representatives from each school and two student representatives. All representatives are under the directive of the JU President. 

The reporting routine is as follows:

  1. The teacher suspecting cheating or plagiarism makes a report of suspicion. The student who is suspected of cheating or plagiarism is normally informed. Then the head of education sends a formal report to the DEC.
  2. The secretary of the DEC prepares the report, and the student has the opportunity to state his or her opinion of the suspicion.
  3. Finally, the DEC makes a decision in one of its monthly meetings.

The DEC can decide on the disciplinary actions of warning or suspension during a certain period of time (from two weeks to at the most 6 months). Furthermore, financial aid for studies received from the Centre for Swedish financial aid, Centrala studiestödsnämnden (CSN) is usually withdrawn during the suspension. The student is not allowed to participate in teaching, examination or any other activities at the university. The student is also suspended from the university library and the computer resources provided by Jönköping University.

The DEC also decides on disciplinary actions for other offences than plagiarism. Read more about this in course module 4, Academic codes of behaviour.

If the Disciplinary Committee decides on suspension or a warning, the student can appeal against the decision to the Board of Appeals at JU (HJÖN). The appeal has to be submitted in writing three weeks from the day the decision was made. 

Further reading