Avoid plagiarism at RUC


As a student, it is essential to know the rules concerning plagiarism. Committing plagiarism can have serious implications.

Hanne Leth Andersen, principal of RUC. Foto: Uffe weng.

Hanne Leth Andersen, Rector of RUC. Foto: Uffe Weng.

Dear students,
Do you know the definition of plagiarism? This is more complex than you might think.

As Rector, it bothers me greatly every time I have to issue warnings and implement shorter or longer expulsions as a result of plagiarism. This is especially true when the case does not involve deliberate cheating, but only concerns carelessness or misunderstandings.

The following are the most common reasons that students commit plagiarism:

  • You may think you can reuse your own work in several projects. This is not acceptable. You must quote yourself if you use points from earlier projects and assignments.
  • You may think you can use specific phrases and longer passages from slides directly in assignments. This is not acceptable unless you provide a reference.
  • You may think that you can rephrase texts without drawing attention to the fact that you are doing so. This is not acceptable. You must always refer to the source where you have found an idea or a point.
  • You may be careless with quotation marks and source references. This is not proper academic work, and it is not fair to those you are referring to or quoting.

The penalties for plagiarism vary from a warning and dismissal from an examination, to expulsion from the university for a shorter or longer period.

Good academic practice is common sense

Sanctions in relation to plagiarism are serious, because the university must ensure that students write their assignments themselves, and that the exam certificates are a reflection of real qualifications. A certificate is worthless if the student does not acquire knowledge and academic language in the specific fields. The goal is not simply to deliver work, but to learn.

A plagiarism case is a major burden for the individual student, and the administrative resources that we spend on dealing with the matter could also be used far more constructively on teaching and education. I think that most of the cases could be avoided if everyone knew the rules and followed them. Therefore, talk with your fellow students and with your teachers and supervisors about the rules and about the frameworks for academic writing.

As a student at a university, you should familiarise yourself with what constitutes good academic practice and also with the consequences of not observing the rules. Good academic practice is essential, and very often common sense; you learn how to structure and write your assignments yourself after reading the relevant sources. The leading voice in your text is your own, but along the way, you must refer to the sources in order to present different positions and argue your points.

With all my wishes for your work in the new term!

Hanne Leth Andersen

You can read more about academic writing and plagiarism on RUC’s website and on the intranet:


https://intra.ruc.dk/for-studerende/alle-studier/humtek-bachelor/faelles-information-for-alle-studerende-paa-humtek/plagiat/ (requires login to the intranet)

Test your knowledge on plagiarism with a quiz on the website http://www.stopplagiat.nu/ or read an article in Magisterbladet on how the universities deal with the growing number of plagiarism cases.

If you want to know RUC’s disciplinary rules on examination cheating and plagiarism, refer to Section 3.7 on this page: http://www.ruc.dk/om-universitetet/organisation/regelsamling/uddannelse/



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