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All your own work? Plagiarism, fabrication, collaboration and collusion.

Plagiarism is a form of cheating and a serious academic offence. All allegations of plagiarism will be investigated and may result in action being taken under the College’s misconduct regulations. A substantiated charge of plagiarism will result in a penalty being ordered ranging from a mark of zero for the assessed work to expulsion from the College. It is important that, as a student, you understand that all types of plagiarism are unacceptable; furthermore, they will not help your learning in the long term. You should be aware that academic staff have considerable expertise in identifying plagiarism and have access to electronic detection services to assist them. It is Departmental policy to use the Turnitin plagiarism tool for all project submissions.

Note also that credit can only be given once for a particular piece of assessed work. Submitting the same piece of work (or a significant part thereof) twice for assessment will be regarded as cheating, even when the work was submitted as part of a different programme or at a different institution.

Types of plagiarism

Includes: communicating with any other student in an examination, copying from any other student in an examination, bringing any unauthorised material into the examination room with the intention of using it during the examination, copying coursework.

Includes: collaborating with other students in preparing a piece of work and submitting it in an identical or similar form and claiming it to be your own, obtaining unauthorised co-operation of any other person when preparing work which you present as being your own, allowing someone to copy your work which they then present as being their own.

Refers to research or experimental work, when unjustifiable claims are made to have obtained certain results.

Includes: creating the impression that someone else's work is your own, quoting someone word for word, or summarising what they say without acknowledging them in a reference.

College policy on plagiarism

You are reminded that all work submitted as part of the requirements for any examination or assessment of the University of London (of which King's College London is a part) must be expressed in your own words and incorporates your own ideas and judgements. Plagiarism, that is the presentation of another person's thoughts or words as though they were your own, must be avoided, with particular care being taken in coursework, essays and reports written in your own time. 

Points to note:

  • Direct quotations from published or unpublished works of others (including lecture hand-outs) must always be clearly identified as such by being placed inside quotation marks and a full reference to their source must be provided in the proper form (your Personal Tutor or the lecturer can advise on this).

  • A series of short quotations from several different sources, if not clearly identified as such, constitutes plagiarism just as much as does a single unacknowledged long quotation from a general source. 

  • Paraphrasing – expressing another person's ideas or judgements in other words – can be plagiarism if the origin of the text is not acknowledged or the work paraphrased is not included in the bibliography.

  • It is possible for plagiarism to occur in examination scripts but particular care should be taken in coursework and essays and reports. 

  • Examples of other kinds of offence considered to be plagiarism are passing off work done for you by a native speaker of a foreign language as your own in assessed coursework, and repetition of your own work, if the fact that the work has been or is to be presented elsewhere (especially if it has already been presented for assessment) is not clearly stated.

Even in a minor or technical case, a note may be placed in your file for future reference. Further information is available online at the College Governance Zone.

Plagiarism is a serious examination offence. An allegation of plagiarism can result in action being taken under the Regulations Governing Examination and Assessment Offences. A substantiated charge of plagiarism will result in a penalty being ordered ranging from a mark of zero for the assessed work to expulsion from the College, depending on the severity of the case.

You will also be required to sign and attach a statement to each piece of work submitted for assessment indicating that you have read and understood the College statement on plagiarism. Uploading work to KEATS (the College e-learning system) or submission by other electronic submission methods will also be taken as an acknowledgement that you have read and understood the College statement on plagiarism.

King's Learning and Study Skills (KLaSS): Referencing and avoiding plagiarism

The King's Learning and Study Skills (KLaSS) page on KEATS provides links to Skills4StudyCampus exercises that teach you what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it, why and when to acknowledge sources, how to reference and discuss other people's ideas safely, and how to collaborate with other students without plagiarising one another's work. The KLaSS pages also contains the King's Guide to Referencing and a quiz that will help you choose the referencing software that best suits your needs.

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