Cheating and plagiarism
What is cheating?
It is considered cheating if you use prohibited aids during an examination. Plagiarising material or essay writing is also considered cheating.
Plagiarism is when you copy other people's texts without stating the source, or reproduce texts verbatim or almost verbatim without using quotation marks. Examples of cheating are using unauthorised aids in an exam, such as unauthorised notes. Other examples of cheating are collaboration between students in individual compulsory assignments and change or supplementation of text in a corrected, returned writing.
Uppsala University uses the Swedish system Ouriginal to detect plagiarism as well as prevent it.
As a student, it is your responsibility to take part in information about what is allowed and not allowed during, for example, exams and when you write an essay.
According to the text of the law, it is sufficient that a student has tried to cheat in order for disciplinary action to be taken. It is not required that the cheating has been completed. For example, it is enough to bring notes with you to the exam with the intention of using them as an aid, regardless of whether you then actually use the notes or not.
Video: What is plagiarism and how to avoid it
What happens on suspicion of cheating?
On suspicion of cheating, the procedure starts with an initial conference where you are informed of the suspicions and have the opportunity to give your view on the matter. The examiner and the head of the department are to decide jointly the further treatment of the matter.
If the matter is not depreciated, a formal report is submitted to the Vice-Chancellor. You then have the opportunity to comment the notification. You can get support and advice of the Student Union's student ombudsman. The Disciplinary Board’s assigned officer is to investigate the matter on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor decides on the basis of the investigation to dismiss the matter without further action, issue a warning to the student, or refer the matter to the Disciplinary Board.
If the case proceeds to the Disciplinary Board, you will be summoned to attend a hearing together with a representative of the department and any other individual involved. The Disciplinary Board consists of the Vice-Chancellor, a legally qualified member, a teacher representative and two representatives appointed by the student unions.
The decision of the board may be:
- to dismiss the matter without further action,
- to issue a warning, or
- to suspend you from studies for a certain period.
A decision of suspension generally applies immediately. The decision is registered in the student register Ladok and the relevant departments and the National Board of Student Aid (CSN) are informed. You have the right to appeal the decision on warning or suspension to the Administrative Court (Förvaltningsrätten). You also have the opportunity to apply for a stay in anticipation of a decision from the Administrative Court.
The institution is not permitted to take any disciplinary measures of its own against you, neither during the period of investigation nor after the Disciplinary Board has made its decision.
Cheating leads normally to deferment of any decision about examination until the disciplinary matter has been decided. There is no automatic connection between the decision of the Disciplinary Board and passing/failing the examination in question. Even if the Disciplinary Board decides not to issue a sanction, you may be failed if the examiner deems that the examination or essay does not measure up the course goals.
Learn more about plagiarism
- Carroll, Jude & Zetterling, Carl-Mikael, 2009. Guiding students away from plagiarism. Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Please note that the English version of the handbook starts on page 86!
- Plagiarism.org. This site discusses what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
- In Urkund’s Plagiarism Handbook: Tips and Advice for Students you can read more about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.