Plagiarism means unauthorized citing, e.g. presenting someone else’s thoughts and ideas as your own, without mentioning the source.

Do not plagiarise! Unauthorised citation is fraud, which may lead to your work being failed or even being temporary expulsion from the university!

You must always mention the source when you refer to someone else’s texts. Use  e.g. quotation marks to show that the text is a direct quotation. The source must be mentioned, whether you quote directly from the source or paraphrase it in your own words. If you are discussing common circumstances, facts or other generally known and accepted information you do not need to mention the source.

Identifying plagiarism

The University of Helsinki uses the Ouriginal system, intended for identifying plagiarism and practice of scientific writing. Ouriginal compares a text sent into the system with its own database, constructed e.g. from encyclopedias, scientific and newspaper articles, books, student theses and coursework. All pro gradu theses at the University of Helsinki are checked using Ouriginal, and teachers can utilize the system also for other written works.

How does plagiarism detection work?

If your teacher intends to use the plagiarism detection system in evaluating courseworks or theses, he or she must make it known to students taking the course. Your teacher will give you instructions for returning the work either to the teacher’s Ouriginal e-mail address or through Moodle’s upload system. After this, Ouriginal will analyze your work and then automatically sends it to your teacher for evaluation.

The teacher’s duty is to study the analysis and ultimately decide whether your work warrants further examination. It is a good idea to go through the analysis together with your teacher, if necessary. The process will help you refer and cite correctly in a scientific manner.

As the holder of your own copyright, you have the right to decide whether your text is saved in Ouriginal’s comparison database, which allows it to be used as an aid when analyzing the texts of other students. By saving your work you help the University to nurture high-quality science – and ensure that no one will plagiarize your own work!

Also all thesis published in the E-thesis (repository for theses and dissertations of the University of Helsinki) are analyzed with Ouriginal.

You have no reason to worry about plagiarism, as long as you remember to follow the general rules on citation, as well as any rules given by your faculty or teacher! For more information and instructions, see the Instructions for Students.