The development of the Internet makes it easier to share knowledge. Now, an image, book or even music can easily be made accessible and pirated. Knowledge belongs to everyone. In this regard, some people question the usefulness of citing original works and authors. Why is plagiarism prohibited? What reasons do I have to respect copyright?


Summary : 

plagiarism risks

To attest to honest behaviour

The most immediate answer to the question "Why not plagiarise?" is: to comply with the law, as a responsible citizen. Plagiarism is a criminal offence under the Intellectual Property Code: plagiarism is strictly prohibited and punishable in order to encourage honest behaviourRecent cases of plagiarism have faced heavy penalties: fines, expulsion from the academic institution, revocation of diplomas earned, etc

Integrity is the antidote to copying, cheating and plagiarism.

> Imagine that you've spent a year doing research, writing a book, finding a publisher, printing and promoting your work. How would you react if someone appropriated your work, without giving anything in return, and while taking all the credit? This is called theft and also plagiarism.

"Citing your sources correctly means you recognise others' contributions in shaping our body of knowledge; it allows everyone to see how ideas have evolved over time; and it complies with the regulatory and legal requirement to respect intellectual property. Cheating during an exam or test violates the value of honesty and role-model behaviour expected of any engineer or manager". "Academic Integrity" HEIG.


How can teachers raise students’ awareness of academic integrity?



"Types of cheating in academic contexts have evolved with technology and the creation of an online plagiarism market. They coincide with a different way of producing texts which raises the question of who is creating knowledge and what the status is of the new knowledge. It is therefore essential to raise awareness and train both students and teachers on this issue and to employ a range of available measures." "Academic integrity in school", University of Geneva.


In order for teachers to be able to train their students, they must also be trained. For this, Compilatio offers training for students and teachers.

Anti-plagiarism training modules
plagiarism dangers

To promote original creations

Authors, musicians, artists... imagine the future, create beauty, call for reflection or share scientific studies. Thanks to their work and research, they improve everyday life, by agreeing to share their knowledge, discoveries and opinions. Copyright enables original productions to be valued and promoted so that the world can continue to evolve. It is therefore important not to plagiarise in order to encourage these "inventors" and thank them for their personal contributions. The creative person receives compensation and can therefore continue to innovate. Affixing their name to a creation allows the author to protect their work and receive the associated benefits.

Have you considered this? By making the choice not to plagiarise and to provide your own ideas, you yourself become an "inventor", a "creative".

How can teachers encourage their students' creativity?

Some people created an educational game to help students grow their imagination: the “upside-down bus”. The teacher provides a topic and draws a card with instructions. For example, they may ask you to think from a different perspective or use your senses. Source: “Educational innovation: a game to reveal student creativity”, Marie-Laurence Caron-Fasan and Guy Parmentier, The Conversation.

plagiarism consequences

To contribute to research

When copyright is respected, research can develop under proper conditions. Indeed, when the original authors and works are explicitly mentioned, it is easier to understand the origin of an idea, its evolution, the debates that fuel it, the contributions of each party... Like a building that is constructed by many craftsmen across several professions, to form a more complete whole. It is important to be able to trace everyone's work, in the event that future questions arise, for example.

> By indicating the source for your observations, you take into account the work of your peers, while also bringing your own contribution to the building project. This allows you to supplement a quotation, challenge an idea, fuel a concept... in order to bring your own thoughts and your critical point of view.

How can students contribute to research without excluding anything?

To recognise the authors who contributed to the writing of your research-based work, dissertation or thesis, make sure to create a detailed bibliography. If desired, the reader can continue to explore an idea by using the cited sources.

Create an effective bibliography
plagiarism problem

To attest to quality

Choosing not to plagiarise also demonstrates the quality of your creation by proving that you have relied on reliable sources and authors. This instils trust in the reader. The reader will also be able to deepen their understanding by consulting the writings of the original authors that you've cited.
In this way, citing authors enhances your creation by showing that it is based on established and verifiable facts. Remember: each author attests to the truth of the facts and the originality of their ideas.

> By citing reliable sources, you attest that you have learned and incorporated research methods and citation standards, that you are serious and have integrity, and that your own research is of high quality. You demonstrate that you respect intellectual property and thus cultivate your reputation.

How can students attest to the quality of their academic writing?

Using similarity-detection software allows you to verify that you have correctly cited all your sources: paraphrasing, recycling an old assignment, a translated passage, an image, a graphic, a secondary source or an anonymous source.

The grader will appreciate if the Compilatio Studium analysis report is provided at the beginning or end of a paper. It indicates the percentage of similarities detected. Generally, 5% of uncited copying/pasting is allowed (check with your academic institution). Including the analysis report shows your willingness to respect copyright, and the grader will feel confident when reading your work.


plagiarism punishment

Authors and their rights holders are protected by copyright and intellectual property. Exercising this literary right requires either authorship or ownership.

You will understand: plagiarism is prohibited not only because the infringement of copyrights greatly damages the offender but also harms all creatives and authors whose ideas are "plundered". It is therefore essential to give credit to authors and their citations. As Paul Desalmand said, "A quotation without references is about as useful as a clock without hands."


Compilatio Studium assists you in analysing your reports and offers you a free toolbox with various resources: referencing methods, citation standards, quizzes, infographics, etc.

Discover Compilatio Studium


  • "Quotation rules to avoid plagiarism", Compilatio article, consulted on 07/07/2022.
  • "Great tips to avoid plagiarism" Compilatio article , consulted on 07/07/2022.
  • "Academic integrity" HEIG, french article, consulted on 07/07/2022.
  • “Academic integrity in studies”, University of Geneva, consulted on 07/07/2022.
  • "Educational innovation: a game to reveal student creativity" Theconversation, consulted on 07/07/2022.