What exactly is

Definition, forms, risks and punishments, plagiarism prevention implications, best practices, etc.

Copied-and-pasted text, paraphrases, duplicate content, quotes, similar passages, etc.
With the increasing use of digital technology in research, education and knowledge sharing, new forms of plagiarism and the temptation to copy/paste are also increasing. In this page, learn how to recognise plagiarism to enhance academic integrity.



When can we talk about plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of portraying someone else's work as your own. In documentary research and writing (dissertation, internship report, thesis, paper, etc.), you're allowed to use another author's ideas, provided that the reader is informed of the source for an idea, text or work.

[...] translating a text without mentioning its creator is considered plagiarism. This is called translingual plagiarism.

[...] it does not suffice to simply change a few words but rather to rephrase the whole sentence, words and structure, while still providing a citation.

[...] you are allowed to use your own words taken from another document, provided you mention the source.

[...] the author must be cited (Last and First Name), as well as the date of publication and where the information was found (website, book, newspaper, etc.).

[...] Hence, both the primary and secondary sources should be included in the citation.

[...] Common knowledge, of a fact or event, corresponds to its wide recognition, namely, if it is known to a large majority of people.

[...] an anonymous source is just as important as a known source.

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of students were tempted to plagiarise in a research paper
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of students think the teacher does not check for plagiarism
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Why is plagiarism serious?

All are affected by plagiarism and awareness of it

Secondary or higher educational institutions evaluate students to confirm their acquisition of knowledge and adherence to instructions. Cheating distorts grades and cheapens the value of diplomas and education.

  • "Plagiarism is everyone's business! Raising awareness is aimed primarily at students, but plagiarism pertains to all school staff, whether they are teachers, researchers or administrators. It is part of a comprehensive approach that includes signing a charter, specific training, the use of plagiarism-detection tools and recommendations regarding disciplinary actions."

University of Lyon website, Combating plagiarism at the University of Lyon.

  • "Plagiarism violates the rules of academic ethics and constitutes a misrepresentation in the work being graded. Plagiarism also constitutes an infringement of copyright and intellectual property, which could be equated with a crime of infringement."

Website of the University of Pau and the Adour Region.

  • "Teachers want to assess the student's own abilities - not those of another author. Plagiarism raises doubts about the expected qualities of a university student (critical mind, creativity, honesty, ability to develop a personal argument and articulate it, etc.) and is considered a serious violation of scientific ethics. Plagiarism brings the plagiarist into disrepute, calling into question not only the work in which they plagiarised but also the plagiarist's entire body of work and, by extension, their skills."

University of Liège website.

What are the risks and punishments associated with plagiarism?

What are the risks and punishments associated with plagiarism?

Taking quotes without indicating sources is cheating, and a violation of academic regulations. The punishment depends on the school's policy, whether the person intended to cheat, the significance of the plagiarised assignment, whether it's a repeated offence, etc. Here are some examples of punishments related to plagiarism.


- Invalidation of the assignment impacted by plagiarism

- Warning/blame

- Temporary or permanent expulsion from any public higher education institution


- up to 10 years' imprisonment

- $250,000 fine


- Reputational damage to the institution and student

- Cloud of suspicion that follows the plagiarist for a long time and that raises questions for all the other students

- Calling into question the value of the school's diploma and the quality of teaching


Now, you know what plagiarism is, learn how to avoid it.

Compilatio - Partner in your fight against plagiarism

Plagiarism can be unintentional. It may come from a lack of knowledge about citation standards and copyright. Academic integrity must be learned from the earliest research assignments, starting in middle and high school. Today's students are the professionals and citizens of tomorrow. It is crucial to instill authenticity, respect and goodwill as part of students' education.

To this end, Compilatio offers a positive and educational approach.