What is (and what is not) plagiarism
Plagiarism means copying, taking and publishing someone else's ideas or research results and passing them off as your own without acknowledging the original source. Plagiarism is both an offense against the ethical principles of scholarship and publishing (academic integrity) and may be a violation of the copyright of the original author.
However, it may not always be (intentional) copying, but it may be (unintentional) incorrect handling of sources - incorrect paraphrasing or failure to cite the source used.
Since in writing a qualifying thesis the whole work is not expected to present only the student's original ideas and results, on the contrary, the student's qualifying thesis is intended to test the student's ability to work with sources and to evaluate them critically. On the contrary, it is expected that references to sources (be it literature, software, internet sources, or any other source) will appear in the text of the thesis.
Thus, the student should "admit" what source he/she has drawn from and how much of the text he/she has used.
On the other hand, the amount of text cited should not constitute a substantial part of the paper.
How to defend it
- cite all sources used,
- not to appropriate other people's ideas and works (while not altering them in any way),
- acknowledge co-authorship (if the result/work presented is the result of the work of several authors, it is not ethical to present these results as exclusively "theirs").
- deliberate plagiarism (copying someone else's work / copying graphic elements from someone else's work / deliberately not acknowledging some sources);
- failure to follow citation ethics (not citing the source used / misquoting or under-citing the source);
- compiling a thesis from passages taken verbatim from multiple sources;
- translation of a work;
- "self-plagiarism" - failure to cite one's own works used in a new work.
Penalties for plagiarism
- Study and Examination Regulations, Disciplinary Regulations - can lead to expulsion from studies or withdrawal of the degree,
- Copyright Act (Articles 40 and 41),
- the Higher Education Act (§§ 64 and 65),
- Criminal Law (§152 Copyright Infringement, § 209 Infringement of another's rights and § 250 Fraud).
If you are not sure whether your work is in order in terms of academic integrity, you can use the option to have your work checked in the Odevzdej.cz system before submission (you upload your work here, the next day you will receive the result of the check in your mail, you just need to think about it well in advance, i.e. at least 5 days before submitting the work to SIS).
A few more notes on citation
What we cite:
- we cite the original source and not someone else's reference to that source,
- we also cite figures, graphs, tables, etc.
- we also cite passages translated from foreign language sources.
Above all, we follow a uniform citation format throughout the work.
Compilation vs. paraphrase
A compilation is a text that is the result of a composite of published texts and ideas from multiple sources, with all sources used properly cited.
A paraphrase is the expression of the content of a work in a different form, in different words. It is essentially a "retelling" of the text of another work. Even paraphrased sources should also be properly cited.
What not to cite
There is no need to cite common knowledge (i.e., information that is generally known or easily verifiable). By generally known facts, we also mean facts that form the knowledge and terminology framework of the field. These are, for example, equations, formulas or constants, or basic mathematical or physical equations. (On the other hand, specialized mathematical theorems or physical laws are no longer generally known facts. The line between a well-known fact and a fact to be cited is very thin. In case you are not sure whether it is still a well-known fact or not, consult your thesis supervisor.)
How to cite