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Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Dr. Martin Nissen
Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg
Plöck 107-109
69117 Heidelberg
Telefon: +49 6221 54 2581


Further Information

Detecting plagiarism

Plagiarism: definition

Plagiarism is defined as declaring someone else’s intellectual property as your own. It is to be distinguished from related concepts like counterfeit, copy, or imitation. There are two definitions of plagiarism: a narrow definition, which only takes into account word-by-word copying of intellectual property that is not your own and a broad one. The broad definition includes the illegal interpretation of rules of citation.

This is the case if the true source is being concealed or the required references to the source are incompletely declared.

Handling of plagiarism at Heidelberg University

Plagiarism is a form of serious academic misconduct. In order to secure good scientific practice, Heidelberg University founded a permanent council and installed ombudsmen and -women from different disciplines elected by senate in 1998 already. These ombudsmen and -women act on the basis of the Regulations for the Maintenance of Proper Academic Practice from 10th November 1998. Rules for dealing with misconduct in the context of examinations can be found in the exam regulations for respective degrees, as well as in the doctoral of the faculties.

Heidelberg University holds a license for the plagiarism detection software iThenticate. The University stresses that applying iThenticate can only be a supplementary service. All academic personnel qualified for examination are entitled to use this service. Students and doctoral students are not entitled. In case of interest, please contact Brief Dr. Martin Nissen from the University Library. The user’s manual describes the essential functions and procedures for using the software.

Anti-plagiarism workshop at the UB

Heidelberg University Library offers special workshops on the detection and avoidance of plagiarism, designed for academic personnel qualified as examiners. These workshops cover the basics of dealing with plagiarism and introduce the handling of the software. We also offer anti-plagiarism workshops for individual departments, if interested. The courses are held by Dr. Martin Nissen, who has been commissioned for the supervision of the software by the Rector’s office. Additionally, a range of of online tutorials and other courses of the University Library all contribute to the avoidance of plagiarism.

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