Detecting plagiarism


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 the Senate. These ombudsmen and -women act on the basis of the Rules for safeguarding good academic practice and handling academic misconduct from 28th September 2021. 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.


Plagiarism Detection Software Turnitin

Heidelberg University holds a license for the plagiarism detection software Turnitin Similarity. The University stresses that applying Turntin Similarity can only be a supplementary service. A handout provides information on the recommendations of the Rectorate of Heidelberg University for using the 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 Dr Martin Nissen from the University Library, who was commissioned by the Rectorate to manage the software. The instruction manual describes the essential functions and procedures for using the software.