What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using another person's words or ideas without acknowledgment.

What are some examples of plagiarism?

Plagiarism includes actions such as submitting a paper you have not written and saying it is your own; copying answers or text from someone else; and quoting, citing data, or using someone else's ideas without crediting the source.

What are some of the consequences of plagiarism?

The plagiarist can face charges of academic misconduct even if the person whose work he or she copied did not know about the plagiarism or did not object to it. In addition, the plagiarist loses the chance to develop his or her ideas and do the learning that exercise involves.

How can I avoid plagiarism?

Use quotation marks and ellipses when quoting directly. When you summarize material, restate it in your own words and credit the source.

Is plagiarism the same as copyright infringement?

No. Plagiarism is breaking an ethical code and can lead to discipline from the university. Copyright infringement, on the other hand, is breaking a federal law and can lead to an expensive trial and costly fines. It is possible to commit plagiarism without committing copyright infringement. For example, you could use a work that is not protected by copyright, such as a public domain work, or you could use a portion of someone else's copyrighted work that is small enough not to constitute infringement. Failing to properly cite the creator of a work does however weaken your claim of fair use. See our handout (linked below) on distinguishing copyright infringement and plagiarism for examples and more information.

Resources on plagiarism

DISCLAIMER: The information on these web pages and that received from Copyright Services at OSU Libraries and the Health Sciences Copyright Coordinator is not legal advice, nor is either office legal counsel to the university or any members of the university community.