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Plagiarism law

Many people think that plagiarism is simply copying someone else’s work however in reality it is more serious than that. Plagiarism can be defined as literary theft – stealing someone’s work and claiming it as your own. This can happen on purpose or accidentally through not referencing a piece of work properly but there is nothing worse for a student than working hard and being accused of academic dishonesty.

Universities may use a piece of software called Turnltln to check a piece of work for plagiarism. This will scan the document and pick out any areas of the text that are very similar to pieces of internet text that aren’t referenced and also other assignments saved in their database.

Students who have been accused of plagiarism face serious consequences if they are found guilty. At most universities the penalty can be anything from a written warning to full exclusion from the course.

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Academic Misconduct Panel

A number of years of hard work can be at risk in a situation like this but most of the time the plagiarism is an accident and the students are unaware of this until the university pick up on it. If this is the case the student can appeal before an Academic Misconduct Panel. Before attending this the student must decide whether or not they accept the allegation made against them; if they do not accept the allegation, they must provide an explanation that supports them which will then lead the panel to decide whether they are guilty or not.

If the student is found to be innocent then they will be able to continue studying for their degree and in some cases the student has been able to resubmit the piece of work.

Why is legal advice important?

Stephensons solicitors have built up a range of experience in contesting allegations and are able to make sure students are treated fairly. We offer access to specialist solicitors in each stage of proceedings to make sure you stand the best possible chance of continuing your degree.

We understand that this situation can be very stressful and difficult and we aim to make sure we take away any unnecessary complications that may agitate your case further. Proper legal advice from the start to finish can make a big difference to the outcome of your case so it is important to make sure you provide the best possible defence for yourself.

If you have any issues or questions regarding plagiarism in higher education, contact a member of our team today to see how we can help you. Call us on 01616 966 229.

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