Plagiarism during your studies: what are the risks, sanctions and consequences?

Plagiarism in a thesis , dissertation  or any other research work  is punishable by a sanction . Indeed, academic integrity  is an essential element to graduating . The evaluation of the exam focuses on your ability to do research on an imposed or chosen subject, based on studies already carried out and on your own reflections . The diplomas are obtained by proving that the subject is mastered , not by copying the work of another. The penalties for plagiarism are therefore very heavy. Some politicians or lawyers lost their titles years after graduation for copyright infringement.

First of all, do you know exactly what plagiarism is ? What are the penalties for copying and pasting? And what do the students think?

What exactly is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work as your own . Plagiarism is not a legal concept. In law, plagiarism exists under the term counterfeiting , which constitutes a crime . Thus, in your documentary research and writing work, taking up the ideas of an author is not prohibited, provided you do not hide from the reader the origin  of an idea, a statement or a work. In other words, to avoid plagiarism , you must cite your sources by following specific instructions.

What are the academic penalties for plagiarism in an exam?

Each academic establishment drafts internal regulations and chooses the penalties incurred in the event of discovery of non-compliance with copyright . This document is freely available to students and teachers. It is generally freely available on the establishment’s website. At the start of the school year, some academic establishments have their students and sometimes teachers sign an anti-plagiarism charter and/or a code of honor .

The sanction is sometimes different depending on the importance of the examination . Indeed, the penalty will be heavier for a doctorate, thesis or dissertation than for an internship report or a knowledge exam during the year.

Here are examples of penalties for plagiarism:

  • Cancellation of the corresponding event
  • Warning/reprimand
  • Temporary (6 months to 1 year) or permanent exclusion from any public higher education institution

The sanction therefore depends on the policy of the institution, the intentional side of the fraud and the importance of the plagiarized assignment.

Plagiarism, what are the legal and penal sanctions?

It is justice that examines the facts, the sanction can go much further than we think. According to articles L335-2 and L335-3 of the Intellectual Property Code, the criminal court can impose serious penalties:

– 3 years imprisonment;

– €300,000 fine;

– If the offense is carried out in a group > 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine of €500,000.

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