Avoid cheating and plagiarism

Last changed: 28 August 2023
The word quote on a computer keyboard, photo.

As a student at SLU, you have a responsibility to be aware of the rules that apply at the university regarding cheating and plagiarism. This page explains the differences between cheating and plagiarism, how you avoid plagiarism and how the university addresses these issues.

This is cheating

Cheating is when you use prohibited aids or other methods with the attempt to deceive during examinations or other forms of assessments. Examples of cheating are:

  • Using prohibited aids during written examinations.
  • Changing a returned and corrected piece of work.
  • Prohibited collaboration between students on individual assignments.
  • Copying another student's work.
  • Using and copying other sources without including correct references.
  • Fabrication of data, i.e. making up facts that there is no evidence for.
  • Falsify note about being present at compulsory teaching.
  • Providing inaccurate information about previous study performance that is to be assessed for credit transfer.

To be considered cheating, there must be an intent to deceive. This requires that the student have done this intentionally (not by mistake or through carelessness) and this must be related to the assessment of a study performance.

This is plagiarism

Plagiarism is:

  • When you copy others text or reproduce others tables, images or other media without crediting the source.
  • It is also plagiarism if you reproduce texts word for word without indicating that this is a quotation, whether or not you refer to the source.
  • It is also considered plagiarism if you submit the same text for two different assignments. This is called self-plagiarism.

Naturally, you can also refer to works you have written yourself, and the same rules apply as when you refer to works by another author.

Plagiarism is always wrong and can be considered cheating if it is thought to have been done with the intention to deceive in the assessment of study performance.

How you avoid plagiarism

To avoid plagiarism it's important to be very precise when referencing sources. Academic texts often refers to the work of others and it must be clear to the reader which part of a text or ideas in a paper are yours and which are the work of another author or researcher. Otherwise you run the risk of being suspected of plagiarism.

Find more information about how to cite and refer:

If you are unsure about how to reference a source, ask your teacher or at the library.

What SLU does

SLU actively works to prevent cheating and plagiarism. This includes both preventive and controlling measures. Find out more:

SLU may take disciplinary action against students who have cheated or have done other things indicated in Swedish Higher Education Ordinance chapter 10 (se below). The consequences may be a warning or a suspension from study for up to six months.

Plagiarism check through Ouriginal (previous Urkund)

SLU has access to the Ouriginal anti-plagiarism system. By using Ouriginal, all kinds of examination assignments and other written assignments can be checked against a large number of sources in order to identify possible plagiarism. All independent projects (degree projects) will be checked for plagiarism in Ouriginal before approved.

Ouriginal compares the submitted document with materials on the internet, published works and student projects. Ouriginal then leaves a report to the teacher where any similarities with other sources are highlighted. If Ouriginal finds similarities it does not automatically mean that something is plagiarism, also correct quotations will be highlighted. The teacher checks the similarities and compares them with the original source to determine if there is a justified suspicion of an attempt to plagiarize.

Read more: 


Disciplinary measures may be invoked against students (Swedish Higher Education Ordinance chapter 10) who:

  1. use prohibited aids or other methods to attempt to deceive during examinations or other forms of assessment of study performance.
  2. disrupt or obstruct teaching, tests or other activities within the framework of courses and study programmes at the higher education institution.
  3. disrupt activities in the library of the higher education institution or other separate establishments at the institution.
  4. subject another student or employee at the university to racial harassment, harassment on the basis of religion or other belief, harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, harassment on the basis of disability or sexual harassment.

Disciplinary action may not be taken more than two years after the offence has been committed.