‘Letter from the rector: »Dear students, plagiarism has consequences«’ 
Artikel l 12.11.2020

Letter from the rector: »Dear students, plagiarism has consequences«

Artikel l 12.11.2020
2 min
 Everyone knows that. But not everyone knows the definition of plagiarism, and it can be costly to break the rules, whether it is intentional or not. As Rector, it annoys me every time I have to issue warnings and impose expulsions due to plagiarism. One of the most common reasons why students end up committing plagiarism is that they think they can reuse their own work in multiple assignments. This is against the rules, and if you reuse points or pieces of text from previous assignments, you must remember to state that you are doing so, in accordance with the usual citation rules.

Skrevet af

Hanne Leth Andersen


Also, it is prohibited to use sentences and passages from slides directly in assignments – citations must be used here too. You must specify if you are rewriting or paraphrasing and you must always refer to the source from which you have taken the idea or point. In an examination, you must demonstrate your own abilities. Therefore, collaborating on individual home assignments is also cheating.


Some plagiarism cases arise because of sloppiness with quotation marks and source references. This demonstrates a poor level of professionalism in relation to the academic work, and it is not fair to those whose work you are thus appropriating as your own. Although you may be very stressed prior to submitting assignments, it is important to keep in mind that the goal is to learn something, including good writing and academic practice – not to submit the assignment at any cost. Otherwise, the price can be very high.

That is because plagiarism has consequences: the sanctions range from a warning and expulsion from the exams, to permanent expulsion from the university. The educational institutions in Denmark have introduced systematic plagiarism control. We must be able to guarantee that students write their assignments themselves and that their diplomas reflect real qualifications.

I am convinced that most cases could be avoided if everyone were aware of the rules. I would therefore encourage you to discuss the principles for academic writing with fellow students, lecturers and supervisors.

Kind regards,

Hanne Leth Andersen





Would you like to learn more about plagiarism and academic writing? You can read more on RUC’s intranet 

You can take a quiz to test your knowledge of plagiarism on the website www.stopplagiat.nu  or read an article in Magisterbladet, which explains how universities handle the growing number of plagiarism cases.

Refer also to https://www.ubva.dk/, a website with content about intellectual property rights etc.

You can find RUC’s disciplinary rules regarding exam cheating and plagiarism here in section 3.7 of RUC’s rules and regulations.

RUCPaper has previously covered plagiarism and cheating