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The Institute of Linguistics adopts a zero tolerance approach to plagiarism in work submitted by students. On this page, you will find information on how plagiarism is defined, how to avoid it, and what sorts of disciplinary procedures are sanctioned by the University when a piece of work has been found to be plagiarised.

What plagiarism is

The online Oxford Dictionary defines the verb to plagiarise as follows:

to take the work or idea of someone else and pass it off as one’s own. 

This definition covers all those cases where, in the course of writing an assignment, you use other people's work without an appropriate citation to indicate its provenance. This may take several forms, including:

  • inserting quotations which are copied wholesale from another source, whether this is published or unpublished, without acknowledging the source;
  • paraphrasing published or unpublished work, without acknowledging the source. 

University guidelines on plagiarism

The University has published two sets of guidelines on plagiarism, which can be accessed from the links below:

  1. University plagiarism guidelines;
  2. How to avoid plagiarism.

Plagiarism policy within the Institute of Linguistics

In line with the above guidelines, the Institute has adopted the following procedures.


As of the beginning of the academic year 2010-2011, the IoL will take the following steps to ensure that all students are made aware of the problem of plagiarism:

  1. A meeting will be held for all students in the first semester of Year I, during which they will be given a presentation covering:
    1. Specific examples of plagiarism, including unacknowledged paraphrase and wholesale copying;
    2. Existing conventions on citing published work, with reference to a set of published guidelines such as those of the American Psychological Association (APA).
  2. The content of the presentation and links to the guidelines will be published on the IoL website.


Starting in the academic year 2009-2010, all students who hand in their assignments will be required to sign a disclaimer asserting that no part of their work contains unacknowledged material, published or unpublished, by other people. This sheet is available for download (in pdf format).

Identification of plagiarised work

In general, the IoL distinguishes between the following cases of plagiarism:

  1. An assignment contains wholesale sections copied or minimally altered or paraphrased from existing work, published or unpublished, which have been identified by the lecturer correcting the student’s work, and for which the student:
    1. does not use inline citations (such as Smith (2000)) to clearly identify the quoted material; and
    2. does not insert a reference to the work in the bibliography appended to the assignment, whether this reference is linked to the text via inline citations or not.
  2. An assignment  contains material which has been paraphrased from an existing source without inline citations, but lists the source in the bibliography appended to the assignment.
  3. An assignment consists of two or more clearly distinguished parts (for example, an essay and a dataset), only one of which contains evidence of plagiarism falling under (1) and (2) above.


The following procedures will be adopted in dealing with an identifiable case of plagiarism:

  1. If a student is in the first semester of Year I, s/he will be given the opportunity to resubmit the work, with the cases of plagiarism rectified. No further penalties will apply in this case.

The following apply to all other cases:

  1. In case an assignment contains wholesale plagiarism as defined in point (1) above, the student will receive a failing grade.
  2. In case an assignment contains unlinked references, as defined in point (2) above, the student will receive a borderline pass (typically, 45%).
  3. In case an assignment consists of separate components, as defined in point (3) above, the student will receive marks for only those components which have not been plagiarised.
    For all other cases, i.e. those which do not clearly fall under the definitions above, the extent to which a student should be penalised shall be at the lecturer’s discretion.

Disciplinary board

In those cases where plagiarism is suspected, but not clearly provable, a board will be convened to discuss the issues. This board will minimally consist of:

  • the lecturer(s) involved in assessing the student’s work;
  • the Chairman of the IoL;
  • the Director of the IoL.

How to avoid plagiarism

The following is a list of online sources that give tips on how to avoid plagiarism:

Change in Name
As of April 2017, the Institute has officially changed its name to Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology.

Class timetables are now available from this page.

For study-units LIN1063, LIN1065, LIN2013 and LIN5063, please click on this page to check the Academic English timetable.

Ethical approval
Deadlines for submission of ethical approval forms to the Institute Research Ethics Committee are now available on the Research page.
Posts of Part-Time Research Support Assistant or Officer I/II
Posts of Part-Time Research Support Assistant or Officer I/II for the MASRI project that aims to build a Maltese speech recognition system.  
Post of Part Time Research Support Officer I, II or III
Post of Part Time Research Support Officer I, II or III  for the Maltese Sign Language Research Project.
Last Updated: 9 February 2012

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