University of Malta

Plagiarism and Collusion
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Plagiarism Guidelines :

Regulations concerning plagiarism and collusion are available in the University Assessment Regulations 2009 and in other documents available at


Plagiarism (compiled by Professor Patrick J. Schembri)

The Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary defines the verb to plagiarize as “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source”. Examples of academic plagiarism include: copying or paraphrasing information from a source without proper acknowledgement or any acknowledgement at all; failing to give a citation to the source of information obtained from print, electronic or other media; copying another person’s essays, assignments, laboratory reports, dissertation etc without that person’s knowledge; and commissioning another person to do your work for you. Computers and especially the Internet have made plagiarism even easier through the ‘cut and paste’ tool, the use of scanners and OCR software, and the availability of sites on the Internet (so called ‘Papermills’) where one can download ready-made essays (‘term papers’) for free or commission one for a fee. Some students plagiarise unknowingly, often through lack of experience, while others do it deliberately to deceive. As plagiarism is one of the worst crimes that one can commit in academia, students are advised to inform themselves about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. The following sources may be helpful in this respect.

How To Avoid Plagiarism [Northwestern University]
Plagiarism and How To Avoid It by David Gardner [University of Hong Kong] (follow the links)
Plagiarism - What it is and how to avoid it [Penn Libraries, University of Pennsylvania]

The examples of deliberate and unwitting plagiarism in these sources will serve as eye-openers!

You will also profit from accessing the webpages on 'How Not To Plagiarize' and that on 'Paraphrase and Summary' from the University College of Toronto Writing Workshop


The different types of scientific literature

Do you know the difference between primary, secondary, tertiary and grey literature ? If not, click here [PDF]

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