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Referencing and Refworks

An overview of the UHI Harvard referencing system and Refworks management software.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism in an academic setting, occurs when a writer uses someone else’s language, ideas or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source. This applies to texts published in print or online, to manuscripts, and to the work of other students. Students who knowingly submit work containing plagiarised material are guilty of academic misconduct. Avoiding plagiarism is easy as long as you adopt good referencing practice, since it not using other writers’ material that constitutes the offence, but failing to acknowledge the source.

Avoiding Plagiarism

The easiest way to ensure you avoid plagiarism is to ensure you give credit whenever you:

  • Use another person’s idea, opinion or theory
  • Use any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings that are not common knowledge
  • Use quotations of another person’s spoken or written word
  • Paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words

Good practice

Avoid being accused of plagiarism by:

  • Adding quotation marks when using anything that comes directly from the text
  • Paraphrasing ideas, making sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words
  • Checking your paraphrase against the original text to be sure you have not accidentally used the
  • same phrases or words
  • Always acknowledging facts, diagrams and original thought.

What is Turnitin?

It's possible your lecturer might ask you to submit essays or assignments to Turnitin. This service assess the originality of your work against the internet and other sources, including work previously submitted by other students. Potential plagiarism can be identified, so if you are unsure how to reference or paraphrase a section, speak to your lecturer or librarian beforehand.

Further reading

This eBook provides further advice on avoiding plagiarism and ensuring you reference work correctly.