University of Stirling




There can be many reasons why plagiarism can happen, some of which are genuine mistakes. However the University does not distinguish between accidental plagiarism and plagiarism which is done with intent. All cases of plagiarism are taken very seriously and treated properly under the University Policy.

Some examples of common mistakes and misconceptions are:

  • “I put the book in my bibliography” – Because the original ideas or text were not highlighted your work and a correct citation placed in your work this is not acknowledging the author correctly and is still plagiarism.
  • “I didn’t know I had to reference my Lecturers presentation” – the information given in lectures is still presented to you and owned by the lecturer therefore they should be acknowledged as the source of your information.
  • “I was doing an oral presentation” – Again the information in your presentation must be recognised either on your slides or in your hand-outs as the original author must be recognised. 
  • “I found it on a website” – if you find information on a website you still must recognise the author of the information.
  • “I ran out of time doing my essay” – even if you run out of time your work still has other peoples ideas in it and these must be recognised.

There are many other examples but these mistakes are all offences of plagiarism and you can avoid them by referencing your work correctly.

For info on how to reference check out the little book of plagiarism or the IS Referencing webpages. For any other help contact the Student Learning Services Team.