Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Silvana Koch-Mehrin or Annette Schavan – three prominent people who were plagiarized in their dissertations in distress. As a consequence, not only were they deprived of their doctorate, but they eventually had to resign from their political office. To make sure that your own final thesis does not get that far, two things are important: First, know what plagiarism is and, secondly, use plagiarism software.

This article clarifies the following questions: When is it a plagiarism, how do plagiarism come about when quoting in thesis papers and how can you protect yourself against (unintentional) plagiarism? Then it’s about how plagiarism software works – a useful invention that makes you feel safer when writing your thesis.

First things first: What is plagiarism?

According to the definition in the dictionary, plagiarism is the “unlawful appropriation of thoughts, ideas, or the like.” another in the artistic or scientific field and its publication “. In other words, a plagiarism deprives an author of the honorable mention of his invention or discovery (see Mayntz 1999).

Particularly in the scientific context, when writing seminar papers, the bachelor thesis, master thesis or dissertation plagiarism occurs – deliberately or unintentionally.

Intentionally, plagiarism is then, if

literal takeovers take place without indication of source,

foreign thoughts are reproduced in their own words without reference to the source,

Text passages or strange trains of thought from a foreign-language work translated without indication of source,

Quotations from texts without indication of source or

succinct phrasing and linguistic creations are accepted without reference to source (see leaflet “What is a plagiarism?” of the University of Dusseldorf).

So it is the theft of intellectual property, which according to § 97 of the Copyright Act (UrhG) not only civil and criminal consequences. In the university context, he may lead to the deregistration or withdrawal of the academic degree. In particular, if one has guaranteed in the sworn statement the one-to-one examination (see Rommel 2011, p.

How do plagiarisms come about when quoting?

But how can it happen that plagiarism comes about when quoting in scientific texts? Below are the three most common mistakes explained:

Negligent or inadequate citations

One of the most common mistakes is the negligent or inadequate citation in the term paper, bachelor thesis, master thesis or dissertation – thus injured citation conventions and “sloppy quotations” (see Rieble 2013, p. Under pressure of time and with a lack of overview of primary and secondary literature, it happens that one makes false or incomplete sources. Often one quotes or paraphrases text passages or strange trains of thought and refers only with “see” or “see also” to the author. This is also a, albeit unintentional, plagiarism.

Repackaging or reformulation

With the multitude of literature that one reads about the topic of one’s own work, it happened quickly: foreign ideas, formulations and succinct concepts are reformulated or reformulated in their own scientific text. For experts in the field and plagiarism software, however, this form of plagiarism is recognizable.

So-called “pawn victims”

The workshop on plagiarism and plagiarism detection at Heidelberg University Library also refers to so-called “pawn victims”. This form of plagiarism also arises unintentionally: one indicates at an insignificant place, the source used, but takes over subsequent text passages or trainings without the appropriate reference source.

A well-assorted collection of notes prevents these three mistakes. Structured slip-case software and digital writing aids such as Auratikum reduce the risk of unintentional plagiarism. To be on the safe side, the scientific work can be subjected to a professional plagiarism check after completion.

How does plagiarism software work?

To detect plagiarism and banish from the thesis, there is special plagiarism software. For this you have to upload the text – no matter whether it is a seminar paper, bachelor thesis and master thesis, dissertation or a scientific essay such. B. is an essay.

Using an algorithm, the plagiarism software scans the uploaded text for duplicates on the World Wide Web, accessing billions of sources. The program then analyzes the degree of correspondence and highlights the text in color. In addition, the text passage is provided with a link to the original source.

Reasons for plagiarism software

A plagiarism software simplifies the correction: Since the text is not only marked but also provided with a reference to the actual source, one can properly occupy cited or paraphrased text passage. This saves you having to go back to the university library.

Also, the fact that a plagiarism software from the upload to the scan to the corrected file takes only about 30 minutes, is a key reason for using such a program. Especially when the deadline for work is already at the door.

With only a few clicks, the file can be uploaded – from the hard drive, Google Drive, Dropbox or other cloud services. The data remain anonymous, third parties have no access to documents or user data. Within 24 hours of the scan, the file will be deleted.

Short and sweet:

The repeated proofreading and proofreading of a bachelor thesis, master thesis or dissertation does not prevent you from overlooking your own mistakes. Under time pressure, nervousness or simply because you do not see the forest for the trees, you can not recognize inadequate quotations or incomplete references. With plagiarism software, nothing is left to chance! So if you want to feel confident in scientific work, the use of a plagiarism scanner is recommended. So you can finally submit the work with a clear conscience. Those who want to be on the safe side and do not want to acquire such software right away, use providers like Mentorium, where you can commission a plagiarism check with the common software used by the universities.