Aalto University Code of Academic Integrity
Using Turnitin similarity check (or originality check) is regulated by Aalto University Code of Academic Integrity viewable in Into.
It describes rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, typical forms of plagiarism and how to handle suspicions of plagiarism and possible consequences of plagiarism.
Rights and responsibilities
|As a student||As a teacher|
Typical forms of plagiarism
- Quotations or word-for-word citing without clear indication
- Minor changes to the source text
- Inadequate citing or referencing
- Copy-pasting from an online source
- Direct translation without quotations
- Collusion – co-workers are not mentioned or peers’ work is included in an assignment that should have been produced independently
Sometimes the division between plagiarism and bad academic writing is not black and white, but grey. What can be considered as minor changes? How long can the quotation be? What if a reference is found in the reference list, but the citation is missing or vice versa? The starting point is, that everything has to be written in own words, but of course, concepts and terms of the field have to be used. See some writing tips in the chapter Writing is a skill.
Procedure of Handling and Consequences of plagiarism
The procedure in case of suspicion of plagiarism and possible consequences are described in full detail in the Chapter 4 of Aalto University Code of Academic Integrity.
Plagiarism suspected during supervising
If plagiarism is suspected during supervising, teacher can asisst the student without implications.
However, if the student has been remiss about the academic integrity again during the thesis writing process or a course, teacher can contact the investigator even before the grading phase.
Plagiarism suspected during grading
The process of handling suspicions of plagiarism is condensed in a flow chart picture.
The same points are also presented in a PowerPoint presentation (as pdf-file)
Picture. Procedure of handling suspected plagiarism as a flow chart. Click the picture to maximize it.
If plagiarism is suspected during grading, teacher interprets if the violation seems to be
a) unclear, when he/she asks the student an explanation either in writing or orally. If the explanation is
- a "minor negligence or misunderstanding, the teacher guides the student on correct working methods" and asks student a resubmission.
- not convincing, she/he passes the plagiarism suspicion to the investigator for handling. Teacher gives investigator a pdf version of a see number 4 in the overview of Feedback Studio to get a pdf version of the report ) and an interpretation of it as an argument (
Note: suspicions of plagiarism can not be handled by lowering the grade. Nor can teacher fail the work her/himself before the case has been passed to the investigator and "a misconduct has been verified by the dean or the university president or board". The aim is to educate students avoiding plagiarism.
b) strongly suspected
- the teacher informs the student about suspicion of plagiarism. It is good, if the teacher goes through the similarity report with the student before contacting the investigator. The Teacher passes the case to the investigator of the school for handling. Teacher gives investigator the Turnitin similarity report and interpretation of it as an argument
- the student is interviewed during the handling process
- possible results of the handling are the following:
- the case is not considered as misconduct or it is considered a minor one, and teacher is advised how to evaluate the assignment/thesis
- the case is considered as misconduct and the student gets caution and/or the fixed-term suspension. The teacher is advised to fail the assignment/thesis because of a misconduct.
A teacher can consult the investigator, if it is difficult to decide what kind of violation it is here.
Investigators and decision makers
Heads of student affairs/learning services (or Head of Academic Affairs) work as investigators. Their contact information (people.aalto.fi, log in with your Aalto account to get contact information):
- School of Arts, Design and Architecture: Leena Koskinen
- Hanne Puskala :
- Pia Lahti :
- Mari Syväoja :
- School of Electrical Engineering: Perttu Puska
- School of Engineering: Mirka Jalonen
- Mari Knuuttila :
Investigator leads an investigation process, but a decision of violation handling process is made by a dean or a president depending on how severe the case is or what is the level of studies concerned.