How to avoid plagiarism student handbook

The gravest violation of rules of text writing (the greatest offence in the academic world in general) is constituted by plagiarism, i.e. theft or fraudulent adoption of intellectual property of another. Plagiarism by its definition is always perceived as an intentionally committed offence. It is in your own interest to fully familiarize yourselves with the definition of plagiarism and with the binding rules of source acknowledgement (i.e. quoting the sources of adopted passages and ideas) which are governed by Act No. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright and related rights.

Teachers are obliged to inspect adherence to these rules and ask the Dean to initiate disciplinary proceedings with a student who committed plagiarism. The Faculty disciplinary board is guided by the Disciplinary Code and the proceedings may even result in an unconditional expulsion from the study programme. There is a tool in the IS MU called „Vejce vejci“ (Find similar documents) which you can use to check your work for plagiarism. You just need to upload your work in your IS Depository and use the „Vejce vejci“ tool (it is a symbol of 2 eggs) to be sure you have cited all used sources properly as the similar parts of the text are highlighted.

Obligatory rules with respect to authorial writing at the Faculty of Economics and Administration (FEA) MU.

According to the Disciplinary Regulations for Students, plagiarism at FEA MU is a deliberately committed disciplinary offence, which is considered under the Disciplinary Regulations for FEA MU Students. Based on the definition in the Academic Dictionary of Foreign Words (Akademický slovník cizích slov (1998)), plagiarism is „wrongful appropriation and borrowing of an artwork or a scientific publication without stating the original pattern or the author “ (p. 593). Hiring another person to write a final thesis or buying (borrowing, stealing, etc.) a final thesis is also considered plagiarism (not only) in academia. Such a definition of plagiarism corresponds to „Protection of copyright“ published by the Ministry of Education Czech Republic (Holcová et al., 2005, pp. 8, 16).

Details about the following rules can be found in the study materials of the course ESF: XPX_ACAD – Academic writing, Only basic principles and brief examples will be given here. Students may also use the "How to Avoid Plagiarism Student Handbook" which was created by a group of teachers of Czech universities.

When it is not necessary to cite sources

It is not necessary to cite well-known facts and what the author of the text has found out through their own efforts, i.e. their own views, attitudes, assessment, evaluation, results of measurement, etc.

When it is necessary to cite sources

In all other cases, if the author of a scientific text works with information received from the third party, it is necessary to cite the source. The source may be private (e.g. private email correspondence) or public (published book or an article). The kind of source determines the citation style in a scientific text.

Private sources of data

Private information is information that has never been published. From the scientific point of view, it is data provided for the purpose of research, whether it is data collected from respondents through one’s own efforts, or internal, confidential data from cooperating companies. The source of data is referenced directly in the text where the borrowed information is used, for example explicitly in the text („based on the data provided by company XYZ, s.r.o. …“) or by stating it under a table, graph, illustration (e.g. in the following way „Source: data from my own research“, „Source: data by company XYZ, s.r.o.“ etc.). Private sources of information are not referenced in the bibliography or in the list of references at the end of the publication.

Public sources of data

These are all published works regardless of the language, territorial origin, or whether they have been published in the paper, electronically or in any other way. An essential feature of public information is that the reader of a scientific text may access the source of the borrowed information without being helped by the author of the text (e.g. by searching the information on the Internet, borrowing a book in a library, visiting a certain place, etc.). The amount of information that can be borrowed is considerably large. It is information that is not well-known, such as another person’s thoughts, theories, or views; facts, statistics, graphs, schemes, diagrams, or another person’s direct quotes or paraphrases of a written or spoken discourse, etc.

This group also covers a specific type of information of so-called administrative documents. Such documents are not protected by copyright in the public interest; however, they need to be cited in the same way as other copyrighted documents. Article 3 of Act No. 121/2000 Coll. defines an administrative document as a legal regulation, decision, measure of a general nature, public deed, publicly accessible register and the collection of its legal documents, an official draft of an administrative document as well as other preparatory documents, including official translation of such a document, documents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, visitors’ books, local chronicles, etc.

Public sources of information must be referenced by citation. FEA MU require authors to follow binding rules arising from the ČSN norm ISO 690: Information and documentation

Method of citation

A list of references in the form of standardized citations is an essential part of a scientific text and is usually found at the end of the text. Each citation is a scientific text consists of three parts: borrowed information accompanied by a reference to the relevant citation and the citation itself.

  1. Borrowed information – may be either a direct copy of the original information (i.e. verbatim text or identical picture, graph, table, etc.), or a paraphrase of the original idea in one’s own words. Verbatim copy of a text is referred to as quotation, it is put into „quotation marks“ in a text and is called a direct quotation. A paraphrased borrowed idea is referred to as a paraphrase, it is not specially marked in the text and it is called an indirect quotation. A combination of direct and indirect quotations is acceptable; however, they both must be referenced duly. If a translated text from a foreign language is quoted, this fact must be pointed out by a note (own translation).
  2. Reference to a citation – is a clear identifier of a The reference is placed immediately before or after a quotation or paraphrase in the text, and for readers it represents a key whereby they can find the whole citation in the list of references. Strictly numerical references may be used; however, a more common, more practical and, at the same time, recommended way is to quote the author’s surname followed by the date of publication of the cited document (so-called Harvard referencing system), e.g. in this case Novák (2012) defines the gross national product as „the sum of all property …“ (p. 39) etc. If the borrowed idea (be it either a quotation or a paraphrase) can be more precisely located in the original document (usually by the number of the page), the location is added to the reference, e.g. … není deště bez kapek (there is no fire without smoke) (Mládková, 2015, s. 145).
  3. Citation – sometimes also called bibliographical reference or bibliographic citation. It provides the reader with instructions of how to access the original cited document, ideally in an easy manner and without the risk of confusion. Citation contains requisites such as the title, author, date of publication, publisher, international identifiers, and other useful information. The order and the format of a citation is defined by the citation norm (see later on).

Should the borrowed information not be followed by a reference to the citation or should the citation be missing, it constitutes plagiarism, i.e. presenting someone else’s ideas as one’s own. It is still considered plagiarism, even if the original text has been considerably rephrased, yet keeps the basic information edge of the original text without stating the source. Whether or not plagiarism has been committed does not depend on the amount of „non-cited” information; plagiarism may be committed by using a single sentence or even a few words, or an unusual collocation or idiom. Citing only a certain number of borrowed ideas and leaving the others, borrowed from the same source, uncited also constitutes plagiarism.

Record of citations

The ČSN ISO 690 norm specifies a binding order and obligatory presence of elements in a citation according to the kind of cited source. Scientific texts usually require the following (optional items are underlined):

Obligatory data are listed if they are available. It is not necessary to state the edition in case of the first edition. Common identifiers are ISBN, ISSN and DOI.

Example of the prescribed method of citation

The following example demonstrates the expected citation style in school publication at FEA MU. The example uses the Harvard System of Referencing where the key is authors’ names (if possible, cited in the text or in round brackets) and the year of publication of the cited source (always in round brackets immediately after the name(s) of authors). If the source has got numerous authors, only the surname of the first listed author is cited followed by „et al.“. Where possible, the number of the page is cited as well. Citations in the reference list are in alphabetical order.

Shotola (2001) observes that it is necessary to distinguish between primary and secondary groups. Forsyth (2013) defines a primary group as a „small, long- running group characterized by frequent interaction, solidarity, and great mutual dependence among its members, which considerably influences the members’ attitudes, values, and social outcome“ (p. 11, own translation). The method of team learning, however, is designed for secondary groups, and builds on more demanding group tasks. Therefore, it is advisable to form groups of 5-7 members; there are concerns that smaller groups might not be able to accomplish group tasks (compare Michaelsen and Sweet, 2008, p. 60; Michaelsen et al., 2014, p. 59).

Principles of Citation

Besides the above mentioned, it is also necessary to comply with the following principles when citing:


Other recommended sources:




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