Plagiarism constitutes the intentional copying of another author's text and the representation and publication of such a test as one's own original work, careless or inaccurate citation of source literature and/or the omission of required bibliographical information (however unintentional). In order to be able to write specialized texts during the course of one's studies, it is essential to understand citation norms and publishing ethics. The most commonly used citation styles including the ISO bibliographic referencing standard (ISO 690) are explained in the Citation Style Handbook (Czech only).
Sanctions for plagiarism are determined by the Copyright Act. With respect to studies and the production of Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral final theses or other works produced during the course of studies, plagiarism constitutes a violation of core academic ethics and as such is included among misdemeanours in all faculty disciplinary codes.
The following sanctions may be inflicted for disciplinary misdemeanours: admonition, exclusion from studies on probation and – in cases where a misdemeanour has been carried out intentionally – unconditional exclusion from studies.
Plagiarism Detection at MU
Plagiarism itself is inextricably linked to the issue of plagiarism detection. Potential plagiarism at Masaryk University is being detected with the aid of a specialized application implemented directly in the MU Information System. The plagiarism detection application functions on the basis of comparing a new document to documents already included in an existing database. The “find similar documents” function locates documents with similar content, thus indicating potential plagiarism. This tool may be used by teachers, administrative staff and students alike.
While essays and other assignments may be checked by users individually using either the Homework Vault application (a folder designed for the automated collection of assigned coursework) or the personalized Web and File Depository applications, final theses are inspected directly in the MU theses archiv, generally by the thesis supervisor. The thesis or dissertation supervisor is responsible for checking a thesis in accordance with section 38 of the MU Study and Examination Regulations; this section also sets out the obligation to publish all final theses.
The matching algorithm is constantly improving, resulting in an ever-expanding database of comparable documents. This database contains texts produced at schools which use the system for plagiarism detection in the case of final theses (Theses.cz) and essays (Odevzdej.cz) as well as for scientific publications (Repozitar.cz). The inspection has also been extended to include similarity searches of selected online sources (e.g. Wikipedia).