Academic Plagiarism

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Academic Plagiarism

One of the most serious offences that a student can commit is plagiarism. This is the act of submitting work that has been copied or otherwise derived from someone else’s work without acknowledging the source.

It may occur because students colluded to create shared work outside of permitted joint project work. It may also be a failure to recognise the extent of any support that has been received during the production of a piece of work. Universities will usually use software such as Turnitin to detect plagiarism and validate the integrity of a student’s work.

The regulations regarding plagiarism are complex and require sensitive handling. If you feel you have been unfairly accused of plagiarism, you should seek expert legal advice and support as quickly as possible.

Due to the complexity of plagiarism allegations, it can call for experienced and expert legal representation from a professional well-versed in the process. At IBB Law, we can support, advise, and defend you through a plagiarism process.

Our academic plagiarism experts can advise on issues including:

  • Contesting plagiarism allegations
  • Academic plagiarism appeals
  • Plagiarism in regulated professions

We offer a fixed fee initial consultation with our team to discuss your needs and see how we can help. We then charge for our services on a fixed fee basis, providing certainty over the costs involved.

Looking for quick answers about academic plagiarism? Take a look at our academic plagiarism FAQs.

Types of academic plagiarism issues with which our team can help

Contesting a plagiarism allegation

The rules around plagiarism can be confusing, and it can be easy to commit plagiarism inadvertently. This may be through a failure to reference correctly. It can also happen intentionally in the full knowledge that it may be contravening the rules around plagiarism.

If you are accused of plagiarism and believe it was inadvertent, then it may be possible to contest plagiarism allegations. This can, in some instances, reduce the sanction and perhaps enable a student to carry on with their course.

Academic plagiarism appeals

If your university has found that you did commit plagiarism, this is not necessarily the end of the matter. Depending on the circumstances, you may have the right to appeal, which could clear your name or at least reduce any sanctions you receive.

Our academic plagiarism experts can provide a non-judgmental outside perspective on whether there are grounds for an appeal. We can then support you through the entire academic appeals process, giving you the best chance of getting the result you need.

Plagiarism in regulated professions

The consequences of plagiarism for anyone entering a regulated profession such as medicine, law, social work, nursing, or dentistry can be severe. Your professional body may demand that you appear before a panel to explain your plagiarism and justify why you should be allowed to be registered.

In some instances, it may result in your registration being refused. When that happens, you won’t be able to practice your intended profession. 

Our academic plagiarism advice fees

We offer a fixed fee initial consultation with our team to discuss your needs and see how we can help. We then charge for our services on a fixed fee basis, providing certainty over the costs involved.

Should you wish to proceed, we will provide a realistic cost estimate for dealing with your matter. Any billable work carried out will always be agreed upon with you in advance, giving you complete certainty and transparency over the costs involved.

The exact cost of our services will depend on the nature of your problem, including the amount of time and level of expertise needed to support you effectively. We will be happy to discuss this with you when you contact our team.

For more information on our education law pricing, please get in touch.

Common questions about academic plagiarism

 What counts as plagiarism?

Essentially, plagiarism is passing someone else’s work off as your own. This might be as straightforward as copying someone else’s work, or it could be more complex, e.g. producing work that is deemed to be too derivative of someone else’s existing work. It can also include failure to properly reference sources, either when directly quoting or paraphrasing another’s work.

It is important to recognise that plagiarism covers both published and unpublished work, other students’ work, and both printed and online sources.

What are the penalties for academic plagiarism?

Plagiarism is viewed very dimly by universities and colleges. It’s considered a serious breach of academic integrity and an attempt to gain an unfair advantage as a candidate. Unless a coherent and convincing reason can be shown why the plagiarism occurred, it could result in disciplinary action being taken against the student with punishments ranging from a formal warning to exclusion.

What defences are there against plagiarism allegations?

What defence there is against a plagiarism allegation will depend on the circumstances, but it may be possible to argue that the plagiarism was accidental (e.g. you simply forgot to properly reference a source) or unintentional (e.g. you inadvertently produced something that was derivative of another’s work that you had forgotten you had read or seen).

Whether a particular defence will be accepted can be hard to judge, so it is important to make sure any arguments you wish to make in your defence are realistic and well supported with evidence.

Get personal advice on dealing with academic plagiarism allegations

If you would like to know more about how we can help you with your education law enquiry, please contact our education law senior legal administrator, Rachael, on 01895 207230 or by email on


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