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Cheating and plagiarism

Neglect, stress and ignorance of how source material should be used can lead to students copying other people's material into reports and essays, but that is not a valid reason if it becomes a disciplinary matter.

Cheating relates to the use of unauthorised means or tools to gain an advantage. Exchanging information with another person during an exam is also considered cheating. Plagiarism means that you submit someone else's work or parts of someone else's work or code in your own name.

Plagiarism is easier to detect than many people think. At a large number of Swedish universities and university colleges, automated textmatching tools are used.


Here is an extract from KTH's Handbook "Guiding students away from plagiarism" that can be found below.

Plagiarism in written assignments

Three kinds of student plagiarism are common in written work:

Copying wordings and ideas from published sources

If students copy words or ideas from a published source straight into their assignment without acknowledging the source – then this is plagiarism. Students can also plagiarise when they copy ideas by making a summary or a paraphrase of the original text (that is, by writing it in a different way) without acknowledging the source of the original idea or words.

Copying from other students

Students plagiarise in written work and in practical work by copying another student’s work and then claiming or pretending that it is their own.

Working too closely with other students

Most teachers encourage students to discuss their work. Collaborative work is a rich source of ideas and insights and mirrors how the teachers themselves work with colleagues and how the students will work professionally once they graduate from KTH. Yet university studies require that each student shows individually that they have met the learning requirements of the course. If they work so closely with other students on individually-assigned tasks that the final result turns out to be identical or near identical this is classified as unallowed collaboration. However, the line between cooperation and collusion is not always that clear.

Plagiarism in practical work and in computing code

It is important that students ‘do their own work’ when they write computer code, when they document an experiment, create a design or answer a mathematical problem. If they do not do these activities themselves, yet claim the results as their own, this is plagiarism.

Design Work

Students designing new objects will draw on others’ ideas and be inspired by their creativity, however the work they hand in must be something that was created by the student him/herself. This means students will need to modify, develop or change the ideas drawn from others in order to make them their own.

How to avoid plagiarism

To avoid committing plagiarism, always provide a source as soon as you make use of other people's research results, ideas or arguments. You also need to learn academic writing in order to know how to process information properly from different sources. You will also get information from your teachers what you need to consider when writing an assignment or other kinds of work.

Learn more on KTH Library's website on academic writing and how to write references

Suspicion of cheating or plagiarism

Students who, with unauthorized aids or otherwise attempt to mislead the exam or when a student's performance is otherwise to be assessed, may lead to disciplinary action.

Read more about disciplinary matters and how they are administered