Plagiarism and cheating in examinations | Open University

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Plagiarism and cheating are forbidden at all stages of studies and in all courses. These forms of misconduct, however minor, are punishable. 


Plagiarism means using the thoughts, texts, research results or pictorial material of another person as your own without the appropriate references.  

One of the fundamental university-level study skills is to separate out quoted information and original research.  References to the texts and works of others must follow the rules of academic referencing. The teacher of your course can provide more information on correct referencing. 

The University of Helsinki uses the Urkund by Ouriginal plagiarism recognition system. Read more: Plagiarism detection and using Urkund  


Cheating includes the use of a smart device, notes or sources when not specifically allowed. Other forms of cheating also fall under this category. Keeping a smart device at hand in an examination setting is also forbidden. 

In an online examination, notes, sources and smart devices may be used.

Repercussions of plagiarism and cheating

If you have committed plagiarism or cheating, your examination or assignment will be failed. In addition, you will lose your right to study in the course for which you registered and during which the plagiarism or cheating took place. 

The matter will be handled administratively according to guidelines approved by the Board of the Open University: Procedure of the Open University for the assessment of studies in cases of cheating, PDF (2018). This procedure will also be applied in suspected cases of cheating by University of Helsinki degree students if the suspected cheating has taken place during studies at the Open University.  
The Open University’s guidelines for the measures to be taken in the case of cheating and plagiarism have been drawn up with reference to the Universities Act, Rector’s Decision No 172/2011 and the Regulations on Degrees and the Protection of Students’ Rights at the University of Helsinki, PDF (2015).