Academic Plagiarism Solicitors
An accusation of academic plagiarism can have very serious consequences for your studies and your future career prospects. Having the support of specialist academic plagiarism solicitors can give you the best chance of a positive outcome that protects your future.
The expert team at Nelson Guest & Partners can support you through every stage of academic plagiarism proceedings. We can provide clear, realistic advice about whether plagiarism may have been committed, then devise a strategy to secure the best possible outcome for your circumstances.
Facing academic plagiarism allegations is never easy, but our goal is to support you every step of the way. We never make any assumptions or judgements about the people we work with – our sole aim is to make sure you are treated fairly and that you have access to the best possible knowledge and representation.
Our expertise with academic plagiarism allegations includes:
- Early advice on whether you may have committed plagiarism
- Specialist support for international student plagiarism accusations
- Expert support for plagiarism investigations
- Preparing for a disciplinary hearing
- Academic plagiarism appeals
Get in touch with our academic plagiarism solicitors
Our education law solicitors can provide expert legal advice on academic plagiarism allegations or situations where you are concerned that you may be accused of plagiarism. We can offer the representation and guidance required, so please speak to us today.
Navigating this page
- Is plagiarism illegal in the UK?
- What counts as academic plagiarism?
- How do universities check for plagiarism?
- What happens if you get caught for plagiarism at university?
- What can you do if you are accused of academic plagiarism?
Is plagiarism illegal in the UK?
Committing plagiarism is not a specific crime in England and Wales, but it is important to realise that copying someone else’s work without their permission could be considered copyright infringement. As such, you could potentially face civil action from the copyright holder, although this would depend on the circumstances and does not often arise in academic plagiarism cases.
What would be considered academic plagiarism?
In the most basic terms, plagiarism is attempting to pass off someone else’s work or ideas as your own. Academic plagiarism refers to doing this in an academic setting, such as a university, college or school.
Plagiarism can involve scenarios such as where a person copies someone else’s work exactly, where work is copied with minor alterations or where the structure of work is copied. In all cases, it will involve a failure to credit the source from which work has been copied.
It is not necessary to show that plagiarism was intentional in order for an educational institution to take action. While it may have been deliberate, action can also be taken where plagiarism was accidental.
How do universities check for plagiarism?
Universities routinely run students work through anti-plagiarism software, such as Turnitin. This software checks students work against a database of other documents, such as previously submitted papers, periodicals, journals and publications.
Universities will also use other methods to spot potential plagiarism, including the judgement of the people marking your work on whether it seems similar to known sources and if it is consistent with your previous work.
Universities should have a clear plagiarism policy which outlines exactly how they check for plagiarism, what they would consider to be plagiarism and how they deal with allegations of plagiarism.
What happens if you get caught for plagiarism at university?
If plagiarism is suspected by a university or other academic institution, then there will normally be an investigation for ‘academic misconduct’. You should be given a chance to respond to the allegations against you. What response you make can have a significant impact on the eventual outcome, so it is important that this is carefully considered with expert support.
If evidence of plagiarism is found or you admit to plagiarism, a formal disciplinary hearing would usually be held. A panel will normally hear the allegations against you, you would have a chance to present your side, then the panel will make a decision about any disciplinary actions.
If the hearing concluded that academic plagiarism did take place, it could decide on various disciplinary actions. These can include receiving a lower grade or zero grade for the work in question, your studies being terminated, no academic reference being provided, the removal of any qualification you have been awarded, and even fines and legal action, in the most serious cases.
What can you do if you are accused of academic plagiarism?
If you have been accused of plagiarism at university or by another education provider, it is important to seek specialist advice as soon as possible. Having the right information at an early stage can be crucial to defending your academic integrity, protecting your studies and your future career.
You can read more below about how our expert academic plagiarism solicitors can support you if you are facing an accusation.
How our academic plagiarism solicitors can help
Early advice on whether you may have committed plagiarism
If you are accused of plagiarism or are worried that you may be accused, we can provide early advice on your situation and options. Our academic plagiarism solicitors can advise on whether plagiarism may have occurred and, if so, the best steps to minimise any impact on you.
Specialist support for international student plagiarism accusations
International students can be at higher risk of plagiarism accusations, in part because plagiarism policies vary from country to country. We can provide specialist advice to international students accused of plagiarism, helping to protect their studies and reputation.
Expert support for plagiarism investigations
If you are investigated for plagiarism, then how you respond can have a significant impact on the outcome. Our team can advise you on the steps you need to take, including what information you should share, the best way to do this and how to answer any questions you are asked.
Preparing for a disciplinary hearing
Where a disciplinary hearing is to be held, it is essential to prepare correctly. You will need to gather all necessary supporting evidence, think about how best to present your case and be ready for any questions you may be asked. Our experts can help you with all of this preparation, putting you in the strongest position possible when going into a hearing.
Academic plagiarism appeals
If a disciplinary hearing concludes that you did commit academic plagiarism, then this is not necessarily the end. In many cases, you will have the right to appeal the decision, but in order to have the best chance of success, your appeal must be made on solid grounds and with the right preparation.
Our education law solicitors can guide you through making an appeal, including advising on whether you have grounds for appealing and how to prepare and present your appeal.
Get in touch with our academic plagiarism solicitors
Our solicitors can provide expert legal advice on academic plagiarism allegations or situations where you are concerned that you may be accused of plagiarism. We can offer the representation and guidance required, so please speak to us today.