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Using Information Sources Ethically and Legally

The guide is designed to help students maintain their academic integrity by using information sources ethically and legally.

What this guide is about

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As a UC student and therefore a member of the UC academic community you are expected to live up to a high level of academic integrity. In practical terms, demonstrating academic integrity means that you:

  • do your academic work well and with honesty, and
  • give credit to other people's work by indicating when you use their words or ideas by citing (referencing) the original source.

Failure to use and cite information sources appropriately constitutes plagiarism, which a severe violation of academic integrity and may have severe consequences.

The purpose of this guide is to help you understand what constitutes plagiarism and learn how to avoid it.

Why cite sources?

Cite your sources to:

  • document your sources
  • demonstrate how your work relates to research in the area
  • find your sources again
  • show your respect for intellectual property

By citing your sources you avoid plagiarism.

Different ways to learn about plagiarism and its prevention

Academic Integrity - this interactive tutorial and a printable study guide will help you learn about academic research standards and how to avoid plagiarism.

Our interactive tutorial Plagiarism: Why It should Matter to You helps you understand plagiarism through scenario-based activities. After learning what constitute plagiarism, how you can avoid, and where you can get help, you can take a quiz and get a certificate of completion.

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