Master's program "Geobiology and Paleobiology"

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What happens in case of detected plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the adoption of third-party texts, presentations, illustrations or electronic formats (files) without any labelling of the source in all types of written assignments (e.g. reports, term papers, seminar papers, theses or similar).

Plagiarism is a severe offence in science, and it can have severe consequences for a professional career, even outside of science. It is also not accepted in any graded work during studies. The legal framework for the disciplinary action in cases of plagiarism is already stated in §30 ("Deception, breach of order") of the MGAP examination and study regulations. In our programme only a few unfortunate individual cases occurred. Therefore, the examination board decided to communicate the following two-tiered rule of actions in case of detected plagiarism for consistency and full transparency:

Stage 1 (Warning, first case of detected plagiarism):

  1. The plagiarized piece of work will be graded with "5" (=insufficient, failed).
  2. The incident will be reported to the examination board by the lecturer.
  3. A cautinary conversation will be held.
  4. Plagiarism in the Master's thesis will immediatly lead to exmatriculation.

Stage 2 (Exmatriculation):

  • The student in question will be expelled (exmatriculation) in the case of recurrence, i.e. if a student commits plagiarism for the second time, or, in severe cases, also directly upon the first misconduct. The level of severity will be assessed by the MGAP examination committee.

All students and lecturers should be aware of these procedures and the severe consequences of plagiarism and avoid it.