What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is any type of theft or improper appropriation of words or ideas taken from other authors.

According to the Spanish Royal Academy, plagiarism is "substantial copying of other works, and passing them off as one´s own work".

Jusrt like the Spanish Royal Academy, the Doctrine of the Supreme Court understands plagiarism to be "all substantial copying of other works". Likewise, it also extends the definition of the concept of plagiarism "as a mechanical material activity which is uncreative and lacks originality, although there may some ingenuity in it".


We plagiarise when.....

  • We copy the work (printed or digital) of an author either totally or partially and we pass it off as our own.
  • In our work, we copy literal extracts of other authors without citing them.
  • We paraphrase ideas or texts without citing where they came from.
  • We purchase a work and pass it off as our own.
  • We pass off one of our former works as a new one (self-plagiarism).


We do not plagiarise when.....

We show facts or data on a topic among professionals which are general knowledge or in the public domain 


How to prevent plagiarism


  • By citing and including a bibliography used in the academic paper.If in my paper, I literally insert a phrase or paragraph or even if I paraphrase, I must put the text between inverted commas, in italics or with another type of letter and cite the source where this has been taken from, with the full bibliographical reference. I must cite both the bibliography consulted and other works (or extracts of them) which have been incorporated into my work, whether these are texts, sounds, audiovisual material, or images, photographs, etc. The citation style recommended for each topic area may be chosen, or required by the publication (APA, MLA, Vancouver, etc.).



Detecting plagiarism

There are many tools for detecting plagiarism which are free and licensed: Turnitin, Compilatio, Copyscape, Plagiarism, Plagium, etc.

Compilatio is the software the UCLM has acquired which detects reasonable copying between texts, Internet plagiarism, (copying without citing the source) and copying between students. It also enables the degree of similarity between texts to be assessed, it is possible to have a quantitive criteria for deciding on a scale of sanctions.

From this, at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, various measures have been set in motion to tackle plagiarism and to promote good academic and research practices.

· knowledge Management Group: created as a debating and reflecting forum for knowledge management  and intellectual property procedures to provide guidance on these topics to all members of the university community. Contact the group.

· staff training: by means of online and presential courses.

· Information competences training provided by the University Library, aimed at Degree and Postgraduate studentsSee courses programme.

· Research support service at the University Library: with a selection of materials and video tutorials on intellectual property, copyright protection, free access and repositories, open licenses and Creative Commons. Further  information

Applicable legislation for plagiarism

Mentioning an author whose work is referred to or which provides a starting point for a new paper, is not just essential from an ethical viewpoint, but is also a legal requirement (art. 32.1 LPI). Moreover, there is a limit regarding how and for what purpose the work of another author may be referred to or used (art. 32.3 LPI).

Furthermore, the Penal Code in article 270.1 describes plagiarism as an act which violates intellectual property, when it is done “… without the authorization of the owners of the intellectual property or their  beneficiaries".


Additional information