Plagiarism

One of the chief transversal competences to be acquired in any research-oriented Master’s degree is the development of the skills to produce research work complying with basic research standards, so it is important that you take into account the following recommendations.

When writing a paper or doing an exam in any of the three areas of the master's degree, it is often necessary to discuss and acknowledge other researchers’ work. Accordingly, when writing a paper or doing an exam one must always make it clear which ideas are contributed by the author of the paper/exam and which belong to other authors. The latter is done by means of an in-text reference as shown in Figure 1.

This study asked whether infants' preference for native speakers (Kinzler, Dupoux, & Spelke, 2007) would modulate their preferences for tunes.

Figure 1. An example of citation extracted from Soley and Sebastián (2015).

Alternatively, if one wishes to reproduce the cited author’s own words, this can be done by means of a textual quotation. This quotation must be properly referenced (bibliographic details and page). Figure 2 shows an example.

Since Popper does not provide any alternative to his naive falsificationism, Kuhn claims that "Though he is not a naıve falsificationist, Sir Karl may, I suggest, legitimately be treated as one."  (Kuhn 1970, p. 14)

Figure 2. An example of citation with the author’s own words.

Infringence of these two guidelines may be considered plagiarism. Plagiarism in a paper/examination is the presentation of others’ ideas, words or methods as if they were the original work of the author of the paper.

Naturally, in a research paper it is necessary to discuss the ideas, methods or results of other researchers, but it is ethically and intellectually necessary to refer them properly.   

On that account, it is crucial that, when writing papers, you clearly indicate, at all times, whether you are using your own words and ideas or quoting someone else’s. Failure to do so may not only lead to misunderstandings, but could also even be interpreted as an attempt to cheat. Papers or examinations involving plagiarism will be graded with a fail, and in extreme cases plagiarism may imply being given a fail for the whole course and not being able to complete the master’s in the current academic year.