Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism Defined

The University of California, Berkeley policy for dealing with claims of plagiarism conforms to and derives its authority from Federal Regulation 42CFR93, which prescribes how institutions must respond when receiving allegations of research misconduct.  The Federal Regulation specifies three types of research misconduct, of which plagiarism is one.        

Research Misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.  (42CFR93.103).”

“Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.” (42CFR93.103(d)).

“Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.” (42CFR93.103(c)).

A finding of research misconduct requires that

“(a) There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community; and

(b) The misconduct be committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly; and

(c) The allegation be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.”  (42CFR93.104)

Other Pertinent Sections of the Federal Regulation for responding to allegations of Research Misconduct

What is a valid allegation of research misconduct-- Prior to initiating a investigative process, the institution must make an assessment to determine if the allegation that has been made “Is sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of research misconduct may be identified.” (42CFR93.307(a)(3)).

Institutional Responsibility-- Institutions must “respond to each allegation of research misconduct … in a thorough, competent, objective and fair manner, including precautions to ensure that individuals responsible for carrying out any part of the research misconduct proceeding do not have unresolved personal, professional or financial conflicts of interest with the complainant, respondent or witnesses” (42CFR93.300).

Restoring the reputation of the Respondent--   “All reasonable and practical efforts, if requested and as appropriate, to protect or restore the reputation of persons alleged to have engaged in research misconduct but against whom no finding of research misconduct is made” (42CFR93.304(k)).