Students Tilburg University

Fraud and plagiarism Economics and Management

Having unauthorized notes at your exam, cribbing from a fellow student, manipulating results and copying text from others without references are examples of fraud. Once fraud is suspected, the Examination Board will be informed accordingly. Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Rules and guidelines of the Examination Board explain the meaning of fraud, and the procedures and penalties our School apply in case of fraud.

Fraud is incompatible with a correct academic attitude. Therefore, a suspicion of fraud will always be reported to the Examination Board and, if fraud is established, the penalty is severe and may cause a severe study delay. Plagiarism is also considered fraud. The Tilburg School of Economics and Management uses Ephorus plagiarism software to check papers and theses.

What is fraud?
The definition of fraud is as follows:
Acting, or the failure to act by the examinee, which makes it whole or partly impossible to correctly assess his or her knowledge, understanding, and skills.

In Articles 21 and 22 of the Rules and guidelines of the Examination Board you will find more detailed information about fraud.

What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is carelessly or without proper acknowledgment copying data, texts, arguments or lines of thoughts of others. According to Article 21 of the Rules and guidelines of the Examination Board, this is seen as a fraud. Plagiarism occurs everywhere, not only in academia. For more information, please see here.

In the programs offered by the School of Economics and Management, various subjects use assignments, papers and theses. The purpose of these assignments is to test the knowledge and skills of students so that the student is capable of substantiating his/her own thoughts. In making assignments, the use of scientific articles is permitted as a matter of course, provided this is accomplished in an academic way.

What is not allowed?

  • The copying or paraphrasing passages originating from the work of another person without acknowledging the source.
  • Falsely stating sources (for example incompletely, or referring to a book while one has in fact taken the passage from an article).
  • Omitting inverted commas from a literal quote.
  • Not linking to the source in all places where information is used.
  • Presenting as new and original the ideas, texts or findings of another person as one’s own;

This shows that by definition, plagiarism is not necessarily premeditated. Even if one is not aware of the rules regarding correctly stating the source, one can, without having to present someone else's work as your own work as a goal, plagiarize. Scientific careless acts can constitute dishonesty. 

Anti-plagiarism software (Ephorus)

The proliferation of electronic resources and simple copying capabilities has simplified the copying of parts of other people's work. Students creating their own assignments should not bear the brunt of plagiarism by other students. Therefore, the Faculty of Economics and Management uses anti-plagiarism software (Ephorus).

This software compares submitted texts with texts of their own to build a database. Any similarities found will be reported and sent by email to the teacher. The agreement with Ephorus states that the department retains all intellectual property rights over the submitted documents, and Ephorus guarantees that the documents are not used for other purposes, and that no one else has inspected or accessed the database. Submitted documents are preserved in the database for future plagiarism checks. This procedure is in line with the provisions of the Data Protection Act on the basis of protection of personal data (article 8).

When is the Examination Board appointed?

During the writing process, assignments are usually supervised by a teacher. If the teacher feels that too much is paraphrased, or that the source of information is insufficient, (s)he will reject the draft text of the work and provide guidance to improve the assignment. Nevertheless, if the teacher suspects plagiarism has been intentionally committed, then (s)he can inform the Examination Board.

In accordance with the procedures described in the rules and guidelines for the Examination Board, the Board will assess the situation and, if necessary, impose a sanction.

If plagiarism is detected after the work has already been evaluated and the credits for the assignment have already been forwarded to the Central Student Administration, the matter can be reviewed at any time at the discretion of the Examination Board.

What are the consequences of establishing plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a violation of academic attitude. In the event that the Examination Board deem plagiarism as a matter of fraud (as defined in Article 21 of the Rules and Guidelines of the Examination Board), they may decide to exclude the plagiarist from all examinations.

More information about plagiarism

Make sure that you are always well informed about the rules that the teacher expects from you with respect to the source of information, etc.

There are many books and websites with information about (preventing) plagiarism and the rules that must comply with citing from sources of information. Below are some examples:

  • Tilburg University library. More information about citing and sources of information can be found here.
  • Oefening baart kunst. Onderzoeken, argumenteren en presenteren voor juristen, Den Haag: Boom Juridische uitgevers 2003, p. 118-119. (In Dutch only).
  • Plagiarism: What it is and How to Recognize it (2004), 16 July 2007 via this link.