University Policy on Prevention of Plagiarism


Ethics and honesty are the two most important and integrated components of the academic activities in teaching or research, which are founded upon extremely high moral values. There cannot be any room for claiming the credit for the work she/he has not undertaken. Many times it is observed that some of the “researchers/academicians” knowingly or unknowingly publish or present other’s work as their own. Such acts will affect healthy academic atmosphere in the academic institution, which will also harm the reputation of the academic institution as well as the individual. It is, therefore, important for the University of Calicut to have in place a policy on plagiarism to avoid such type of misconducts.

Definition of Plagiarism

  • Turning in someone else's work as one’s own;

  • Copying words or ideas from someone else, without giving credit to the original work;

  • Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks;

  • Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation;

  • Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit to the original work;

  • Copying more than 20 words continuously from a source, whether you give credit to the original work or not; and

  • Manipulation or misinterpretation of others’ work (published or un-published) as her/his own by modifying numerical values in figures, tables and illustrations.

How to Detect Plagiarism

It is the prime responsibility of the individual and the University to distinguish the original content from plagiarized work. The detection of plagiarism is a judgment to be made by an expert committee in the concerned subject, which is aware of the definition of plagiarism. Therefore, the University of Calicut is providing sufficient software to ensure the originality of the research work, before submitting for the award of a research degree. Initially, it is decided to implement the plagiarism check for all Ph.D. theses submissions.

Identification and Assessment of Alleged Plagiarism

Where an examiner detects or is made aware of alleged plagiarism by any learned person in the field, the examiner must report the alleged plagiarism to Directorate of Research. The Director of Research shall forward it to the Vice Chancellor so as to place it before the Research Advisory Council. Based on the recommendations of the RAC, the University shall seek the opinion of an Expert Committee comprising two external experts preferably from other States/abroad and the concerned Supervisor. (If the supervisor is not available, concerned Head of the Department/Institution shall be included). The report from this expert committee will be placed before the statutory body of the University (Syndicate/ Academic Council/ Senate), which is bound to take disciplinary actions.

In case, a written complaint also (with proper identity of the complainant along with an expert opinion from the same field on plagiarism is received), the above procedure shall be followed. The expert committee is required to submit the report on the alleged, after dual check by using software and also manually. The expert committee will use the best possible software provided by the University for detecting the plagiarism.

Compliance Statements

All PhD (and other earned higher degrees such as D.Lit. and D.Sc.) scholars are required to submit a signed certificate on plagiarism check of her/his work, in the prescribed format with the recommendation of the Doctoral Committee , at the time of the submission of thesis.

Procedure for Plagiarism Check

The University provides plagiarism checker software(s) to detect the similar textual content already published in various information sources. For the time being, this facility will be made available at the University Teaching departments and CHMK Library of the University. While submitting the soft copy of the PhD/Post-PhD theses for check with plagiarism detection software, the Research Scholars and Supervisors, who are submitting their theses to the University of Calicut are solicited to consider the following guidelines.

  1. The CD (or such device) containing the soft copy of the doctoral theses has to be in PDF or Word file (or as directed from time to time).

  2. Theses covering all the chapters, from introduction to bibliography/references shall be in a single file, excluding preliminary pages: declaration, acknowledgement, abstract, list of charts and abbreviations, tables of contents, etc., and succeeding pages: glossary, index, questionnaire, etc.

  3. Duration of three days is allowed for scanning the text of the theses and the issue of the report depicting the percentage of similar content.

  4. In case of the percentage of similar content is beyond the permitted limit or any plagiarized content is detected, the researchers have to take appropriate measures under the supervision of their guides so as to ensure originality of research output.

  5. The researchers are informed to acknowledge accurately the right authors and sources providing the text within quotes. Uniformity and consistency be maintained in rendering bibliographic references. An accepted standard format has to be followed for rendering references.

  6. The University librarian will provide plagiarism check service to all approved Research Centres of the University.

Procedure for Handling Alleged Plagiarism

The University is committed to address the alleged plagiarism by any section of the University community in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness, including the right to :

  • Be informed of the allegations against them in sufficient detail for enabling to understand the precise nature of the allegations and to properly address it;

  • Have a reasonable period of time within which to respond to the allegations against them;

  • Have the matter resolved in a timely manner;

  • Impartiality in any investigation process; and

  • An absence of bias in any decision making.


Depending on the severity of crime the punishment (to the scholar or Supervising Teacher or both) shall be :

  1. Fine or warning

  2. Rustication for limited period or permanently

  3. Withdrawal of the alleged degree


As the detection of plagiarism and steps to prevent it are important, equally important is to educate students and academic community about the dangers of plagiarism. University will provide appropriate support to strengthen the moral of students and academic community, so as to resort to zero plagiarism.

Permitted Level of Plagiarism

Own published work (if appended at the end of the thesis/dissertation), references with proper citation are excluded from plagiarism check. Generally, similarity of contents up to 5-10% shall be ignored.

The maximum acceptance level shall be :

Introduction/Review of literature

25% for subjects under Science, Medicine and Engineering faculties and 35% for subjects under other faculties)

Materials and Methods

25% for all faculties

Result/ Discussion/Summary/Conclusion

10% for all faculties

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