What is plagiarism?

  • Plagiarism is the deliberate and unlawful acquisition of foreign intellectual property rights; the authors used wholly or partly foreign works in their own work, without indicating the source. (translated from “Sicherung der guten wissenschaftlichen Praxis“)
  • Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the “wrongful appropriation,” “close imitation,” or “purloining and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,” and the representation of them as one’s own original work. (taken fromWikipedia, 11.08.2011)

Plagiarism occurs when a student …

  • has developed a work with their colleagues, which should have been done by themselves
  • created a work not by themselves (e.g., copied from colleagues, bought from ghost writers, etc.)
  • used third-party content, unless specified (e.g., quotes, charts, etc.)
  • has already used a work for another course


The University of Vienna has strict rules on plagiarism, which can lead to the following consequences:

  • The course will be graded negatively (not just the performance that has been plagiarized).
  • The course is marked as “not graded”, but counts as a full exam. The exam appears with the message “Not graded, based on the use of unauthorized aid” (“Nichtbeurteilung aufgrund der Verwendung unerlaubter Hilfsmittel”) on the transcript.
  • Forwarding the plagiarism case to the Dean (Studienprogrammleitung).
  • Initiation of legal actions (which can lead to withdrawal of academic degrees)
  • Negative reputation

More Information

The University of Vienna provides further information on plagiarism (German) and the consequences resulting therefrom here.