Finding scientific information: Copyright and plagiarism

Responsible conduct of research

The prerequisite for the ethical acceptability and reliability of scientific research is that the research has been conducted in accordance with good scientific practice. It means procedures that are endorsed by the scientific community, e.g. accuracy in citing the sources in a way that respects the author’s rights. Validate the arguments presented in your thesis by separating your own analysis from the ideas of others and refer to the previously published studies.

The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK) promotes the responsible conduct of research and prevents research misconduct.

More information:

University of Oulu has committed to following the RCR guidelines, set by TENK. More information:


In accordance with the Copyright Act copyright of a literary or artistic work is owned by its author. The work can be a thesis, an article, a photograph, a play etc. When an author submits a thesis electronically its copyright is not transferred to the university; the author remains the copyright holder. The copyright owner has the exclusive right to control a work by reproducing it and by making it available to the public. If the author has signed a publishing agreement wherein all rights to the article are transferred to the publisher, the publisher or the journal in question may forbid Green Open Access / parallel publishing in an open access repository.

A work made public may be quoted, in accordance with proper usage to the extent necessary for the purpose.  Sources must always be cited correctly. The allowable extent and manner of use of quotations are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the type of publication. For example whole poems are considered literary works and quoting them in full does not fulfill the provision on quotation right. On the other hand, a part of a published poem may be quoted when the part is connected with the context and its extent is suitable. Photographs taken by others may not be used without permission. More information about quoting and using photographs:


Plagiarism means presenting another person’s production (ideas, arguments, text etc.) as your own  without crediting the source. Both quoting someone’s text directly  and summarizing or explaining somebody else’s ideas or arguments in your own words without full acknowledgement are considered as plagiarism. Self-plagiarism means presenting one’s own prior work as new work for another assignment.

Plagiarism is often unintentional and can be avoided by citing the references properly.

More information:
Plagiarism (University of Oxford)
How not to plagiarize (University of Toronto)