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Academic Dishonesty

Guidelines for Dealing with Academic Dishonesty at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Faculty of Business Administration and Economics


How is academic dishonesty defined?

Academic dishonesty occurs when a student completes or attempts to complete an examination by - intentionally or unintentionally - violating the terms and conditions that s/he is expected and appointed to follow.

Examples of academic dishonesty are:

  • having unauthorized items (e.g., cheat sheets, mobile phones esp. smartphones, smartwatches) within reach during an examination,
  • cooperating or exchanging information/answers with another student or a third party on an exam, a project, paper, thesis or class assignment intended to be individually completed,
  • violating the instructions provided during an examination (e.g., time limits),
  • appealing to professors, instructors or exam proctors with the intention of providing unfair ad-vantage to a student,
  • dual submission or resubmission of a paper, project, thesis or class assignment subject to grading and without indication,
  • fabrication or falsification of sources, data or results,
  • taking part in examinations with prior knowledge of their content without indication, and
  • plagiarism.


How is plagiarism defined?

Plagiarism occurs when a student obtains portions or elements of someone else's work, including information, texts, figures, tables etc., and presents them as his/her own work without correctly referring to the original source(s). It includes but is not limited to reusing his/her own priorly submitted work without referring to the original context of use. In other words, it is the incorrect use/indication of sources.

Examples of plagiarism are, if not identified:

  • copying and pasting a text from an online or offline source (e.g., an encyclopedia, website etc.), without correctly referring to the original source(s),
  • simple modification of a text from an online or offline source (e.g., replacing a few words or portions etc.), without correctly referring to the original source(s),
  • using pictures, videos, or records without referring to the original source,
  • using another student's work for his/her own work with or without permission,
  • translations without indicating the source,
  • dual submission or resubmission of own work without permission of both instructors to whom the work has been and is intended to be submitted to (self-plagiarism), and
  • submission of group work as his/her individual work for work intended to be individually com-pleted (considered as plagiarism for all parties involved).


What are the consequences of academic dishonesty?

See ASPO § 21 of European University Viadrina (Note: this is not a certified translation):

If a student attempts to manipulate the result of an examination by academic dishonesty - in-cluding but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, having unauthorized items within reach, unau-thorized group work, violation of examination instructions, appealing to faculty or staff to gain unfair advantage for an examination - then s/he will fail the examination (his/her exam will be evaluated with the grade "5,0" or "0 points").

In severe cases, the responsible examination board can prohibit the students from taking part in further examinations of the degree program, resulting in the students' failure to complete their bachelor's or master's degree.

Intentional plagiarism is generally regarded as a severe case. In this case, the student is aware of the fact that s/he is using somebody else's work as his/her own and s/he is doing it on purpose. In contrast, unintentional plagiarism is oftentimes caused by carelessness, e.g. by incorrect indication of sources. Another example of a severe case is the repetition of a cheating attempt.

For more information please consult Statutes Regarding the Prevention of Scientific Misconduct and the Process in Case of Suspicion of Scientific Misconduct (Satzung zur Vermeidung wissenschaftlichen Fehlverhaltens und zum Verfahren bei Verdacht auf wissenschaftliches Fehlverhalten), announced on November 3, 2021 (the statutes are available in German).