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Plagiarism means the partial or complete copying of the content of another production in its own production without mentioning the author and the source. Plagiarism involves all types of productions and supports (paper or electronic documents).

This is a plagiarism in case of :

    - textual copy of a sentence, paragraph or entire page from an electronic source, such as web page, blog, forum, email, Word file, pdf or PowerPoint, etc... without placing the text between quotation marks and without mentioning the author and source
- insertion of images, graphics, data (Excel file type, etc.), lines of code without indicating the author and the source
- partial or complete translation of a text or copy of the translation without mentioning the author and the source

Internet promotes plagiarism by its form: many texts and images are available on sites like shared encyclopedias (Wikipedia type), databases (HAL, OAISTER, etc.) with articles, etc. They can be easily copied due to computing. There are even "specialized" sites offering to download or order works that are fully customized and adapted to the level of the applicant.

Plagiarism and cheating have emerged at the same time as the school, but with the advent of Internet these practices have taken on a whole new dimension. Today, 97% of students use Internet as their source of information, while only 57.2% of the students go to the library for direct access to authors' books.

According to a survey carried out in France in 2006:

75% of the students surveyed use "copy and paste" for their work without citing sources and authors.
91% of teachers report having been confronted with plagiarism
69.8% of students believe that a typical assignment contains at least a quarter of texts copied from Internet, always without citing the names of the authors and the sources.

The same trend is observed in other countries: in the United States, for example, a survey of 60 000 undergraduate students indicates that 70% of students are cheating using new technologies, 50% admit having plagiarized texts available on Internet at least once in the course of their work and, most importantly, 77% do not believe that using the "copy and paste" without citing sources and authors is a serious and constitutive act, a reprehensible offense by the law and the regulations of universities.

This information is based in part on the work presented by the European University Pole of Brussels Wallonia and the Center for the Knowledge Economy of the Free University of Brussels during the symposium organized on 31 March 2009