Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Academic Integrity: Plagiarism at NUI Galway

A guide to maintaining academic integrity, including information on plagiarism, citation and referencing.

NUI Galway

All universities will have specific policies and resources when it comes to plagiarism, although they all boil down to one maxim: don't plagiarize! This page refers to NUI Galway's policies and procedures on plagiarism, as well as resources to help avoid plagiarism.


Turnitin is a plagiarism detection software subscribed to by NUI Galway. You will likely be asked by your instructors to submit assignments through Turnitin so that they can, in a routine manner, check for originality issues with your papers.

Check out the following video from Turnitin to find out more, particularly about Originality Check.

We'll be developing a video about some misperceptions that students have about Turnitin that we'll post here. One key misunderstanding is what students are being told when they receive a percentage in terms of how much of their paper is similar to other sources. This is not a 'plagiarism percentage' and there is no acceptable percentage of plagiarism: the only acceptable amount of plagiarism in a piece of academic writing is zero! But there are legitimate reasons why a piece of writing would have similarities to other texts, including, most obviously, where a passage has been directly quoted (but done so legitimately, i.e. using quotation marks and appropriate in-text citation).


Definition of Plagiarism (from the NUI Galway Code of Practice)

"Plagiarism is the act of copying, including or directly quoting from the work of another without adequate acknowledgement, in order to obtain benefit, credit or gain. Plagiarism can apply to many materials, such as words, ideas, images, information, data, approaches or methods. Sources of plagiarism can include books, journals, reports, websites, essay mills, another student, or another person.

Self-plagiarism, or auto-plagiarism, is where a student re-uses work previously submitted to another course within the University or in another Institution.

All work submitted by students for assessment, for publication or for (public) presentation, is accepted on the understanding that it is their own work and contains their own original contribution, except where explicitly referenced using the accepted norms and formats of the appropriate academic discipline."

From the NUI Galway Code of Practice for dealing with plagiarism, available in full at

NUI Galway Plagiarism Penalty Grid

Of course, there are penalties for plagiarism! The below are selections from university's Plagiarism Penalty Grid. For the full breakdown, visit and scroll to the bottom of the page.