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Academic integrity

This page provides information about what to do if you suspect a fellow Leiden University student or staff member of violating the principles of academic integrity.

Academic integrity

The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has drawn up the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice, the Principles of Good Academic Teaching and Research to ensure that the meaning of academic integrity is clear to all. This code of conduct lays down the five basic principles of academic research, which in turn serve as guidelines for all staff and students of Leiden University. 


The importance of credible and scrupulous academic research is emphasised within all Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. The courses offered to PhD candidates on this subject also ensure that academic integrity is an important element in our curricula, at both faculty and university level. 

Academic integrity of staff members

The confidential counsellor on academic integrity is your first point of contact if you have doubts about the academic integrity of a staff member or PhD candidate at Leiden University and need information or advice. 

You can find more information about regulations and procedures on the university website and in the Regulations on Academic Integrity, which have been drawn up to supplement the VSNU code of conduct. Here you will find all regulations concerning what to do if you suspect a staff member or student of violating the principles of academic integrity. The confidential counsellor can also explain the possible routes and procedures to follow. 

Academic integrity of students

As a student you are also bound by the principles of academic integrity, for example when writing a paper or thesis. There are strict rules concerning plagiarism and fraud stated in your study programme's Education and Examination Regulations. For further information, or if you suspect a fellow student of violating the principles of academic integrity, you should contact your study adviser/coordinator or the ombuds officer

Fraud & plagiarism

Fraud constitute cheating on exams or falsifying research data. Plagiarism is a form of fraud and entails violating the intellectual property of someone else. Plagiarism means you take words, thoughts, analyses, reasoning, images, techniques, computer programs etc. that belong to someone else and present them (knowingly or not) as your own. 

Since plagiarism is cheating, and because plagiarism by definition undermines the scientific enterprise, cases of plagiarism are taken very seriously by the university community and are punishable by sanctions. The maximum sanction for students amounts to a definite expulsion from the program. When a student has doubts about what constitutes plagiarism, he or she can always consult with an instructor. Some general guidelines of the do's and don'ts of plagiarism can be found on the University website on regulations.  


Rules regarding fraud & plagiarism

  • The Institute of Public Administration has adopted rules and procedures regarding fraud and plagiarism in the Rules and Directives, art.  6.4 and 6.5.
  • The Institute of Public Administration uses the program Ephorus to systematically check plagiarism. Work will therefore have to be submitted electronically as well as in hard-copy (see below).
  • In a case in which fraudulent practice is suspected, the examination committee will suspend the assignment of a grade pending investigation of the suspicion. The examination committee will appoint a review committee consisting of three members that does not include those who have had direct supervision of the administration of the examination or the grading of written material from a course.
  • The review committee will solicit testimony from all relevant parties, but will in any case hear testimony from those who had the respective supervision and from the student who is suspected of fraudulent practice.
  • If the review committee determines that a fraudulent practice has taken place, the results of a test or of written work will be declared invalid. There are various sanctions which can be applied based on the gravity of the committed offence. These can be found in the Rules and Directives art. 6.5.5.
  • Students have a right to appeal to a decision by the Board of Examiners. See Rules and Directives art. 8. 

Turnitin & Repository

Leiden University uses the application Turnitin to enable instructors to systematically detect plagiarism in students’ written work. Turnitin is integrated into Blackboard as a plug-in. Turnitin compares texts submitted by students with an extensive database of source documents, including papers and theses of other students and sources on the internet.  Texts are evaluated and scanned  for similarities. For each text submitted by a student Turnitin generates a similarity report.  If necessary an instructor can take appropriate measures based on this report . Bachelor and Master theses will also be submitted in the digital Repository of the University.  

Submitting documents with Turnitin

  • When an instructor creates a Turnitin assignment within the context of a Blackboard course, all documents that are submitted to this assignment are checked for similarities against sources from the Turnitin database.
  • A detailed description of how to submit documents  is available on the Turnitin .
  • After successfully completing a submission students recieve a digital receipt. 

Course and Examination Regulations

The Course and Examination Regulations (CER) are a part of the student charter and contains information on, i.e., admission criteria, programmes and graduation. 

The CER per master is to be found on this page under the heading 'OER-en 2013-2014 Masteropleidingen'. The Rules & Regulations contain the most important rights and obligations of students regarding issues such as:

  • Content of the programme
  • Exams
  • Admissions criteria
  • Study support

The Rules and Regulations are to be found on the page of the Board of Exams

Plagiarism is a form of fraud which the Institute of Public Administration takes very seriously. In the Rules & regulations of the different programmes, rules have been drafted on different forms of plagiarism and the sanctions attached. There are also rules set by the university which apply for every student.

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