Copyright and Academic Honesty



The law protects creators for their original works such as books, newspapers, computer programmes, photographs, films, sound recordings and broadcasts. The creators hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use their work – including its reproduction, public performance and broadcasting. The Copyright Ordinance provides certain limited exemptions to copyright for learning. “Fair dealing” of a work for research or private study, criticism, review, news reporting, or for giving or receiving instruction in a specified course of study provided by an educational establishment is permitted.

Infringement of copyright is a serious offence and may lead to civil remedies or even criminal sanctions. Copyright infringement by CUHK members, such as excessive downloading of electronic content, violates local laws and University licence agreements and will subject the user to University disciplinary action.

For additional information, please visit the University’s website at


Honesty in Academic Work

As one of the primary aims of university education is to develop the ability to think independently, students must never pass off the work or ideas of others as their own. Plagiarism is as serious an offence as cheating in examinations; both are punishable under University regulations.


Plagiarism is an attempt to pass off the work of others (in particular the writing of others), including online resources, as one’s own.

The most obvious and blatant type of plagiarism is copying whole articles, sections, paragraphs or whole sentences from other publications without acknowledgement. However, even the use of a few words or paraphrasing (without actually copying any words at all) may constitute plagiarism if the source is not acknowledged. Students sometimes unintentionally plagiarize because they are not aware of the very stringent rules that apply. If material is taken from a source, there should be proper quotes and acknowledgements. Students should read the detailed guidelines and examples for the acknowledgement of sources in the University’s website at, in particular, the Section on “Electronic submission of assignments” via VeriGuide.

Disciplinary Action

All cases of plagiarism or cheating in examinations will be handled by the disciplinary committees concerned, the Graduate School Disciplinary Committee or, where appropriate, the Senate Committee on Student Discipline for possible disciplinary actions in accordance with the following Regulation:

  • 19.1 – 19.3 of General Regulations Governing Full-time Undergraduate Studies;
  • 17.1 – 17.3 of General Regulations Governing Part-time Undergraduate Studies;
  • 16.1 – 16.4 of General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies;
  • 12.1 – 12.3 of Regulations Governing Associate Students.

For a first offence, the penalty will be a minimum of one demerit and a mark of zero for that component of the course; for a second or further offence, a minimum penalty of two demerits and a mark of zero for that component of the course will be given. The maximum penalty in serious cases could be termination of studies.