Copyright & Plagiarism

German Copyright Act (UrhG)

On 1st January 2008 the New Copyright Law comes into force in Germany. There are two articles which affect you as the author of scientific works.

§ 53a - Document delivery on demand

The newly worded Article 53a which has been amended to cover private copies (§53 UrhG) is mainly responsible for the new restrictions in electronic delivery. Hence subito changed its document delivery service. From this time onwards, it will only be legally possible for all user groups to receive documents by post or fax. The delivery of graphic files (PDF files) will then only be permissible if the publisher does not offer access to the same article online.

§ 137l – Transitional rules for new types of use

Article 137l of the new Act introduces an automatism according to which the right to the type of use referred to as online publication (which has become known in the meantime) is to be subsequently transferred to German (including former East German) users/publishers. This applies to all publications in respect of which all essential rights of use were granted exclusively and without restriction in territory or time by the author to a publishing house during the period from 1966 up and including 1994.

Please go to: http://colab.mpdl.mpg.de/mediawiki/Open_Access_Index to find detailed information (in German and in English) on this issue.

Good Scientific Practice

Successful scientific work is based on integrity and on confidence in the researchers and researching institutes. For detailed information, please see the Guidelines to Ensure Good Scientific Practice and for Handling Academic Misconduct.
The TUM website also offers a detailed set of FAQs for doctoral candidates, which answer important questions on handling data, citations and supervision of student work.


Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors, or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud, and offenders are subject to academic censure, up to and including expulsion. Many institutions use plagiarism detection software to uncover potential plagiarism and to deter students from plagiarizing.

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