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Guide to Information Retrieval LAB


Copyright protects and promotes intellectual creation in its different forms. Copyright is regulated by international law, EU directives and international agreements. The copyright holders in Finland have founded organizations (for example Kopiosto) to supervise and administer their rights.

Copyright infringements are punishable and will be dealt in the court of law.  

Copyright can be divided into economic and moral rights.  Economic rights grant the copyright holder the exclusive right to produce copies and reproductions of the works, to sell those copies and to display the works publicly (also online). Moral rights grant the creator the right to attribution and it also preserves the integrity of work.

If the creator of the work has assigned his or her copyright rights to a third party, he or she still maintains the moral rights to the work. Moral rights cannot be transferred. 

There are some exceptions to copyright. The Finnish copyright law acknowledges the right to private use (permission to make a copy for personal use) and citation right (permission to cite content for educational activities or in scientific research).  

Citation and Quotation

Section § 22 of the Finnish Copyright law states that

“A work made public may be quoted, in accordance with proper usage to the extent necessary for the purpose.”

Citation right gives you the permission to use tables, figures, images and photographs in an scientfic academic e.g. your assignment or thesis if the image is discussed in the assignment or thesis, or if the image clarifies or demonstrates the text notably. The citation right does not give you the permission to alter the image. It is also good to note that citing an image in your assignment will not make you the copyright holder of that image. Citation rights only give permission to use images for educational purposes, you cannot use the images for any other purposes.

If you want to use an image in other ways then the ones mentioned above, for example you want to use an image to illustrate your presentation, you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder or use an image whose copyright holder has made the images openly available for reuse (Creative Commons -licencing or public domain).


Plagiarism is unauthorized citing, e.g. presenting someone else's thoughts and ideas as your own without mentioning the source. Altering the formal elements of the original source (syntax, grammar, punctuation) without acknowledging it is also viewed as plagiarism. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. 

LAB University of Applied Sciences uses Turnitin plagiarism detection software.