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Information retrieval and use

Argumentation in your text

Scientific argumentation is based on discussing alternative views or scientific evidence in your text. Citing is an integral part of scientific argumentation. Using in-text citations is also part of complying copyright rules.

When you write a scientific text, remember that no part or presented solution in your text can be left without justification. The aims of the research, methods, material, analysis and conclusions must all be validated. For example, when you present your research methods, you must give reasons for using those methods. It is also important to present the benefits of your research to your discipline.

Scientific argumentation proceeds by stating questions and seeking answers to these questions. The points of questions and the credibility of answers and explanations must always base on research results or information from previous literature.


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).  

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that helps overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity

More about Creative Commons:

More about copyright:

LUT Academic Library's guide to copyright.

How to use images correctly: ImagOA.


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 academic paper 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).


There are thousands of citing styles. Many journals and conferences have their own citing styles which the author is expected to follow. There are two main methods of citing: name-year system and number reference system.. LUT Group uses the Harvard referencing style which is based on the name-year system. 

For more information on referencing styles, please, study the Aalto University guide at

Reference management

It is good to work systematically when you seek information. You can e.g. keep a diary of your searches and their results. A simple diary consists of the date, searched database, used searchwords, and a summary of results. 

Reference management software / a reference manager is used to collect, store, and manage your references. Some systems allow you to store full texts attached to the references.  References are imported into the system straight from search services or databases. Some referencing systems (e.g. RefWorks and Mendeley) cooperate with your word processing software by adding in-text citations and reference lists to your paper. Collaboration with your team is also possible because some reference management systems allow you to share information with your peers.

Managing research data

Research data can be analyzed in many ways. To ensure the credibility of research results and further use of your research data (by you or some other researcher), you should store the data carefully. 

In our LibGuides pages you find a guide of how to store and manage your research data.