University LibraryStaff and researchers

Research support

Using information ethically

Using information correctly is important for all researchers and an understanding of copyright, plagiarism and research ethics is required.  These are topics that can seem daunting, but the Library and other professional services are on hand to help you with advice provided on webpages, in Learn and through enquiry services. 


Copyright can be confusing and sometimes difficult to understand, but help is at hand to support your research activities. The University Library Copyright advice website contains lots of useful information and guidance to help you avoid infringing other people’s copyright, as well as advice on how to make the most of your own copyright, whether that’s sharing with others or enabling them to re-use the content you create through Creative Commons licences. For example on the website you will find information relating to keeping your thesis legal, licences, using third party material, accessing re-usable online material and FAQs. 

If you have a specific copyright query, please send an email to:


Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished work is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to learn good academic practices, and there is lots of useful information, as well as courses, to help with this. The Library provides on-demand remote learning training on avoiding plagiarism for doctoral researchers in the Doctoral College's Remote Learning for Researchers Learn module, with supporting materials for also available on Learn in 'Research Central' (LBA601).

You also need to be aware of self-plagiarism, which is submitting work that you have previously submitted for formal assessment at any University or in previous research outputs. It is appropriate to cite yourself in your work, as you are often building on previous research you have done.

Research ethics

As part of your research activities it is very important you consider what data you will be collecting and how you will be doing this. There are a wide range of ethical considerations, such as confidentiality, you need to make before the data can be collected, used and/or published. For information on the Loughborough University research ethics policy, procedures and guidance go to the 'Project start up' section of University's Research Support website and see the 'Ethical considerations and approval' section. The 'Archiving your data' sections might also be helpful.