Copyright refers to the legal rights all of us have to reproduce, share, and sell what we create. You don't have to do anything to copyright your work; it automatically applies to books, articles, films, art works, etc. when they are created. Most of the materials you use in your courses are protected by copyright, and you also own the copyright to the work you produce as a UF student.
Most of the time, it's necessary to get permission from the copyright owner before copying or distributing their work. But you may hear your instructors or librarians mention "fair use." This is an important part of U.S. Copyright Law that allows all of us to use copyright-protected works in limited ways, especially in educational settings. Fair use allows students to do things like quote from an article, link to a source online, or use an image in a class presentation.
These are two different but related concepts. Plagiarism is an ethical concept that means falsely claiming someone else's words or ideas as your own without proper citation. Copyright infringement is a legal concept meaning you have violated someone's right to decide how their work is copied or shared.
From the U.S. Dept. of HHS Office of Research Integrity:
Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.
(a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
(b) Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
(c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
(d) Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
What is Academic Integrity? (Bruce Beh & Justin Lee, Simon Fraser University)
Follow the general practices of the Responsible Conduct or Research (RCR) in several formats:
Fabrication: To illustrate a point in a paper, you refer to data that do not actually exist. For example, you write a paper with several references, but the authors and articles you mention cannot be found anywhere and do not exist. You invented data from scratch.
Falsification: To illustrate a point in a paper, you refer to data that do exist but you do not report them accurately by changing some elements or forgetting others. For example, you decide to create a survey to test a sociological hypothesis. After collecting the responses, you realize that your hypothesis, while supported by some results, is also contradicted by others. You then write a paper mentioning exclusively the first category of results in order to confirm your hypothesis. You manipulated existing data.
Plagiarism: You have read a paper about a subject, and you reuse the text or ideas from the document without properly citing and acknowledging the author. For example, you are writing an essay for your history course, and you read the Wikipedia article about your topic. You copy and paste a whole paragraph from Wikipedia into your essay without using quotation marks or a citation to the original work. You presented someone else’s original ideas as your own.