Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism: Process and Penalties
I have been sent an email regarding an allegation of plagiarism or academic dishonesty: What happens now?
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences takes academic dishonesty and plagiarism seriously. All students are expected to commit to high standards of academic honesty, to carefully acknowledge sources and to practise good writing skills.
If a unit of study coordinator suspects academic dishonesty or plagiarism, they will advise the Faculty’s Academic Honesty Coordinator of their concerns. If the Academic Honesty Coordinator is concerned that a student may have committed academic dishonesty or plagiarism, they will contact the student via their University of Sydney email account.
The Academic Honesty Coordinator will clearly explain their concerns about the student’s work and will advise the student of the type of misconduct that is alleged. The Academic Honesty Coordinator will request the student to attend a meeting where they will have an opportunity to respond to the allegation, and address any concerns that may have been raised.
If you cannot attend the meeting, and you wish to respond to the concerns via return email, you may do so. Please note that if you do not attend the meeting the Academic Dishonesty Coordinator will make a decision and determine a penalty in your absence.
Step 1 – Being advised of the allegation & being asked to attend a meeting
You will be emailed a letter explaining the concerns about your work. The letter will include the following information.
- the allegation (the concerns about your work);
- the preliminary view of the nominated academic (does it appear you have committed academic dishonesty, negligent or dishonest plagiarism);
- details of the meeting to talk about the allegation (time, date, location);
- the names of the people who will be at the meeting; and
- will advise that you may bring a support person or student representative to the meeting.
You will also be provided with a copy of (or a link to) the University of Sydney’s Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism in Coursework Policy.
The letter may also provide supporting documentation to help you understand (and be able to respond to) the allegation.
Step 2 – Preparing for the meeting
You should prepare your response to the allegations.
You should plan to attend the meeting requested by the Academic Honesty Coordinator, and advise the Faculty whether you can attend. If you cannot attend the meeting, and an alternate time cannot be arranged, you may respond to the allegation via email.
You should consider seeking advice from the SRC or SUPRA, and decide whether you would like a friend, family member or student representative to come with you to the meeting.
Step 3 – Attending the meeting
During the meeting the Academic Honesty Coordinator will discuss their concerns about your work.
You will have the opportunity to respond to the allegation (concerns about your work) and to ask questions.
If at any stage you are unsure about the concerns raised, or you do not understand something, please ask the Academic Honesty Coordinator for more information.
Step 4 – The decision (and the penalty)
After hearing your response and carefully considering the case, the Academic Honesty Coordinator will make a decision.
The Academic Dishonesty Coordinator may decide that there has been no impropriety (that there was no plagiarism or academic dishonesty), in which case there would be no penalty and your assessment would be marked as normal.
If the Academic Honesty Coordinator finds you have committed academic dishonesty, negligent or dishonest plagiarism (that is less than student misconduct), then the Academic Honesty Coordinator will also decide the penalty.
Please note that if the Academic Honesty Coordinator believes that you may have engaged in student misconduct (serious academic dishonesty or serious dishonest plagiarism), then the case will need to forwarded to the Registrar for consideration by the Vice Chancellor.
If you are found to have committed academic dishonesty or plagiarism, and if you genuinely believe that due academic process has not been followed in deciding your case, then you may lodge a Faculty Appeal.
Appeal letters should clearly explain the grounds for appeal (e.g. why you believe due academic process has not been followed), and should be addressed to the Dean. Your appeal letter must be submitted within 15 working days of being notified of the Academic Honesty Coordinator’s decision.
Your appeal letter (and any supporting documentation) should be sent from your University of Sydney email account to .
Please see the University of Sydney (Student Appeals Against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 for more information on appeals.
Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism in Coursework Policy
The Faculty follows the Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism in Coursework Policy in relation to all aspects of suspected academic dishonesty or plagiarism.