School Policy on Academic honesty and cheating

Academic honesty is a core value of the University of Sydney. The University is committed to the basic academic right that students receive due credit for work submitted for assessment. Integral to this is the notion that it is clearly unfair for students to submit work for assessment that dishonestly represents the work of others as their own. Such activity represents a form of fraud. Links to the Academic Board resolution and University policy on this issue are given below.

The Resolutions of the Academic Board relating to Academic Honesty.

  1. Pursuant to University policies and procedures, the School of Electrical and Information Engineering may invoke penalties for plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty.

  2. Plagiarism means knowingly presenting another person's ideas, findings or work as one's own by copying or reproducing them without due acknowledgment of the source.

    The most common form of plagiarism is presenting written work that contains sentences, paragraphs or longer sections from published or unpublished work (including the Internet) without acknowledgement of the source.

    In other cases, students reproduce portions of the work of another student and present it as their own. Using the structure of another student’s argument is a form of plagiarism, even if the wording is changed.

    Other forms of academic dishonesty
    include, but are not limited to:

    • forgery of official documents and/or signatures;
    • the engagement of another person to complete an assessment or examination for a student, whether for payment or otherwise;
    • bringing into an examination forbidden material such as textbooks, notes, calculators or computers;
    • communication with other candidates during an examination, whether by speaking or some other means;
    • attempts to read other students’ work during an examination;
    • writing an examination or test paper, or consulting with another person about the examination or test, outside the confines of the examination room without permission;
    • fabrication of data; and/or
    • recycling (ie, submitting one’s own work that has previously counted towards the completion of another unit and been credited towards a university degree, where the examiner has not been informed that the student has already received credit for the work).
  3. All students must ascertain what degree of group work is acceptable, or unacceptable, in each of their units of study.
    In many Engineering units of study, group work is a legitimate means of learning, where it is acceptable to discuss tasks and approaches to problem-solving with other students. Any written assignment must usually be a student’s own work (where the submission of identical assignments - either in whole or in part – is unacceptable), unless the unit co-ordinator/lecturer has informed the class otherwise.

  4. Individual unit co-ordinators may give detailed information on appropriate referencing practices. Useful information may also be found on the Harvard, MLA and Oxford referencing styles at many university web-sites, including the following: Southern Queensland University, Monash University, and Flinders University. The IEEE’s new guidelines on plagiarism can be found here.

  5. All students are required to submit a signed statement of compliance with all work submitted to the School for assessment, presentation or publication. In this statement students are required to certify that no part of the work constitutes a breach of the University’s policy. For online submissions of your work an electronic copy of this form would do (i.e. you need not sign the form).

  6. Students should also be aware that the School uses a number of methods, including special software, to identify work that has been plagiarised.

  7. Where the School identifies plagiarism that appears to be based on poor referencing practices or lack of confidence by a student to write in his/her own words, counselling and advice on methods of improvement may be provided. Such work may be failed, however, as it does not meet the requirements of academic merit.

  8. Where plagiarism that appears to be based on dishonest intent is identified – or other forms of academic dishonesty are identified – a range of penalties may be applied, depending upon the nature of the offence. The penalties that may be invoked include:

    • failure in the work in which the academic dishonest occurred;
    • outright failure in the unit of study; and
    • suspension from the University.