Academic honesty

Academic honesty, academic dishonesty and plagiarism are governed by the University Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism policy & procedures. The most serious cases can also be considered as Academic Misconduct and are governed by Chapter 8: Student Discipline of the University of Sydney By-Law.

Students should be rewarded for their own intellectual input through appropriate assessment. Consequently it is unfair for students to submit work that dishonestly represents the work of others as their own. Such activity represents a form of fraud.

The University has a responsibility to the community in general, and the engineering profession in particular, that graduating students have adequately displayed competency in the required areas through their own intellectual input.

The penalties for academic dishonesty include a warning, required resubmission of assessments, awarding of a mark of 0 for an assessment, or a fail in the unit of study.

Official Policy & Resources

Other forms of academic dishonesty

  • Copying from textbooks, the internet or other copyrighted material, or from another student's work without acknowledgement, either word-for-word or by paraphrasing.
  • Recycling (ie resubmitting (parts of) work you had previously submitted in another assignment
  • Fabricating data (eg making up results to include in a lab report)
  • Engaging another person to complete an assessment or examination
  • Using unauthorised material, copying or communicating with others during an examination
  • Obtaining a medical certificate that misrepresents the nature or extent of any illness or misadventure
  • Knowingly assisting another student in an act of academic dishonesty

Is working and studying with friends OK? We work "together"

Studying in groups and working with friends is perfectly acceptable and we encourage you to work together to help you understand course content. The social and interactive nature of this type of learning is good for all members of the group who contribute positively.

In most circumstances, it is acceptable to discuss assignments with other students, compare completed assignments, methods and answers, or ask another student how to do a particular problem, provided that your submission is a result of your own intellectual input and efforts.

It is academic dishonesty once there is no intellectual input from yourself, such as by directly cutting and pasting (even if then subsequently edited) from another's work (either a student from this year or a previous year), or by copying hand written solutions, equations, calculations and/or diagrams without formulating or evaluating them yourself.

There may be more specific instructions concerning academic honesty applicable to each unit of study in which you enrol. If ever you are in doubt about acceptable or unacceptable practices, you should consult with the relevant staff member.

My friend did this course two years ago. Why does it matter if I use his work in my assignment? It is not a published work. If you use someone else's work in this way, you are not learning anything from the course as you haven’t done the reading or analysis. And it doesn’t matter whether the work is published or not, it still belongs to your friend and is a result of his effort.