As a student of the University, you are expected to promote a culture of academic integrity. We consider any attempt to gain academic advantage by dishonest or unfair means to be academic dishonesty – it is unacceptable.
During your time at the University, you will routinely be required to submit assessment tasks. We use these assessment tasks to evaluate your progress toward developing the knowledge and skills required for your qualification.
Once you achieve your award, this shows to prospective employers and the wider community that you have met these requirements. The value of your qualification is based on the University’s reputation and culture of academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is any dishonest or unfair action that you take to gain academic advantage. It also includes knowingly assisting another student to do this.
Academic dishonesty threatens the agreement between students, the University and the wider community to uphold academic integrity. As a result, any breach of this agreement is taken very seriously.
You can find more information in the Academic Honesty in Coursework Policy 2015.
The following are some common types of conduct that we consider to be academically dishonest.
Plagiarism means presenting work that is not your own without acknowledging the original source of the work. It doesn’t matter whether you do this on purpose or accidentally.
Plagiarism can include copying any material without correct referencing, regardless of the medium in which the original material was published. This includes material in hard copy (books, journals, theses etc), soft copy (internet, email attachments, e-journals etc), other digital formats (audio visual, MP3s etc) and live presentations (lectures, speeches etc).
For example, it is considered plagiarism if you:
This means you can be seen as plagiarising not only in your written work, but also in oral presentations, artworks or performances, for example.
Not all acts of plagiarism are intentional or dishonest. In some situations it may be caused by your failure to understand the required referencing. In these situations we will offer a chance to learn about the required referencing and correct your work.
Plagiarism will be considered dishonest where you have done it on purpose, or if the amount of copied or unacknowledged work dominates your own original work.
It is not considered plagiarism if:
Contract cheating involves getting someone else to complete part or all of your assessment task then submitting it as your own work. It doesn’t matter whether the person was paid. This can mean you have someone else write an essay or report for you (sometimes referred to as ‘ghostwriting’), or you get someone to sit your examination.
It is considered contract cheating if you:
The following behaviours are associated with contract cheating and may be considered personal misconduct by the University. In some cases, these behaviours might also be against the law.
The University takes contract cheating, misconduct and impersonation very seriously and applies severe penalties under the student discipline chapter of the University of Sydney By-Law 1999 (as amended). This may mean you fail your unit of study, or that you are suspended or expelled from the University.
We encourage you to build on the knowledge you have developed over the course of your studies.
You can draw on your own previous work that is relevant and advances your knowledge but you cannot recycle or resubmit work that has already been assessed and for which you have received credit. Never copy previous assessment items to reduce your workload and save time.
If you want to draw on knowledge or ideas you have encountered before, speak to your lecturer, tutor or supervisor about how to do this.
Making up information for research-focused assessment tasks, such as experimental or interview data, means you don’t benefit from the learning involved in gaining this information. It can also include inventing sources of data, evidence or ideas by including citations to publications that are incorrect or don’t exist.
You are encouraged to discuss ideas and assessment tasks with your peers, but should never complete the work together then submit it as entirely your own work.
Collusion may apply when you have worked so closely with another student on an individual assessment task that your work follows the same pattern or structure. It may include the same information, arguments and references to sources.
Collusion can also apply when you submit a group assessment task where the parts have been completed separately and without group input. All students are expected to contribute to all parts of group assessment tasks. This doesn’t mean that you all have to be involved in writing all parts, but that you have all contributed ideas and suggestions to the task overall. If you do not equally participate in completing group work this can be seen as engaging in academic dishonesty.
There are a number of things that are considered academically dishonest during examinations. This includes:
If you upload your course notes or documents, some document sharing websites may grant you access to other people’s documents. Some sites may also let you purchase “credits” to access other people’s documents. In some situations, the documents that have been provided on these sites are work that has previously been submitted for assessment. As a result, there is the potential for this work to be used and submitted by other students as their own work.
We strongly discourage you from using these websites. It limits your ability to develop knowledge through engaged and independent enquiry. It could lead to an allegation of academic dishonesty if you submit work you derive from these documents, or if you upload documents for others to use.