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Academic dishonesty and plagiarism

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.

Overview

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.

What is academic dishonesty?

We take academic dishonesty seriously because of our commitment to our culture of academic integrity. Academic dishonesty threatens the confidence the wider community has in the University’s students, staff and alumni.

Academic dishonesty involves any attempt to gain academic advantage by doing something misleading or unfair. It is also academically dishonest to help a friend or a group of students to gain unfair academic advantage.

You can find more information in the Academic Honesty in Coursework Policy 2015.

Forms of academic dishonesty

The following are some common behaviours we associate with academic dishonesty.

Plagiarism

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:

  • copy ideas, phrases, paragraphs, formulas, methods, evidence, programming code, diagrams, images, artworks or musical scores without correctly referencing where it came from
  • copy from another student’s work without indicating this is what you have done
  • mention the source in your bibliography but do not reference content properly in the main body of your work, so the assessor does not know what work is your own
  • change the order of words taken from other material but retain the original idea or concept, without correct referencing
  • quote from a speech or lecture without acknowledging the speaker
  • quote from a secondary source, without acknowledging the primary source.

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.

Dishonest plagiarism

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.

What’s not plagiarism

It is not considered plagiarism if:

  • the ideas or words are commonly used and there is no other way to express them
  • you have made the discovery yourself through experimentation or analysis
  • you have combined the work and ideas of others to reach your own conclusion and have acknowledged these sources in the body of your work.

Learn more about avoiding plagiarism and referencing.

Recycling/resubmitting work

Recycling involves submitting (or resubmitting) work that has already been assessed without your teacher’s permission and for which you have already been given feedback.

It is fine to build on work you have previously completed, but you cannot simply copy and paste from previous assignments at the last minute before an assignment is due or to save yourself time and reduce your workload.

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.

Fabricating information

Fabrication involves making up information for research-focused assessment tasks, such as experimental or interview data. It can also include inventing sources of data, evidence or ideas by including citations to publications that are incorrect or that simply don’t exist.

By making this information up you don’t benefit from the learning and skill development involved in gathering this information properly.

Collusion in individual and group work

Collusion involves engaging in illegitimate cooperation with one or more other students in the completion of assessable work.

Cooperation is not legitimate (or appropriate) if it unfairly advantages a student or group of students over others. It can include working with a friend or group of friends to write an essay or report that is meant to be an individual piece of work. It can also include sharing quiz or test questions and answers with other students, as well as written assignments like reports and essays.

If you’re not sure if the way you are working with other students is legitimate, you should first ask yourself: 'Am I willing to tell my teacher about this?' If your answer to this question is 'no', then you are probably not cooperating in a way that is academically honest.

Exam cheating

Exam cheating involves a number of different behaviours, which can include:

  • writing cheat notes on your arms, legs or another part of your body
  • taking prohibited materials into an exam, such as cheat notes, textbooks or unapproved calculators
  • attempting to communicate with or copy from another student during an exam
  • using electronic devices, such as a smartphone or smartwatch, to access information related to the exam while it is in progress
  • discussing an exam with someone else outside the exam venue while it is in progress
  • removing confidential examination papers from an exam venue.

Learn more about preparing for exams.

Last updated: 12 June 2019

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