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Academic dishonesty and plagiarism

Investigation

The procedure for handling incidents of academic dishonesty is outlined in the Academic Honesty in Coursework Policy 2015 and Academic Honesty Procedures 2016. This also explains the University’s position on breaches of academic integrity as well as your responsibilities and those of staff members.

Reported incidents are given to the relevant faculty’s Educational Integrity Coordinator or one of its nominated academics for investigation.

Preliminary assessment

If a report is made about you, the Educational Integrity Coordinator or nominated academic will carry out an initial investigation in which they will consider why the incident was reported.

All available evidence will be considered. This may include the work you submitted, similarity-detection software reports, source publications, examination incident reports and prohibited materials confiscated during an examination.

Outcomes

Once the initial investigation is carried out, one of the following decisions will be made.

No impropriety

  • There is no issue with your work and the matter is dismissed.

Development required

  • Your work contains deficiencies due to a lack of understanding about the standards of referencing required. You will be required to complete an approved development course. You will be allowed to submit a corrected or alternative piece of work for a reduced mark, as long as there is no unfair advantage gained. This is an opportunity for you to learn about the required standards of referencing and improve for future assessments.

Response required

  • You will be asked to respond to a formal allegation of academic dishonesty. This could be in writing or at a meeting.

Potential misconduct

  • The matter is referred to the Registrar for further investigation.

The Educational Integrity Coordinator or nominated academic will inform you in writing if you are required to complete a development course, respond to a formal allegation, or if the matter has been referred to the Registrar.

Responding to a formal allegation

If you are asked to respond to a formal allegation of academic dishonesty, or you do not complete a development course when requested, you will be asked to have a meeting with the Educational Integrity Coordinator or nominated academic.

The meeting will usually take about 15 to 20 minutes and will include at least you, the Educational Integrity Coordinator and a professional staff member from the faculty. You can bring a support person, and occasionally your teacher or examination invigilator (supervisor) will be asked to attend.

If you cannot attend the meeting, you can request that it be rescheduled, or you can respond in writing. In most cases, you can have up to five additional working days to respond.

Before you respond to an allegation either at a meeting or in writing, you can seek advice and support from one of the independent student advocacy services.

Decision

Once you have responded to the formal allegation, or the time allowed for you to respond has elapsed, the Educational Integrity Coordinator or nominated academic will consider your response and the evidence available.

Outcomes

One of the following decisions will be made.

No impropriety

  • There is no issue with your work and the matter is dismissed.

Plagiarism

  • Your conduct amounts to plagiarism, but it is found that this is due to your failure to fully understand the referencing conventions rather than dishonesty. You will be required to complete an approved development course. You may also be allowed to submit a corrected or alternative piece of work for a reduced mark, as long as there is no unfair advantage gained.

Academic dishonesty

  • Your conduct is considered to be dishonest. Penalties include a reduced mark for your work, or even failure in the unit of study.

Potential misconduct

  • The matter is referred to the Registrar for further investigation.

The Educational Integrity Coordinator or nominated academic will inform you in writing of the outcome, any actions that are to be taken and penalties to be applied. They will also notify the unit of study coordinator and the person who reported the incident of the outcome.

Potentially serious misconduct

Your case may be considered more serious if it involves contract cheating or you have repeatedly been reported for academic dishonesty. In this situation, a penalty greater than failure of the unit of study may be considered necessary.

If this is the case, the Educational Integrity Coordinator or nominated academic may refer your case to the Registrar for consideration under the University of Sydney (Student Discipline) Rule 2016.

You can find more information on matters investigated by the Registrar on the misconduct page.

Office of Educational Integrity

Details

The University will be closed from Monday 25 December until Monday 8 January.

You can still reach the the Student Centre by phone and online during this time.

Last updated: 11 September 2019

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