Policy Directory

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND PLAGIARISM POLICY

Date approved:

15 October 2010

Date Policy will take effect:

Autumn Session 2011

Date of Next Review:

October 2014

Approved by:

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Director, Academic Quality and Standards Unit
quality@uow.edu.au

Author:

Policy Analyst, Policy & Governance Unit

Responsible Faculty/
Division & Unit:

Academic Quality and Standards Unit
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Portfolio

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:

Learning Development Plagiarism and Turnitin Website
UOW Referencing and Citing Website

References & Legislation:

Student Conduct Rules
Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework

Code of Practice – Research

Code of Practice – Students

Code of Practice – Teaching and Assessment

Good Practice - Assessment Guidelines

Graduate Qualities Policy

Research Misconduct Policy

Audience:

Public – accessible to anyone

Expiry Date of Policy (if applicable):

Not Applicable

    • Contents

1 Preamble 3

2 Purpose of Policy 3

3 Definitions 3

4 Application & Scope 3

5 Academic Integrity 3

6 Acknowledgement Practice 4

7 Plagiarism and Other forms of Academic Misconduct 5

8 Roles & Responsibilities 6

9 Version Control and Change History 7

Appendix 1 – Use of the Turnitin Text Matching Software 8

    1 Preamble

    • This policy replaces the previous Acknowledgment Practice / Plagiarism Policy (1992 – 2010) and Use of Turnitin Policy (2005 – 2010).

    2 Purpose of Policy

    • The purpose of this policy is to set out the University’s commitment to Academic Integrity, with particular reference to:
          • a. the importance of acknowledgement practice;
          • b. responding to plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct in a consistent and equitable manner; and
          • c. the roles and responsibilities of staff and students in upholding the values of Academic Integrity.

    3 Definitions

Word/term

Definition (with examples if required)

Academic Integrity

    • Demonstrating the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in all academic endeavours, including preparing and presenting work for assessment as part of coursework or research.

Acknowledgement Practice

    • The practice of acknowledging the ideas, designs, words or works of other people in one’s own work.

Assessment

An academic task which a student is required to complete to provide a basis for an official record of achievement or certification of competence in a subject, as stipulated in the Subject Outline.

Plagiarism

Using another person’s ideas, designs, words or works without appropriate acknowledgement.

Student

Has the same meaning as specified in the General Course Rules.

Turnitin

An electronic text matching system that compares text in a student assignment against electronic text found in the publicly accessible Internet, published works, commercial databases, and student assignments.

    4 Application & Scope

    • 1. This policy applies to all students of the University of Wollongong (UOW).

    5 Academic Integrity

    • 1. UOW is committed to Academic Integrity, which according to the Center for Academic Integrity, is expressed by the five fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. UOW supports the promotion of these values in all academic endeavours in teaching, learning and research. Students and staff of UOW are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects these values, to ensure the protection of the University’s reputation and standards for current and future students and staff.
    • 2. The values of Academic Integrity are intrinsically linked to the five Graduate Qualities identified by the University to guide students in developing personally and professionally as they progress through their courses and to equip students for roles in society and the workplace once they have graduated. These are:
      • • Informed
      • • Independent Learners
      • • Problem-Solvers
      • • Effective Communicators
      • • Responsible

    6 Acknowledgement Practice

    • 1. In Australian universities, and in Australian society generally, ideas are important, and it is also important for people to be given appropriate credit, or acknowledgement, for their ideas.
    • 2. Acknowledgement practice supports the values of Academic Integrity, by ensuring:
          • a. fairness to authors and other students;
          • b. that students take responsibility for doing independent work; and
          • c. respect for ownership rights.
    • 3. Acknowledgement practice methods exist for acknowledging ideas in all forms of expression, for example written work, art and graphics, diagrams, graphs and tables, video and audio recordings, and computer programs or codes.
    • 4. In accordance with Schedule 1, Section B of the Code of Practice – Teaching and Assessment, Academic Staff must inform students in the Subject Outline for each subject of the acknowledgement practice methods that are appropriate for their field of study.
    • 5. Students are required to submit only work which properly acknowledges the ideas, designs, words or works of others and which is otherwise their own original work.

Acknowledgement Practice Support and Resources for Students and Academic Staff

    • 6. The University’s StartSmart program provides all new undergraduate students with a range of information skills including an awareness of the appropriate use of resources and acknowledgement practice.
    • 7. The University’s Learning Development unit provides students and staff with a range of resources, programs and assistance aimed at helping students develop specific literacy skills and improve their academic performance.
    • 8. The University’s University Learning and Teaching (ULT) course, offered to all academic teaching staff and casual teaching staff by the Academic Development Unit, is a professional development program that enables staff to develop their teaching skills and enhance their teaching effectiveness, including teaching students how to use resources and acknowledge sources appropriately.
    • 9. More information on acknowledgement practice, including how to correctly acknowledge sources and avoid plagiarism, can be found at:

Group work

    • 10. Group work is valuable because of the opportunities it provides for students to develop skills in collaboration and communication. As an assessment task it has the potential to pose difficulties in relation to appropriate acknowledgement practice and identification of authorship of individual members of the group. These difficulties can be minimised by academic staff by ensuring that the assessment task is well designed with the roles of individual students effectively identified and the assessment criteria clearly communicated to students in the subject outline.
    • 11. The Code of Practice – Teaching and Assessment requires group work to be assessed by means which allow the real contribution of each member of the group to be determined, taking into account the Good Practice – Assessment Guidelines. These guidelines provide examples of how group work assessment tasks can be designed to support Academic Integrity and minimise opportunity for academic misconduct.

    7 Plagiarism and Other forms of Academic Misconduct

    • 1. Plagiarism, the use of another person’s ideas, designs, words or works without appropriate acknowledgement, is a breach of the values of Academic Integrity.
    • 2. Plagiarism by a student is academic misconduct.
    • 3. Academic misconduct also includes, but is not limited to:
          • a. Cheating: behaving deceitfully or dishonestly in examinations, in the preparation of assessable items and during in-class tests;
          • b. Fabrication: intentional and unauthorised falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise;
          • c. Intentionally or recklessly facilitating academic dishonesty by other students;
          • d. Providing an assessment item, or providing access to an assessment item to others, either directly or indirectly, in circumstances where it is reasonably foreseeable that that it will be used dishonestly.
          • e. Fraud: deceitful behaviour by which it is sought to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage either for yourself or for another person;
          • f. Misleading ascription of authorship (including claiming authorship of parts of a group assignment prepared by (an)other student(s));
          • g. Misrepresentation: misrepresenting data or information incorrectly, improperly or falsely;
          • h. Behaving in any way that limits the academic opportunities of other students by improperly impeding their work or their access to educational resources;
          • i. Re-using one’s own work without appropriate acknowledgement;
          • j. Using unauthorised equipment or material in an assessment item; and
          • k. Using another person to undertake an examination or assessment item in your name.
    • 4. Any attempt to engage in any form of academic misconduct detailed in this policy will be considered academic misconduct and managed accordingly.

Management of Alleged Academic Misconduct

    • 5. The University will take action in response to all allegations of academic misconduct to ensure that:
          • a. the values of Academic Integrity are upheld,
          • b. that students who observe the principles of Academic Integrity are not put at a disadvantage; and
          • c. that the University’s reputation and standards are protected for current and future students and staff.
    • 6. Allegations of academic misconduct by a student undertaking coursework must be managed in accordance with the Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework.
    • 7. Allegations of research misconduct (including academic misconduct) by a Higher Degree Research Student must be managed in accordance with the Research Misconduct Policy.

Prevention and Detection of Plagiarism and Other Forms of Academic Misconduct

    • 8. Assessment tasks should be designed to support Academic Integrity and minimise opportunities for plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct. The Good Practice Assessment Guidelines provide useful information for academic staff on how to do this.
    • 9. The University will take steps to detect plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct. These may include manual searches of resources, as well as the use of electronic text matching software (e.g. Turnitin) to compare work submitted for assessment against electronic text on the publicly accessible internet, in published works, on commercial databases, and in student assignments previously submitted.
    • 10. Turnitin, where used, must be used in accordance with the procedures set out in Appendix 1.

    8 Roles & Responsibilities

    • 1. All staff and students must ensure that they understand and comply with legal restrictions and obligations (e.g. copyright) relating to Academic Integrity.
    • 2. The University has a responsibility to:
          • a. Promote the values of Academic Integrity; and
          • b. Provide students and staff with resources to ensure that students are supported to develop the skills required to uphold the values of Academic Integrity in all academic endeavours.
    • 3. The Academic Development Unit has a responsibility to provide staff with, knowledge, skills and resources that will assist them in supporting Academic Integrity through teaching and research, and in supporting students to acquire and demonstrate the values of Academic Integrity.
    • 4. Learning Development has a responsibility to provide students with resources and assistance to help them to develop acknowledgement practice skills.
    • 5. Subject Coordinators have a responsibility to design assessment tasks and study load in such a way as to support Academic Integrity and minimise opportunities for plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.
    • 6. Research Supervisors have a responsibility to advise Higher Degree Research (HDR) students of applicable government and institutional guidelines for the conduct of research, including acknowledgement, plagiarism and authorship policies.
    • 7. Academic staff have a responsibility to:
          • a. Inform all students of acknowledgement practice methods that are appropriate for their fields of study and provide clear examples of what is acceptable;
          • b. Clearly explain academic expectations and what constitutes plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct to students;
          • c. Set appropriate conditions for group work and make clear the distinction between group work and individual work;
          • d. Cultivate with students a climate of respect for authorship and for acknowledging the source of ideas;
          • e. Actively seek to detect plagiarism; and
          • f. Identify and act whenever plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct is suspected.
    • 8. Students have a responsibility to:
          • a. Submit only work which properly acknowledges the ideas, designs, words or works of others and which is otherwise their own original work;
          • b. Avoid lending or otherwise providing original work to others for any reason other than where work is provided to another student in the course of collaboration in connection with group work assessment, and subject to any requirements imposed on students in connection with such collaboration;
          • c. Have a clear understanding of the conditions of assessment, including assessment task requirements, appropriate source acknowledgement practice, and marking criteria;
          • d. Provide, when requested to do so (and where the item of work has been prepared using electronic means), an electronic copy of any work to academic staff involved in marking the work;
          • e. Be clear about the acknowledgement practice methods that are appropriate for their field of study;
          • f. Be aware of the collective responsibility of proper source acknowledgement within group assignments, and be able to support their claims of authorship in a group assignment; and
          • g. Encourage other students to uphold the values of Academic Integrity and discourage other students from plagiarising or carrying out other forms of academic misconduct.
    • 9. Primary Investigation Officers (PIOs) have a responsibility to carry out investigations of Academic Misconduct in accordance with the Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework
    • 10. The Vice-Chancellor and his delegates have a responsibility to carry out investigations of Academic Misconduct by a HDR student in accordance with the Research Misconduct Policy.
    • 11. Related Rules, Codes, Policies and Procedures refer to specific responsibilities in relation to learning, teaching, research and assessment activities and managing student misconduct.
    • 12. Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By

Amendment

1

Autumn Session 2011

University Council
15 October 2010

First Version- Replaces the Acknowledgement Practice – Plagiarism Policy and Use of Turnitin Policy

2

8 February 2013

University Council 8 February 2013

Amendment to Section 7 to include in the definition of academic dishonesty the provision of an assessment item to others where it is known or reasonably foreseeable that it will be used dishonestly.

3

3 February 2013

Vice-Chancellor

Minor amendment to Appendix 1, Clause 3 to allow variation in wording of the written statement made by a student before an item is submitted to Turnitin.

    Appendix 1 – Use of the Turnitin Text Matching Software

    • 1. The University does not mandate the use of Turnitin or other text matching software. However
          • a. individual Faculties or Academic Units can decide to use Turnitin in particular subjects;
          • b. individual academic staff members can choose to use Turnitin at their own discretion, so long as the terms within this appendix are met.
    • 2. Students who write theses within undergraduate or postgraduate coursework programs should have the opportunity to submit their theses to Turnitin for checking.
    • 3. All assignments and theses submitted to Turnitin for storage on the Turnitin database must be accompanied by a written statement from the student to the effect that:
    • I declare that this assignment is original and has not been submitted for assessment elsewhere, and acknowledge that the assessor of this assignment may, for the purpose of assessing this assignment:
        • a) Reproduce this assignment/ and provide a copy to another member of academic staff; and/or
        • b) Communicate a copy of this assignment to a plagiarism checking service (which may then retain a copy of this assignment on its database for the purpose of future plagiarism checking).
    • Where an assignment is submitted electronically by the student the words required to be set out in Clause 3 (above) must be added to the assignment by the student before electronic submission.
    • Students who do not wish to provide the consent required in Clause 3 must follow the academic grievance procedures outlined in the appropriate academic grievance policy.
    • If a University staff member checks an assignment within the Turnitin system without the express licence referred to in Clause 3, document checking within the Turnitin system must be limited to the options of Internet and ProQuest so that the work is not retained on the Turnitin database.
    • If an academic staff member requires students to submit assignments or theses to Turnitin, the students must be informed that:
          • a. the text they submit will be linked to the name they submit the assignment or thesis under and the email address they use to register with the Turnitin system; or
          • b. if their assignment or thesis is submitted in batch mode by the subject coordinator/lecturer (or other staff member) the text of their work will be linked to the student name or form of identification assigned to that assignment or thesis by the subject coordinator/lecturer to the Turnitin system and the email address the subject coordinator/lecturer uses to register with the Turnitin system.
    • Further, the only Turnitin user, other than a student submitting an assignment, who can access the text of the assignment or thesis is the subject coordinator / lecturer who set up the assignment on Turnitin unless the subject coordinator/lecturer subsequently gives permission for another university staff member or personnel in other universities to view that assignment or thesis for the purpose of checking possible plagiarism in other documents submitted to Turnitin.
    • If the student submission procedure is used with Turnitin, students must only register with Turnitin using their University of Wollongong email address. Students who make additional registrations using other email addresses may inadvertently submit assignment or thesis drafts under different user names and have such drafts listed as unacknowledged text.
    • If student submission is the preferred option, students must be provided with information on how the Turnitin system works and instructions on how to use the website.
    • If students are concerned about the contents of their assignment or thesis being linked to their email address or the form of student identification used by the subject coordinator/lecturer on the Turnitin database, it is possible for their assignment to be submitted anonymously. Learning Development can assist with the implementation of this procedure. Alternatively document checking can be limited to the Internet and ProQuest database so that the assignment or thesis is not retained on the Turnitin database. Any student wishing to make use of these two options will require a recommendation from the Sub-Dean of the Faculty in which he or she is enrolled.
    • If plagiarism is detected through the use of the Turnitin system, the University’s Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework or Research Misconduct Policy will be invoked as appropriate.
    • Guidelines on the Use of Turnitin at UOW may be found at:
    • http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@stsv/@ld/documents/doc/uow021509.pdf
Last reviewed: 14 April, 2014

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