Terms and Descriptions

Academic integrity

Academic integrity involves upholding ethical standards in all aspects of academic work, including learning, teaching and research. It involves acting with the principles of honesty, fairness, trust and responsibility and requires respect for knowledge and its development.

Academic Integrity Officer (AIO)

One of several academic staff members in a Faculty who are responsible for making (or helping to make) an initial determination of the allegation of academic misconduct, for actioning a low-level outcome where appropriate within their Faculty, and for maintaining records.

Academic Integrity Module (AIM)

Students will be required to complete this module if they receive a finding of poor academic practice, or if it is identified as one of the penalties for a finding of academic misconduct. A report about the student’s timely completion and participation in this module will be recorded and might be used as evidence in any future investigations into an act of alleged academic misconduct.

Academic misconduct

There are six types of academic misconduct listed in the academic integrity policy. These include:

  1. Cheating
  2. Collusion
  3. Fraud
  4. Misrepresentation & fabrication
  5. Obstruction & interference
  6. Plagiarism


This involves the practice of respecting, referencing and giving credit to the words, ideas, designs, interpretations and influences of others.


Once an outcome of poor academic practice has been imposed by a subject coordinator, or an outcome of academic misconduct has been imposed by an academic integrity officer or the faculty investigation committee, a student may appeal – but only if the appeal is based on a lack of due process or if there is new and substantial evidence that has not previously been considered.

Assessment task

An academic task which a student is required to complete to provide a basis for an official record of achievement in a subject. The subject outline will provide specific information about the assessment task instructions, due date, mark weightings and the criteria to be used in evaluating a student’s performance.

Central register

A centralised register and file of student misconduct findings controlled and maintained by the Student Services Division of UOW.


Cheating is a type of academic misconduct that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Accessing, purchasing, exchanging or offering for purchase any item to be submitted as an assessment task;
  • Behaving deceitfully or dishonestly in examinations, in the preparation of assessable items or during in-class assessments;
  • Using or possessing prohibited equipment or material during an examination;
  • Sending, receiving or accessing or endeavouring to send, receive or access any source of stored electronic information during the examination unless specified by the examiner;
  • Drawing or writing on materials, other than the exam papers provided, during an examination


A citation is the act of giving acknowledgement, usually with an in-text reference using the selected citation style of the discipline, for work or ideas that have been borrowed from another.

Citation style

There are a number of different citation styles or referencing systems that students might be expected to use to acknowledge their sources, depending on the school or instructions given by a particular subject coordinator. Each subject outline will provide information about the appropriate citation style to be used in that subject’s assessment tasks. The UOW Harvard referencing system is the University’s default referencing system. The Learning Co-Op provides guides about different citation styles or referencing systems.


To work jointly with others on a task. Some assessment tasks call for authorised collaboration (for instance, group work projects) while some students find that study groups help the learning process. However, if the collaboration turns into some students helping others to get credit for work that they have not completed themselves, then this could be called collusion, which is a type of academic misconduct.


Collusion is the type of academic misconduct that involves the presentation of work by a student which is not their own but is instead the result in whole or in part of unauthorised collaboration with another person or persons. Both the student presenting the assessment task as if it is they own individual work, and the student(s) willingly supplying unauthorised material (colluders) are considered participants in the act of academic misconduct.

Contract cheating

Contract cheating occurs when someone else is commissioned to prepare writing or another task for a student, who plans to submit it for assessment. Contract cheating sites advertise widely on the internet, and offer to prepare a wide range of tasks - from essays, draft thesis chapters all the way to computer coding or laboratory reports.


An individual who brings to the attention of a subject coordinator a concern about an act of alleged academic misconduct by a student. This complainant could be a sessional teacher, a tutor, a lab supervisor – or even another student.


All work undertaken as part of a non-research award course or non-award course, as well as any non-research components of a higher degree research course. Coursework also includes subjects undertaken by undergraduate honours and postgraduate research students.


A business that allows students to exchange or purchase an essay or other piece of writing prepared by someone else. Essay mills used to collect and redistribute previously written essays on common assessment task topics, but these days they hire ghostwriters who customise work to specific instructions from clients. These businesses are now more commonly referred to as contract cheating sites.


Any relevant material presented in relation to an allegation of academic misconduct. This may include, but is not limited to, submitted assessment items, emails, Turnitin originality reports, transcripts of student interviews, notes about a conversation with a student, or samples of matched text (discovered in websites, book, online articles or other sources).


For the purposes of academic misconduct investigations, fraud involves a student impersonating another student, or a student allowing another individual to impersonate him/her, for the purpose of completing an exam, assessment task or online activity. Other types of fraud can be considered a criminal offence.

Faculty Investigation Committee (FIC)

A Faculty-coordinated committee that makes a determination on cases of academic misconduct that have been escalated by an academic integrity officer or where a student has appealed the decision of a Subject Coordinator or Academic Integrity Officer.

General misconduct

This type of misconduct occurs by a student on campus, or when representing the university, that does not fit within the category of academic misconduct. The 'Procedure for managing alleged misconduct by a student' explains the procedures for reporting and managing cases of general misconduct.

Ghost writing

Ghost writing occurs when a person is hired to write the texts that are to be submitted or presented by someone else.

Group work

A project or task completed in collaboration by a number of students to produce a common piece of assessment (or multiple associated assessments). Each student must complete their fair share of the work in these tasks: if a student claims credit for work they have not completed, they might be accused of misrepresentation & fabrication, while the other students who willingly produced the work for them might be accused of collusion.

Higher Degree Research (HDR) students

Masters or doctoral students who are undertaking research degrees. If an HDR student performs an act of misconduct while undertaking a coursework subject, they will be investigated according to the academic misconduct (coursework) procedures. If the misconduct occurs during the course of their research project, then they will be investigated according to the research misconduct policy.

In-text citation

An in-text citation is a reference made within the body of text of an academic piece of writing. The in-text citation alerts the reader to a source that has informed the discussion. In most cases only the author’s last name, date of publication and page number from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken needs to be included, with the complete reference appearing in the reference list or bibliography at the end of the assessment task. The exact format of an in-text citation will depend on the citation style you are required to use in your subject.

Investigation notice

A notice served on a student which provides details of the investigation into alleged academic misconduct by that student.

Local register

A register and file of student academic misconduct investigations and instances of poor academic practice, controlled and maintained by the Faculty.

Misrepresentation & fabrication

Misrepresentation & fabrication are the types of misconduct that include but is not limited to:

  • Submitting a piece of work, including an assessable group work item, with the intention of deceiving the assessor regarding individual contributions to the work;
  • Intentional and unauthorised falsification or invention of any information, experimental data or citation in an assessable item;
  • Misleading ascription of authorship, including claiming authorship of parts of a group assignment prepared by other students.
  • Representing data or information incorrectly, improperly or falsely;
  • Falsely indicating participation, or recording attendance on behalf of another student, in an activity where attendance is required for assessment purposes;
  • Submitting a text/code-matching software originality report that falsely represents the originality of an assignment submitted for assessment.


Conduct by a student that contravenes the policies which outline the expected behavior of a student, and which could be considered either academic misconduct or general misconduct.

Natural justice

This principle ensures that decision-making is fair and reasonable. It involves decision-makers informing people of the case against them or their interests, giving them a right to be heard, not having a personal interest in the outcome, and acting only on the basis of logically probative evidence.

Obstruction & interference

Obstruction & interference is the type of academic misconduct that involves a student behaving in any way that limits the academic opportunities of other students by improperly impeding their work or their access to educational resources.


A paraphrase is the restatement of a phrase, sentence or longer piece of writing into new or slightly different words, while retaining the original meaning. If someone paraphrases without providing an in-text citation to the original source, they may be accused of plagiarism.


Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas, designs, images, words or any other work without acknowledgement, usually provided through the appropriate use of a reference. Plagiarism can involve re-using one’s own work without appropriate acknowledgement or permission (this is sometimes referred to as 'self-plagiarism'). Plagiarism does not just involve copying from text-based sources such as books or articles: copying computer code or images downloaded from the internet is also considered plagiarism. All sources used in the production of academic work must be appropriately acknowledged.


To reproduce information using the exact words and phrasing from the source. While it is acceptable to quote directly from another source, in academic work a quote must be followed by an in-text reference in the appropriate citation style. Occasionally quote marks might be used to draw attention or to highlight a particular word or phrase under discussion, and in this cases an in-text reference is not required.

Quotation marks

A set of punctuation marks that indicate that exact words or a phrase has been taken from another source, and are used to mark the beginning and end of the quoted passage. e. While it is possible to use either 'single' or "double" quotation marks, be aware that Turnitin only recognizes double quotation marks, so it is recommended that students use these consistently.

Poor academic practice

One of the findings that may result from an investigation into an allegation of academic misconduct. Poor academic practice involves conduct that is determined to represent a minor contravention of acknowledgement practice or other academic standards or requirements and/or arose from a genuine and reasonable lack of understanding. A subject coordinator might make a finding of 'Poor academic practice' without escalating the case into an investigation into academic misconduct.


A reference attributes information/ideas to their original source using an appropriate referencing style or citation style, such as Author-date (Harvard), MLA, AGLC or Chicago style referencing. This reference might be inserted in the text as an 'in-text' reference or may appear as a footnote, depending on the citation style instructions.

Referencing system

There are a number of different citation styles or referencing systems that students might be expected to use to acknowledge their sources, depending on the School or instructions given by a particular subject coordinator. Each subject outline will provide information about the appropriate referencing system to be used in that subject’s assessment tasks. The UOW Harvard referencing system is the University’s default referencing system. The Learning Co-Op provides guides about different citation styles or referencing systems.

Research integrity

Research integrity is a subset of academic integrity, which can be defined as "the trustworthiness of research due to the soundness of its methods and the honesty and accuracy of its presentation" (Singapore Statement on Research Integrity, 2010). Integrity in research can be defined as "good research practice and conduct". Many aspects of good practice have been codified in the 'Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007)'. Good practice includes:

  • intellectual honesty in proposing, performing, and reporting research;
  • accuracy in representing contributions to research proposals and reports;
  • fairness in peer review;
  • collegiality in scientific interactions, including communications and sharing of resources;
  • transparency in conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest;
  • protection of human subjects in the conduct of research;
  • humane care of animals in the conduct of research;
  • adherence to the mutual responsibilities between investigators and research participants.
    (National Research Council of the National Academies, 2002).

Research misconduct

This refers to misconduct that is committed by HDR students or staff in the conduct of research, rather than coursework. According to the 'Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research', research misconduct involves "Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research, and failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interest. It includes avoidable failure to follow research proposals as approved by a research ethics committee, particularly where this failure may result in unreasonable risk or harm to humans, animals or the environment. It also includes the wilful concealment or facilitation of research misconduct by others" (NHRMC Section 10). If an HDR student, staff member of visiting researcher is accused of an act of research misconduct, they will be investigated according to the research misconduct policy.


The original document or media from which information has been obtained. These sources need to be acknowledged with a citation or reference.

Student conduct committee

This university committee makes a determination on cases of academic misconduct that have been escalated by a faculty investigation committee or where a student has appealed the decision of a faculty investigation committee.

Student conduct rules

These rules outline the guiding principles of UOW and provide an overall statement of values that inform all other codes, policies, procedures and guidelines related to the conduct of students.

Subject coordinator

An academic staff member with nominated responsibility for an individual subject. They are responsible for responding to and investigating allegations of academic misconduct: this includes collecting evidence, interviewing the student and reporting their findings to the academic integrity officer in their school.

Subject outline

The subject outline is the compilation of core information about a particular subject. It will include information about the subject’s class schedule, learning outcomes, assessment tasks, required and recommended reading and it will identify the appropriate referencing system.


Turnitin is an online service integrated with the University’s eLearning platform to provide a streamlined process for submitting, assessing student submissions and providing feedback online. It also provides a text-matching tool to assist in preventing and identifying plagiarism. Assessment tasks submitted via TurnItIn are compared against a vast database (containing previously submitted assessment tasks, online journals, newspapers and the internet) to assess their originality.