15 May 2018
As a student at the University of the Sunshine Coast, you belong to an academic community that values academic integrity. At this time of semester, it is vital that you understand how to ensure academic integrity so that you can succeed in your assessments and avoid penalties associated with academic misconduct.
What is Academic Integrity?
The term academic integrity means taking an ethical, honest and responsible approach to study and research. As a student, you are expected to act ethically, and with integrity, when you complete your assessments. This means that you act:
- Ethically when you acknowledge the people (or organisations) whose work you use in assignments. By citing their ideas, their words, their work, you not only show where information comes from but also show that you’ve read widely and engaged with the literature relevant to your topic.
- Honestly when you submit assignments that are authentic, original and the result of your own research and writing. By doing this, you approach each assignment as an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding.
- Responsibly when you take ownership of your own work – when you don’t copy the work of other people or share your assignments with other students. By doing this, you contribute to a culture of academic integrity.
What is Academic Misconduct?
Academic dishonesty or misconduct is taken seriously by the University - there are significant penalties for the following examples of academic misconduct:
- plagiarism, including using another person’s ideas or work without appropriate acknowledgement
- collusion, including giving away, swapping, or providing for sale your own work
- cheating, in all forms (including in examinations)
- fraud, including making up data or work, submitting an assessment item completed by someone else, having someone else complete your examination or assessment item in person or online or participating in any other activities which are intended to give you an unfair or dishonest advantage.
Test your knowledge
Which of the following examples represent academic misconduct?
- Asking someone to write your assignment (or even part of it)
- Using the same paragraph in more than one piece of assessment
- Giving away or selling your old assignments
- Using your own words to paraphrase a source but not providing a reference
- Using someone else’s words, with a reference, but without quotation marks around the exact words being quoted.
Answer: All of them.
- Asking someone to write your assignment or even part of it - This is collusion. It is never okay to let someone do your assignments for you.
- Using the same paragraph in more than one piece of assessment - This is called self-plagiarism. Each assignment you write is different and must be original.
- Giving away or selling old assignments - You should never share your work with other students.
- Using your own words to paraphrase a source but not providing a reference - When you paraphrase, you still need to give a citation. Without it, the ideas and information will appear to be your own rather than originating from the source.
- Using someone else’s words, with a reference, but without quotation marks around the exact words being quoted - It’s important to place quotation marks around the exact words, phrases or sentences being quoted.
Why is academic integrity important to me?
USC expects all students to act honestly and take responsibility for their own work (read the USC Student Charter to learn more.)
What is Safe Assign?
A text matching tool that checks your work and identifies any possible cases of plagiarism or collusion. If any part of your assignment matches part of another student's work, or even one of your past assignments, it will be found by Safe Assign.
What happens if I commit academic fraud?
Possible consequences of proven academic fraud include:
- formal written warning (becomes part of your academic record)
- re-submission of assessment item (not exceeding 50% score of the worth of the assessment item)
- loss of marks for the assessment item in the course
- receive a ‘fail’ for the assessment item
- receive a ‘fail’ for the course
- exclusion from enrolment for a specified period of time
- expulsion from university.
There's a plethora of resources, information and quizzes on academic integrity in 'Academic Skills Services' under 'Academic Skills' on Blackboard.