Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct

Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct

Your responsibilities explained…..

As a student at JMU, you are a junior member of a collective of professional academics and scholars and you are expected to conduct yourself appropriately and in accordance with the ethical values of an academic community.

When you sign the enrolment form you have agreed to abide by the rules and regulations of the University. Similarly, each time you submit a piece of coursework or undertake an examination, you confirm that the work you submit is your own or a legitimate piece of group work and that you have not copied the work or cheated or made any attempt to pass off the work of others as your own. 

The University uses a range of methods to identify and discourage plagiarism, including using detection software such as 'Turnitin':

'Turnitin' compares assignments against other resources, including items on the internet, and the work of students from other institutions.  The software produces a report highlighting any matches.  More information about 'Turnitin', and how it affects you, is available from the link on the right hand side of this page.

The University takes all forms of academic dishonesty very seriously.

The University defines Academic Misconduct as ‘any case of deliberate, premeditated cheating, collusion, plagiarism or falsification of information, in an attempt to deceive and gain an unfair advantage in assessment’.

Assessment includes all forms of written work, designs, ideas, constructions, presentations, demonstrations, viva voces, accreditation of prior learning portfolios, in-class tests and all forms of examination.

All alleged cases of academic impropriety will be investigated thoroughly by a School Investigatory Panel.

If the Panel finds evidence of misconduct, then the relevant Assessment Board is required to consider the appropriate form of action. This action could range from the loss of marks in the relevant module and no opportunity to retake the assessment, the failure of a set of modules . In some cases module marks are reduced to zero, making it impossible to achieve the target award.

The incident will remain on your student record and may be noted in any future request for references.

Each Year the University expels a number of students because of Academic Misconduct.

The University will , where appropriate, inform any relevant professional body. The consequences of academic misconduct can extend beyond the University and may severely impact upon your chosen profession.

It is your responsibility to be aware of the regulations, and of the potential penalties that such dishonesty may incur.

It is also your responsibility to take reasonable precautions to guard against unauthorised access by others to your work, both before and after assessment. Further information can be found in the appendices to the UMF Assessment Regulations 05/06 – appendix C.

Hard copies of the regulations are available in School Offices, Campus Centres and Learning Resource Centres. The information is also available electronically via the CWIS home page.

Further information can be found at: UMF regulations.  The following definitions are for guidance only and should not be considered exhaustive:

Cheating Includes:

  • any form of communication with or copying from any other source during an examination.
  • communicating during an examination with any person other than an authorised member of staff.
  • introducing any written, printed or other material into an examination (including electronically stored information) other than that specified in the rubric of the examination paper.
  • gaining access to unauthorised material during or before an assessment.
  • the use of mobile telephones or pagers during an assessment or examination.
  • the submission of false claims of previously gained qualifications, research or experience in order to gain credit for prior learning.
  • the falsification of research data, the presentation of another’s data as ones own and any other forms of misrepresentation in order to gain advantage.
  • the submission of work for assessment that has already been submitted as all or part of the assessment for another module without the prior knowledge and consent of the module leader for subsequent assessments.

Plagiarism Includes:

  • The representation of the work, written or otherwise, of any other person, from any source whatsoever, as the candidate's own. Examples of plagiarism may be as follows:
  • the verbatim copying of another's work without clear identification and acknowledgement – including the downloading of materials from the internet without proper referencing and acknowledgement
  • the close paraphrasing of another's work by simply changing a few words or altering the order of presentation, without clear identification and acknowledgement.
  • unidentified and unacknowledged quotation of phrases from another's work.
  • the deliberate and detailed presentation of another's concept as one's own.

Further details can be found from the web site of the Plagiarism Advisory Service.

Collusion Includes:

  • The conscious collaboration, without official approval, between two or more students in the preparation and production of work which is ultimately submitted by each in an identical or substantially similar form and/or is represented by each to be the product of his or her individual efforts.
  • Unauthorised co-operation between a student and another person in the preparation and production of work which is presented as the student's own.

If you are in any doubt about what constitutes Plagiarism, Cheating or Collusion then talk to your academic tutors NOW.

Page last modified 24 October 2007.

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