Highlighting the importance of academic integrity in assessments
Posted on behalf of: School of Media, Arts and Humanities
Last updated: Friday, 27 November 2020
Heads of subject in Media, Arts and Humanities have been contacting their students to make them aware of the academic integrity requirements in assessment.
Academic integrity in your studies
The University of Sussex has a set of Academic Integrity Values which all students are expected to follow. These values are:
- Honesty: The work you produce for assessment is your own and where you have used other’s work, this is clearly acknowledged: this is done by adding references to your assessments. Your School will tell you which referencing system to use.
- Trust: Your tutors and fellow students can trust you to be honest about the work you produce and submit for assessment.
- Fairness: You agree that all students should be fairly treated and that you do not try to gain advantage by not producing your own work for assessment.
- Respect: You treat other members of the academic community with respect: fellow students, your tutors and the admin staff.
- Responsibility: You take responsibility for your own learning and follow the University of Sussex Academic Integrity values and assessment regulations.
The regulations concerning academic misconduct at the University of Sussex may be different to the regulations at your previous school or college. Don’t assume the regulations will be the same: it is your responsibility to check.
If you do not follow the Academic Integrity values, even if unintentionally, you may be considered for Academic Misconduct: plagiarism, collusion, fabrications of results, misconduct in examination or personation.
Examples of academic misconduct include (full definitions are provided below):
- Collusion- making your assessment available to others or working with others on an assessment that should be done individually
- Plagiarism- taking and using the intellectual work of other people without acknowledgement
- Personation- getting another person to prepare your assessments, buying an essay from an essay mill or asking someone to help you write an assessment you have started.
- Misconduct in exams taken remotely – using material from the internet, Canvas or from someone else during your exam or sharing material with or helping another student
- Fabrication of results- making up the results of experiments and other research
A number of first time misconduct cases occur because students have not familiarised themselves with the requirements for good academic conduct in assessment and sometimes do not know or fully understand that they have done anything wrong. However, this is not an excuse: all students have a responsibility to understand the academic requirements and to complete their assessments with academic integrity. On some courses, for example Law, the University will have to report any cases of academic misconduct to a professional and/or regulatory body. This may mean that you are unable to register to practice.
Resources available to support you with academic integrity in assessment
At the start of the academic year, when you registered online, you were asked to agree to follow and uphold the Academic Integrity Values. You were asked to watch some short videos explaining what is meant by Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct. If you did not watch these videos or would like to watch them again, they are available via Canvas.
The Skills Hub also provides resources to support you with the academic integrity requirements for assessment. Resources to support academic integrity include avoiding plagiarism; avoiding collusion; referencing information. In addition, the Skills Hub provides a range of guidance on writing and assessment skills.
To understand what academic misconduct means at the University, what happens if there is a concern about your work and possible penalties that may be applied, please see here.
Academic misconduct definitions
The definitions of the various types of academic misconduct are included in Section 2 of the Regulations on ‘Academic Misconduct’, available here and set out below:
Collusion is the preparation or production of work for assessment jointly with another person or persons unless explicitly permitted by the assessment. An act of collusion is understood to encompass those who actively assist others or allow others to access their work prior to submission for assessment. In addition, any student is guilty of collusion if they access and copy any part of the work of another to derive benefit irrespective of whether permission was given. Where joint preparation is permitted by the assessment task but joint production is not, the submitted work must be produced solely by the student making the submission. Where joint production or joint preparation and production of work for assessment is specifically permitted, this must be published in the appropriate module documentation.
Plagiarism is the use, without acknowledgement, of the intellectual work of other people, and the act of representing the ideas or discoveries of another as one’s own in written work submitted for assessment. To copy sentences, phrases or even striking expressions without acknowledgement of the source (either by inadequate citation or failure to indicate verbatim quotations), is plagiarism; to paraphrase without acknowledgement is likewise plagiarism. Where such copying or paraphrasing has occurred, the mere mention of the source in the bibliography shall not be deemed sufficient acknowledgement; each such instance must be referred specifically to its source. Verbatim quotations must be either in inverted commas, or indented, and directly acknowledged. For cases where work has been re-used see ‘Overlapping material in ‘Marking, Moderation and Feedback Regulations’.
Personation in written submissions is where someone other than the student prepares the work, part of the work, or provides substantial assistance with work submitted for assessment. This includes but is not limited to: purchasing essays from essay banks; commissioning someone else to write an assessment; writing an assessment for someone else (including where no benefit is gained by the student producing the assessment); using a proof reader where this is not allowed; using substantive changes proposed by a proof reader or third party (person or electronic service) that do not adhere to the University guidance on proof reading; work that has been written in a language other than the language required for assessment and translated (for language based assessments only); work including sections that have been translated without acknowledgement. Personation in examinations held on campus includes asking someone else to sit an examination. Students who attend an examination without their student ID-card or other acceptable form of photo-ID will not have their examination script marked until their identity has been confirmed.
Cases of personation will usually be considered to be major misconduct, with the exception of proof reading and translation transgressions where they are limited in their extent and may be considered to be minor misconduct.
Misconduct in examinations
Misconduct in examinations held on campus includes having, or attempting to gain access, during an examination, to any books, memoranda, notes (including notes on paper or transcribed on the student’s skin), unauthorised calculators, phones, watches or other internet enabled devices or any other material, except such as may have been supplied by the invigilator or authorised by official university bodies. Having these items on the student’s person in the exam room after the start of the exam is a breach of examination room protocols and as such misconduct, regardless of whether or not they are accessed or are relevant to the examination. Misconduct also includes aiding or attempting to aid another student or obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from another student, or any other communication within the examination room.
Misconduct in exams taken remotely includes using the following in the completion of the submitted exam answer paper, except where these have been authorised as part of the assessment task: text or ideas taken from the internet or other sources, unauthorised calculators, material provided by someone else including another student or an essay writing service. Misconduct in an exam taken remotely also includes sharing material with, or otherwise helping, another student prior to them submitting their answer paper.
Exam misconduct in exams held on campus or remotely also includes cases where the exam question paper or model answers have been obtained and/or shared in advance of the exam, except where such material has been provided as part of the assessment task.
The University takes misconduct in examination extremely seriously and any concerns raised will result in an investigation of potential major academic misconduct.
Fabrication of results
Fabrication of results is where the results of an experiment, focus group or other research activity have been made up. It also includes observations in practical or project work, such as not accurately recording the outcome of a lab experiment that did not go as planned.
School referencing style
To work with Academic Integrity you must learn how to reference appropriately within your discipline, and continue to develop good academic practice throughout your studies. This may take a little time, but you will be more confident that the work you submit for assessment will meet the required standards for good academic conduct. You should attend all workshops, tutorials and academic advising session offered by the School.
Your course or module handbook should state the referencing style that you should use.
You may arrange for someone not on your course to proof read your assessments, unless the assessment task specifies that proof reading is not permitted. Where a proof reader is used, it remains your responsibility to ensure that any suggested changes comply with the University guidance on proof reading.
The formal policy on proof reading is available here.
You should retain a copy of any suggestions made by the proof reader in case a concern is raised about academic misconduct.
Support for students
Your welfare is important to us in our School. There are several ways you can get support:
- you can contact the Director of Student Experience for confidential advice
- if you would rather speak to someone outside the School, you can contact the Student Life Centre for non-academic support and advice
- see also our health, support and wellbeing pages for support that is available
- if you are unable to complete an assessment due to sudden, temporary and unforeseen circumstances you can submit an Exceptional circumstances claim.
+44 (0)1273 678001