Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct

 

 

 

If you've been written to about suspected Academic Misconduct, please read these pages to understand what this means and what to do next. We will outline the process of how your work will be investigated, and the penalties that may be applied depending on the findings.

The investigation process is used to decide if you have used methods in your work that give you an unfair advantage over other students. This includes plagiarism and collusion. We recommend that you read the university's full regulations on Academic Misconduct.

ARU's Academic Honesty Policy states that:

'To be honest in your work you must acknowledge the ideas and work of others you use, and you must not try to get an advantage over others by being dishonest. . . . You can show good practice when you do your work independently, honestly and in a proper academic style, using good referencing and acknowledging all of your sources. ' (Anglia Ruskin University, Academic Honesty Policy, 2014).

Timeline of events:

 

Initial Reporting of Suspected Academic Misconduct 

  • Work suspected of academic misconduct can be raised up to 20 working days after the submission deadline for normal assessments, and 30 working days for major projects. This can be extended if new evidence is provided.

 

Stage 1 - Faculty Investigation
  • Your work is looked at by an Academic Integrity Lead from your faculty. They will decide if there is enough evidence that academic misconduct has occurred.

  • You may be invited to attend a viva-voce examination to show understanding of your work. This would happen within 10 working days of the issue being raised.

 

Categories
  • No further action is taken- when the Academic Integrity Lead believe no Academic Misconduct has taken place.

  • Where the Academic Integrity Lead believes that Academic Misconduct has occurred, they determines the extent of the alleged academic misconduct and places it into one of the following categories of academic misconduct below:

Category

 

Definition

 

Very Minor

Typically, this may include small errors in correctly applying referencing, attribution or paraphrasing conventions.

Examples include:

• Citations and references are included where appropriate, but the correct referencing conventions have not been applied;

 • Occasional word-for-word copying of short phrases or close paraphrasing of sentences from another source, with in-text attribution to the source material included.

 

 

Minor

The great majority of the work would still be evident as the student’s own if the inauthentic material were removed. There may be inadequate application of referencing, attribution or paraphrasing conventions or of independent working expectations.

Examples include:

• Occasional instances of poorly paraphrased or closely copied work, without in-text attribution to the source material;

• Several instances of poorly paraphrased or closely copied work, with attribution to the source material;

• Similarities with another student’s work which suggests that ideas were shared to an inappropriate extent.

 

 

Moderate

A significant proportion of the work is inauthentic, but the student’s own work is evident and is of comparable or greater significance. There may be a significant failure to correctly apply referencing, attribution or paraphrasing conventions or of independent working expectations.

Examples include:

• Significant use of poorly paraphrased work, whether attributed to the source material or not;

• Copying of numerous sentences from other sources, whether attributed to the source material or not;

• Source material which contributes significantly to the work is not acknowledged;

 • Similarities with another student’s work which suggests that materials or analyses were shared to an inappropriate extent.

 

 

Major

The inauthentic material forms a substantive or majority part of the work. Referencing, attribution or paraphrasing conventions, examination regulations or independent working expectations might be substantially breached.

Examples include:

• Substantial use of poorly paraphrased or copied work, whether attributed to the source material or not.

• Source material/s which contribute substantially to the work or provide the basis for the work is not acknowledged.

• Similarities with another student’s work which suggests that the work was produced by one student and copied by another or that the work was produced jointly.

• Unauthorised materials are imported into an examination.

 

Exceptionally serious - offences requiring a more serious penalty. Please refer here for further details.

 

You will be written to within 10 working days to categorise your level of Academic Misconduct.

 

Meeting with Academic Integrity Lead - for minor, moderate, major and exceptionally serious categories of academic misconduct

 

  • You will be invited to a meeting with the Academic Integrity Lead to help you to learn where you have made a mistake and help to avoid future mistakes

  • You will be invited to take ARU’s on-line Academic Integrity Course. If this is your first allegation of academic misconduct (minor, moderate or major) when you pass the course the default penalty is reduced to the next immediate lower category (eg: a moderate penalty is amended to a minor penalty) .

  • For academic misconduct categorised as very minor, the process is completed at this point and no further action is taken

 

Response

Within five working days of the meeting with the Academic Integrity Lead, the student provides a response to the allegation which:

      A)  Accepts the allegation and, only for the student’s first incidence of academic misconduct, categorised as minor, moderate or major, the student either:

           • Confirms that they have completed ARU’s on-line Academic Integrity Course (reducing the level of penalty for minor, moderate or major academic misconduct to the next                            immediate lower category

         OR

           • Declines the opportunity to undertake ARU’s on-line Academic Integrity Course (loosing the opportunity for the level of penalty for minor, moderate or major academic                              misconduct to be reduced to the next immediate lower category);

   OR 

     (B)  Requests more time (normally 5 working days) to seek (further) advice from the Students’ Union Advice Service;

 

   OR

     (C) Denies the allegation completely or appeals the category of academic misconduct to which the allegation has been assigned (minor, moderate or major) and, so, the penalty that                  has been applied.

  • If you appeal the allegation or category the allegation is referred to the Academic Registrar for consideration under Stage 2: a Panel hearing,

  • If having met with the Academic Integrity Lead a student fails to provide a response, the student is deemed to have accepted the allegation but not undertaken ARU’s Academic Integrity Course and the prescribed penalty is applied accordingly.

  • In the event of the student declining or failing to attend the meeting with the Academic Integrity Lead, the student looses the opportunity both to deny the allegation and challenge the category of academic misconduct to which the allegation has been allocated (and, therefore, the level of penalty). The student is deemed to have accepted the allegation but not undertaken ARU’s Academic Integrity Course and the prescribed penalty is applied according

 

Stage 2: Panel Hearing

  • At a panel allegations are heard and the student is given an opportunity to present their case.

Either:

          (i) the alleged academic misconduct did not occur or;

          (ii) the category is too high.

 

  • The Panel hearing is formal. It takes place as soon as possible, and no later than two months after the student has responded to the meeting with the Academic Integrity Lead in Stage 1 .

  • If the student does not appear at the hearing, the Panel may proceed to deal with the allegation in the student’s absence. In reaching its decision, the Panel sits in private and considers whether the case has been proved. If the Panel concludes that the case has not been proved, the allegation is dismissed and no further action is taken.

  • If the Panel concludes that academic misconduct has been proved a penalty is applied. For academic misconduct deemed to be exceptionally serious, the Panel determines which of the two alternative penalties listed is to be applied.

  • In all cases where academic misconduct is proved , the student subsequently meets with an Academic Integrity Lead to discuss the academic misconduct to help prevent future errors. In the exceptional cases where the prescribed penalty is the recommended expulsion of the student, the Academic Registrar is required to present the recommendation to the Vice Chancellor who considers the request. A student who is expelled under the academic misconduct process receives a transcript detailing the credit they attained. However, as part of the penalty, any intermediate award that the volume of academic credit attained may attract is not conferred.

 

Extenuating Circumstances

  • If during Stage 1 or 2 of the process, the student provides evidence of extenuating circumstances that directly led to minor, moderate, major or exceptionally serious academic misconduct being committed, such information does NOT impact on the decision as to whether or not the academic misconduct has occurred. However, if the Director of Studies or Academic Integrity Lead (during Stage 1) or Panel (during Stage 2) believes that, as a result of the extenuating circumstances, the prescribed penalty is exceptionally inappropriate, the Director of Studies (following consultation with two other Directors of Studies and the Academic Registrar) or the Panel can, at their discretion, review the default penalty and propose the immediate next lower penalty (eg: for moderate academic misconduct, the penalty for minor academic misconduct is applied) in light of the extenuating circumstances presented by the student. The application of the lower penalty must be supported by relevant documentary evidence.

  • You cannot submit an Exceptional Circumstances claim on an assessment task for which a penalty has been applied. The penalty for the academic misconduct is therefore applied.

 

Office of the Independent Adjudicator

If a student is not satisfied with the decision of the Panel Hearing, the student may make representation to the OIA. For these purposes, where appropriate, the Academic Registrar will issue to the student a ‘Completion of Procedures Letter’ required under OIA procedures.