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Section 1 - Purpose
(1) The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that staff involved in academic work and all students at Charles Sturt University (the University) have a shared understanding of academic integrity and its fundamental value for learning, teaching and research.
(2) This Policy on academic integrity is based on the following principles:
- that there is a shared responsibility for academic integrity across the University community;
- that fostering a culture of academic integrity involves a commitment to learning, teaching and the active promotion of its values and expectations; and
- that academic misconduct undermines the purpose of learning, teaching and research in higher education.
(3) Academic integrity reflects a broader commitment to respect and acknowledgement of original sources and diverse ways of knowing for others, including of current and past Indigenous Australian Cultures, histories and traditions.
(4) This Policy applies to all academic and professional staff involved in academic work and all students, including those in international and partner institutions.
(5) This Policy reflects the University's commitment to academic integrity by outlining the expectations we hold of:
- students: to apply academic integrity to their learning and research; and
- staff: to apply, model and promote academic integrity and identify and manage academic misconduct.
(6) The processes for managing academic misconduct and research misconduct are found in the CSU Enterprise Agreement, Code of Conduct (for CSU Staff), Student Academic Misconduct Policy and Research Misconduct Procedure.
Related Legislation and Policy
(7) This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the following supporting documents, policies and procedures:
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- Student Academic Misconduct Policy;
- Higher Education Standards Framework (TEQSA 2015);
- Referencing Policy;
- Student Charter;
- Assessment Principles Policy;
- Graduate Attributes Policy for Undergraduate Courses;
- Research Authorship Policy;
- Code of Conduct;
- Code of Conduct - Research;
- Misconduct - Research Misconduct Policy;
- Misconduct - Research Misconduct Procedure - Allegation Management;
- English Language, Literacy and Numeracy Policy; and
- CSU Graduate Learning Outcomes web page.
Section 2 - Glossary
(8) For the purposes of this Policy:
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- Academic integrity - means acting with honesty, fairness and responsibility in learning, teaching and research. It involves observing and maintaining ethical standards in all aspects of academic work.
- Academic misconduct - is the breach of academic integrity in any area. It involves engaging in dishonest or unethical practices, including but not limited to cheating, collusion or plagiarism. Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the academic misconduct, consequences might include educational intervention or the imposition of penalties appropriate to the misconduct.
- Acknowledgement - means acknowledgement of other people's scholarship in academic work involves the practice of respecting, referencing and giving credit to the words, ideas, designs, interpretations and influences of others.
- Cheating - involves the misrepresentation of academic achievement, ignoring the conditions set out for academic work or assessment tasks. Some common forms of cheating include, but are not limited to:
- falsifying data obtained from experiments, surveys, or similar activities;
- purchasing or otherwise receiving ready-made or customised material from other people including internet services, and presenting it as one's own for the purpose of assessment or academic credit;
- improperly obtaining, using and sharing information about an examination;
- copying the answers of another student in a test or an examination or allowing another student to copy answers in a test or an examination;
- taking unauthorised materials into a test or an examination;
- sitting a test or an examination for another student or having another person undertaking a test or an examination on behalf of oneself; and
- involves preparing an original and correctly referenced work and submitting part, or all, more than once without authorisation.
- Collusion - is the unauthorised collaboration on academic work or assessment tasks with other people. Both the individual presenting the work and those who willingly supplied the material are considered participants in the act of collusion. Some common forms of collusion include, but are not limited to:
- writing or developing the whole or part of an assessment task or scholarly work in unauthorised collaboration with another person;
- giving or providing for sale one's own work to someone else for the purpose of copying or use by that other person; and
- knowingly engaging in practices that support academic misconduct by other members of the University community.
- Plagiarism - involves the use of another person's words, ideas, designs or work without appropriate acknowledgment. Some common forms of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:
- copying of sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources without appropriate referencing;
- closely paraphrasing sentences or paragraphs from one or more sources without appropriate references that acknowledge the original work;
- using another person's ideas, work, design, program or research data without appropriate acknowledgment;
- submitting another person's work as if it was one's own; and
- submitting your own previously published work without appropriate acknowledgment.
- Referencing - is the acknowledgement of information sources in academic work. Referencing is the appropriate way to give credit to the original source of an idea, piece of writing or creative work.
Section 3 - Policy
(9) Academic integrity is a fundamental value for a collaborative learning, teaching and research community that fosters a climate of mutual trust, responsibility and respect. The University promotes the development of such a community for all staff and students in the maintenance of academic standards alongside the acknowledgement of the work, ideas and contributions of others. The University is committed to ethical action in all areas.
(10) The University endorses an educational approach to academic integrity, recognising the diversity of background, entry pathway, and stage of study that should be taken into account when applying the Policy. The career development of staff will also be taken into account.
(11) The University is committed to ensuring a whole-of-university approach to the ongoing awareness, development and support of academic integrity, ensuring that:
- students and staff are made aware of the academic integrity policy during their induction into the University;
- appropriate resources are provided to assist students and staff to fully understand and demonstrate academic integrity;
- the policies and procedures relating to academic integrity (and academic misconduct) are available to all students and staff, ensuring consistent and fair application of these policies and procedures, and providing access to an appeals process; and
- a secure and confidential database relating to academic misconduct is maintained for the purpose of procedural fairness, transparency, quality assurance and the improvement of teaching, learning and research.
(12) The Executive Deans (or their nominee) is responsible for:
- ensuring that course design embeds the development of academic integrity into the curriculum, providing students with opportunities to develop and demonstrate their skills as they progress through their course;
- establishing collaborative course development teams that include discipline experts, Educational Designers, Academic Literacy Learning and Numeracy advisors and Faculty Liaison Librarians in order to ensure the integration of academic integrity in the curriculum;
- designing assessment tasks that minimise the potential for academic misconduct;
- ensuring consistency in the identification, reporting and managing of instances of academic misconduct and research misconduct; and
- forwarding secure and confidential records relating to academic misconduct and research misconduct within the Faculty.
(13) Academic and professional staff involved in teaching and learning and/or research are responsible for:
- familiarising themselves with the policy expectations for academic integrity and the procedures relating to academic misconduct and research misconduct ;
- modelling academic integrity by appropriately acknowledging the work of others in their own teaching, research and University activities;
- providing appropriate guidance, support and feedback to assist students to become familiar with the general expectations of academic integrity as well as any specific application of acknowledgment practices relevant to their discipline;
- communicating to students clear instructions about academic integrity expectations for assessment tasks, such as the appropriate referencing conventions and acceptable level of collaboration;
- facilitating learning activities and provide feedback that helps students recognise develop and demonstrate academic integrity; and
- recognising, responding and where necessary, reporting instances of academic misconduct and research misconduct according to this Policy and related procedures.
(14) Students are responsible for:
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- acquiring a clear understanding of the academic integrity expectations of the University and what constitutes academic misconduct;
- developing skills and proficiency in acknowledgment practices appropriate to their discipline, and seeking support where required;
- undertaking assessment tasks responsibly and with honesty and integrity, and without collusion or cheating;
- ensuring that their academic work is the product of their own scholarly activity and not plagiarised; and
- taking reasonable steps to ensure that other students are unable to misuse or copy their work.
Section 4 - Procedures
(15) The procedures for operationalising this Academic Integrity Policy include both proactive and punitive measures.
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- Proactive approaches to academic integrity - all staff involved in academic work and all students will complete an academic integrity module on commencement at the University:
- information regarding academic integrity will be included in every subject outline of the University;
- through collaborative curriculum design, there will be opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate their achievement of the University's Graduate Learning Outcomes regarding academic integrity;
- students will be supported by their School and the Academic Literacy, Learning and Numeracy team to understand and practice academic integrity throughout their course;
- staff will be supported by their School, the Academic Literacy, Learning and Numeracy team and Educational Designers.
- Managing academic misconduct:
- the proactive approach to foregrounding academic integrity in all academic practice means that practices which fail to demonstrate academic integrity are unacceptable at the University;
- students who engage in cheating, collusion, plagiarism, and/or unethical research practices will be subject to disciplinary processes relating to student academic misconduct;
- the processes relating to student academic misconduct involve steps in: identifying, investigating, determining findings, applying penalties, communicating outcomes, managing records and the provision of an appeals process. These steps are found in the Misconduct - Student Academic Misconduct Policy;
- staff who engage in cheating, collusion, plagiarism, and/or unethical research practices will be subject to disciplinary processes relating to the general Code of Conduct, the Code of Conduct - Research and/or the Misconduct - Research Misconduct Policy; and
- the consequences of an instance of plagiarism depends on the context and background of the individual, access to information and education, and/or stage of study or career.
Section 5 - Guidelines