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Academic Misconduct

Here you will find information for students and staff members about the University of Bradford's policy, guidance and regulation in connection with cases of Academic Misconduct.


Statement of Academic Integrity

Introduction

University education is a unique experience. Whatever stage you join us, as a foundation student, undergraduate or postgraduate or an occasional student, successful conclusion of your studies will mean that you have gained new skills of independent thought, analysis and action.

You will leave us as a different kind of person - more able to think and act for yourself, to face different sorts of challenge and make sense of them.

The regard with which university qualifications are held in the wider world is testament to the quality of that process.

Academic Misconduct Regulations Download Academic Misconduct Regulations
(PDF, 243 kb)
Download Academic Misconduct Regulations
(Word, 104 kb)
Regulation 7: Assessment Regulations Download Regulation 7: Assessment Regulations
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Download Regulation 7: Assessment Regulations
(PDF, 115kb)

Regulations

The University has very strict regulations on the presentation of work for formal assessment. The following extract has been reproduced to help you understand what expectations and responsibilities are required of you as a registered student of the University.

"A dissertation, thesis, essay, project or any other work which is not undertaken in an examination room under supervision but which is submitted by a student for formal assessment must be written by the student and in the student's own words, except for quotations from published and unpublished sources which shall be clearly indicated and acknowledged as such"

"...students must not use any means whatever to obtain, directly or indirectly, assistance in their work or give or attempt to give, directly or indirectly, such assistance to any other students in their work. "

Assessment

In all but the shortest courses, we ask you to undertake regular assessments. These take many forms, for example, examinations, coursework essays, groupwork, lab books and practical exercises. These assessments have a particular important purpose - to help evaluate your individual progress.

This means that we insist that all assessments are your own work - for example, that essays are written in your own words and not simply copied from a book or lecture notes or acquired through the Web or otherwise as a substitute for your own work, that you have worked maths problems through on your own and not taken them from a friend, that lab reports are about your own experience and not that of someone else.

Many courses of study include significant elements of groupwork, in which students are asked to work together. Sometimes you may be asked to provide a piece of collective assessment at the end of this process. Where this happens, what is expected of you will always be explained in detail. In such circumstances, you must follow the instructions you are given carefully. Where such different expectations are not made clear, those we have outlined about individual work will always apply.

We will also ask you to use and develop different skills at different stages of your career. As a foundation year or first level student you will often be asked simply to describe or summarise the work of somebody else. When you do this, however, you will be expected to put their ideas into your own words, or work through your own examples. Simply copying what you have seen in a book might show us that you can read and write, but doesn't say much about your understanding.

Explaining to others in your words what you believe to be the most important points is a far better way of demonstrating what that understanding is. Far more will be expected of a postgraduate student, including the abilities to summarise, apply, critique and develop ideas. Once again, exactly what is expected of you will be explained in detail early in your course of study.

Breach of assessment regulations and penalties

If you copy work for assessment, it defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. If we mark work you have copied, it is not your progress that we are evaluating, but that of somebody else. And if it is someone else's work, our comments will not help you improve and fulfil your own potential. Honestly producing work which is your own best effort, and having it subject to the scrutiny of others is the most important aspect of academic integrity, a duty which the university demands of all of its members, staff and students alike.

Copying assessments breaches academic integrity in a fundamental way and constitutes a grave breach of regulations and as such the University would take necessary disciplinary action. Copying is simply a form of cheating - pretending something is yours when it is not. At its most blatant, it is generally known as plagiarism, the most serious act of deception anyone in academic life can be accused of. But even if there is no deliberate intention to deceive, copying is unacceptable academic practice. For this reason, if you are found to have copied from others in your assessments, you can expect heavy penalties to be imposed upon you. At best you're likely to receive no marks for the piece of work, be asked to complete it again properly and find that you have adversely affected the class of degree you will be awarded. At worst, the penalty may be permanent exclusion from the University.

Should an investigating committee find you guilty of cheating/copying this will be recorded on your student file. This may have an impact on the future provision of academic references requested by you in the support of continued study or employment and put at risk your career prospects.

Good Practice Guidance

Saying that you must never copy from others doesn't mean, of course, that everything you produce must be original, or that you can never refer to the work of others. All academic work builds on what has gone before, and all academics are expected to refer to the debts they owe in developing their work.

In presenting your own work for formal assessment, you may quote directly from others but must always be careful in how much of such quotation you use. "You may well find that someone else has already been able to capture an idea on paper better than you could - that's fine - as long as you meet the readers needs by fully and fairly citing the sources of material you are recycling, and by indicating the quotation by the use of quotation marks". (Department of Applied Social Sciences, Student Handbook.)

You must also directly acknowledge others in your work. Such referencing is integral to the skills we are helping you develop. "When you are researching for a piece of work, you soon appreciate the value of full, clear references attached to what you read. They point you back to the original material, and allow you to judge how others have handled it. References may also give added weight and authority to what you are writing. So, in the written work you submit, you need to provide full references both for the sake of your own written argument and out of concern for the reader" (Department of Applied Social Sciences, Student Handbook). Specific conventions vary from discipline to discipline and you will be introduced to them at a very early stage in your course and you must ensure that you follow them.

An increasing invaluable and accessible source of information, for research purposes, to inform assessment work is the World Wide Web and Internet. It is important that all such electronic sources are cited as part of the referencing process.

The University is committed to ensuring that its academic integrity and standards of academic awards are secure and encourages appropriate use of electronic detection software packages by academic staff and students to combat plagiarism and copying.

If you follow the spirit of these guidelines, and always act with academic integrity in producing work of your own, you will know that you are acting in your own best interests and in the true spirit of the academic enterprise. If you try to take short cuts, copy from others or try to pass off the work of others as your own, you will be cheating - yourself and your teachers. You will also be laying yourself open to the very harshest of penalties. There are good personal, practical, principled and academic reasons why you should never expose yourself to such a risk.