What is Academic Misconduct?
The consequences of Academic Misconduct can be devastating and can have a lifelong impact on your career and reputation. Academic Misconduct encompasses all forms of behaviour which:
• Misrepresent academic achievement;
• Undermine the core values of academic integrity; or
• Fail to comply with the regulations, policies and procedures determining the conduct of candidates during assessment.
Academic Misconduct includes all forms of academic dishonesty including cheating or helping someone to cheat.
Academic Misconduct cannot be justified under any circumstance.
The good news is that there are multiple ways to avoid Academic Misconduct! Read on to discover how.
Types of Academic Misconduct
There are many types of Academic Misconduct. Some of the common types are listed here.
As a student, it is your responsibility to be familiar with these ensure the integrity of your academic work and avoid Academic Misconduct.
If you are found guilty of engaging in academic misconduct (such as cheating, acts of plagiarism, acts of fabrication, recycling content, colluding, falsifying data or ghost writing/contract cheating), depending on the severity of misconduct, you may receive a reduced mark, a fail grade for the assessment piece or the subject or you may even be suspended or expelled from the University.
Refer to the Student Code of Conduct page for further information.
Plagiarism includes collusion and paraphrasing.
Plagiarism is defined as the act of submitting work that misrepresents another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works as one’s own original work, without acknowledging, citing or referencing the original source of the work, whether this is done inadvertently or deliberately.
These ideas, interpretations, words, or works may be found in published and unpublished documents, print and/or electronic media, designs, music, sounds, images, photographs or computer codes, or gained through working in a group.
Collusion refers to unauthorised collaboration between two or more students. Often, no distinction is drawn between students who cheat or plagiarise in an assessment and those who facilitate such conduct, and so all students are penalised.
Contract Cheating (ghost writing)
Contract cheating is the use of third-party commercial cheating sites, tutoring services, or your peers and family, to complete or contribute to any aspect of your studies.
You have engaged in contract cheating if you:
- Buy, sell or swap completed assignments or answers via document-sharing websites or social media platforms like Facebook;
- Pay a private tutoring company to coach you on how to complete an assignment;
- Submit sample answers or notes from a private tutor or tutoring company;
- Ask a friend, partner or family member to write part or all of an assignment or any piece of academic work;
- Buy a completed assignment from a tutoring or online company; or
- Sit an exam/assessment for someone else or get someone to sit an exam/assessment for you.
Misrepresentation includes fabricated references, citations, or results.
Misrepresentation or misquoting the words of others to justify your work is poor scholarship and academic misconduct.
Misrepresentation can be avoided by learning study skills such as how to conduct research, how to paraphrase and how to take notes. These skills are fundamental to the learning and writing process and part of good scholarship.
Misrepresentation may also refer to collusion. Examples include working on an individual assessment such as an online quiz or exam and discussing or sharing information.
Cheating in Exams and Assessments
If no materials or aids are permitted in an examination or assessment venue, you cannot bring, for example, any notes, formulas, books, or electronic devices. Bringing materials or aides to an assessment for which no materials or aids are permitted is cheating, regardless of whether or not you use them. For take-home or online exams, it is cheating to allow another person help you with the whole exam or with parts of it. If another student helps you, they are also cheating.
Academic Misconduct Examples
Read through the examples on the Student Code of Conduct page. If you're unsure about anything, contact the Academic Skills Centre, University Library or the Academic Integrity team. We are here to help!
Common Causes of Academic Misconduct
Understanding the causes of academic misconduct will help you to avoid it. The following four points are common causes, so take the time to become familiar with them.
Poor Scholarship and Poor Time Management
Academic misconduct can result from poor scholarship, poor time management, or falling prey to contract cheating sites. Academic misconduct is unacceptable and the penalties can be severe. If you're unsure or you find yourself under pressure, ask for help.
Ask for help! If you are struggling with your studies, ask for help from your course convenor, tutors, Student Affairs and Service Quality team members, Academic Skills Centre or the wellbeing support staff at BondCare.
Manage each Semester. Create a semester plan with all due dates and plan in advance the time needed for each assessment. The Academic Skills Centre can help you with this. If you failed to manage your time and a deadline is looming, don't be embarrassed to ask for help.
Remember: cheating is never the answer.
Not Understanding what is Required at University
All students at Australian Universities are expected to uphold academic integrity throughout their studies and the expectations may be different from your previous study at high school or at overseas institutions.
It is essential that you understand the rules and expectations of academic integrity before accepting an offer and commencement of study at Bond University. One way to do this is by completing the online Academic Integrity Module, which is a mandatory requirement for all new students.
Other relevant regulatory documents can be found at the links below under Policies and Regulations for Students.
The Library, Faculties, and Skills Centre run regular workshops and offer individual support. Please ask for help when you need it!
Cultural Considerations and Differences
Upholding the fundamental values of academic integrity is not just relevant to Australian universities: the values were developed by the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) to promote ethical institutions and societies around the world.
ICAI recognises that there are culturally different understandings of Academic Honesty. For example, in some cultures it is acceptable to quote from a text or use ideas without referencing them. In Australian universities, academic staff and students show respect for others' work by using a referencing system, such as APA, Harvard or Vancouver. There are links to the relevant legislative documents below.
The University is required by law to treat domestic and international students in the same way and it is your responsibility to uphold Australia's academic integrity requirements. Make sure you are familiar with the requirements and ask for help if you're unsure.
- The Education Services for Overseas and Standards Agency 2000 National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (ESOS Act))
- National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code 2018)
Being Unfamiliar with the Rules and Policies
Being unfamiliar with the rules and policies is a common excuse for academic misconduct, but as a student it is your responsibility to understand the rules and policies set out by the University and embedded in legislation.
Start by download and reading the Academic Integrity Policy and by reading the material on our Academic Integrity pages.
The Academic Integrity Policy sets out the University’s commitment to academic integrity. This includes:
a) Recognising that academic integrity is a shared responsibility across the University;
b) Outlining roles and responsibilities; and
c) Dealing with academic misconduct in an equitable, consistent, transparent, and timely manner.
Next, become familiar with the Relevant Policies for Students listed below.
Relevant Policies for Students
How to Avoid Academic Misconduct
You are responsible for the integrity of your academic work. This includes properly acknowledging and referencing your sources, and accurately representing your own work. Click on the topics below to learn more.
Good Scholarship: Note Taking and Referencing
The following list includes essential aspects of good scholarship. Click on the links for more information, or make an appointment for support.
- (targeted reading)
- Read critically
- or summarise information to promote retention
- Reference accurately
- and summarise the works of others
- Communicate with an academic voice
- Understand and link concepts together
- Commit to distributed practice (completing parts of a task weekly to avoid last-minute pressure)
- Deliver a
Visit the Academic Skills Centre or check out their resources on enhancing your academic writing skills.
Visit the Library website or book a 1:1 session with your Faculty Librarian for help with referencing and other aspects of academic writing.
Time Management and Organisation
Minimise study stress by managing your time and seeking support. Never default to cheating.
- Plan your semester using Bond’s Assignment and Study planner and the Weekly Scheduling Tool.
- Use the study planner or diary to keep track of when your assessments are due and block out preparation time.
Document Sharing: Do's and Don'ts
In Australia, commercial cheating services are illegal. These services may offer to sell students essays or assignments, ask them to upload previous work or sell them study notes or exams. The sites can appear legitimate. You need to know that it is illegal to sell or promote commercial academic cheating services.
Academic file-sharing sites facilitate “the transfer and trading of lecture materials, notes, assessment tasks, answers, and responses with others, including Internet-based sites, for a fee, for free, or to barter” (Rogerson & Basanta, 2016). For example, CourseHero, OneClass, and StuDocu are considered commercial cheating sites.
Criminal penalties include up to 2 years in prison and fines of up to $110,000. Students who use these services face disciplinary action in accordance with the institution’s policies and risk criminal prosecution.
As a student, protect yourself by learning more about the Do's and Don'ts of Document Sharing.
Important points to remember
Don't provide access to, upload, distribute, sell, trade, or copy any of your course materials. These materials include but are not limited to things like course outlines, rubrics, course notes, lectures, journal articles, PowerPoint slides, drawings, study aids, tests, and exams. These materials are protected by copyright law and Bond University policies and regulations.
Uploading materials to file-sharing sites or providing them to private tutoring agencies or commercial cheating services is a breach of academic integrity as outlined in University policy and legislated in The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 and in The Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015. Penalties may apply.
Rogerson, A.M., Basanta, G. (2016). Peer-to-Peer File Sharing and Academic Integrity in the Internet Age. In: Bretag, T. (eds) Handbook of Academic Integrity. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-098-8_55.
Plagiarism Checklist for Assessments
Plagiarism is using someone else’s words, ideas, arguments, images, etc. without acknowledgment (such as a citation, footnote, or reference) and passing it off as your own work.
Before submitting your assignment, go through the Plagiarism Checklist to make sure you have avoided plagiarism.
Make Use of the 24/7 Study Support
Bond University has partnered with Studiosity to provide an online 24/7 student support service. This service compliments the services offered by the on-campus student support staff.
Plagiarism Detection Software
At Bond, all assignments are submitted through plagiarism detection software which compares submitted papers to billions of pages of content located on the Internet and proprietary databases as well as the work of other students whose papers have been submitted into the system.
When papers are submitted, sections of the papers that match other sources are highlighted and identified as matches. Analysis creates a Similarity Report, which is made available to your lecturers, tutors, and other staff at the University.
To find out more on Similarity Reports, read the following resources:
• Understanding the Turnitin Similarity Report - Student Guide
• Understanding Text Similarity - Student Guide
How are academic misconduct cases managed at the University?
University academic misconduct management framework
The University framework for managing allegations of academic misconduct set out in the Student Academic Misconduct Procedure ensures allegations are dealt with in an equitable, consistent, transparent, and timely manner. Also see the Student Academic Misconduct Procedure for detailed processes and the serious outcomes that may result from academic misconduct.
Breaches or suspected breaches of academic integrity should be reported to your lead educator or the Student Affairs and Service Quality Team from your Faculty.