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Staff Assessment Handbook
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Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct involves any behaviour to obtain credit in assessment without complying with the requirements of that assessment item. This includes plagiarism (copying text, ideas, concepts, images, and so on without providing accurate acknowledgment of the source of the information) and cheating (working with others when it is not permitted, stealing other students’ assignments, copying or otherwise obtaining information that is not a student’s own work, taking notes into examinations).

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is presenting as one’s own work the work of another, and includes the copying or paraphrasing of another person’s work in an assessment item without acknowledging it as the other person’s work through full and accurate referencing; it applies to research and to assessment presented through a written, spoken, electronic, broadcasting, visual, performance or other medium. (Assessment Regulations, University of Waikato Calendar)

Plagiarism is viewed as misconduct, as defined in the Student Discipline Regulations, and may result in disciplinary action through the Student Discipline Committee. The University prohibits plagiarism, whether it is intentional (students mean to copy without acknowledgment) or unintentional (students are not aware that they were copying without acknowledgment). Unintentional plagiarism is not seen as a defence against plagiarism but if misconduct is found will be taken into account in formulating the outcomes.

Guidelines for sourcing and referencing styles are available from Faculty offices and the Student Centre.

What is cheating?

All students are must comply with the requirements for each assessment item and not doing so is viewed as cheating by the University. This can include actions such as asking another person to complete some of the assessment; buying an assignment or downloading an assignment from the internet; copying someone else’s assignment with or without their permission; taking notes into a test or examination; and so on. If students are unsure about the requirements for an assessment item they must ask for clarification from the tutor or lecturer. Students should be advised not to ask other students as they may provide inaccurate information.

Penalties for plagiarism and cheating

A finding of academic misconduct by the Student Discipline Committee can result in penalties affecting the assessment item as well as other outcomes. The outcomes are prescribed in the Student Discipline Regulations (sections 14(6) and 16(8)) and can include reducing marks, disallowing assignments or examinations or refusing credit for the paper. Severe instances of plagiarism or cheating can result in the cancellation of enrolment and exclusion from the University.