Academic honesty & plagiarism

Academic honesty embodies the principle that a student's work is original and authentic and completed only with the assistance allowed according to ANU rules, policies and guidelines.

In particular, the words, ideas, scholarship and intellectual property of others used in the work must be appropriately acknowledged.

Breaches of academic integrity include plagiarism, collusion, the fabrication or deliberate misrepresentation of data, and failure to adhere to the rules regarding examinations in such a way as to gain unfair academic advantage.

What you need to know

At the beginning of your course

  • Which citation method is used in each course.
  • Where can you go to get more information or help if you have questions about how to cite correctly and what do you need to cite.
  • Whether software might be applied to your assignments to detect plagiarism and /or collusion.

Before submitting your first assessment

  • Exactly how you need to submit your work so there is no confusion about when and if you submitted correctly.
  • How you need to attach the assignment cover sheet, especially if you have to submit electronic copies.
  • Whether citations and bibliography count in your word limit.

Grading of your assessment

  • What will happen if poor citation, restating, paraphrasing, copying, collusion or plagiarism has taken place.
  • Getting appropriate feedback about if you have made any errors in citation or are still unsure of what to cite.
  • Where you can get help on correct citation and how to better understand academic honesty before you have to submit the next assignment.

Top ten tips

  1. Find out about ANU policies on academic integrity including plagiarism and examination policies. Ignorance is no excuse.
  2. Read your College handbooks and course guides as they almost always include information about plagiarism and academic honesty. Some College procedures can also be found online.
  3. When in doubt about anything, ask and ask early. Don't leave it until the assignment due date. Lecturers, tutors, College administration staff and support services are here to help. The staff from the Academic Skills & Learning Centre (ASLC) provide free advice, workshops and support.
  4. Take advantage of resources specifically designed to assist students:
    • ASLC's online resources on referencing styles
    • ASCL's workshops, which include sessions on taking notes, referencing, and academic honesty the code of practice for student academic integrity
    • ASCL's one-to-one help through individual tutorials
    • the guide on how to effectively evaluate online material found on this page.
  5. Learn how to properly reference sources. Invest in a current edition of the proper citation and style manual(s) for your courses - remember that each College may have a different preferred citation system. If you are doing a double degree or courses across Colleges, you almost certainly will need to use different citation systems. Manuals can be purchased from The Co-op Bookstore located in Union Court, or borrowed from the ANU Library. Online guides are also available from ASCL or linked from your ANU College websites.
  6. Cite all outside sources used, whether quoting, paraphrasing, or borrowing ideas. Referencing your sources enhances your work and adds credibility. Develop a way to always keep the source reference with your note taking as you research - even if it's simply cutting and pasting the URL of the site as you jot down notes. It's easy to copy and paste paragraphs and then forget where you got the information - trying to find it later is time consuming and really hard.
  7. Information taken from the internet must also be attributed. Before using internet-based material, be sure to evaluate online material for authority, credence and currency.
  8. Report academic dishonesty when you see it occur. It's not fair to you when others cheat.
  9. Say no to people who encourage you to engage in plagiarism, or ask you to assist them in doing so. Don't let others use you or your work. You may find yourself caught up in a case of academic dishonesty which could have a serious impact on your future.
  10. Academic misconduct can seriously jeopardise your academic career, your future, and, if you are an international student, your ability to stay in Australia to study. Your reputation is important.