Students at UCD are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. The work you submit to the University for assessment must be your own work. You will complete a wide variety of assignments during your time in University. This short guide has been developed to help you understand the importance of academic integrity in the preparation of your assignments. It is in two parts: • •
A question and answer section which explains: academic integrity; plagiarism and how to ensure that your work meets the University’s standards; A section with the University’s formal statement, policy and procedures for plagiarism.
SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS What is academic integrity? As part of your learning experience you will have a number of assignments to complete1. Assignments are designed to help your learning and understanding of your subject by requiring you to demonstrate, through the completion of an assessment task, how well you have engaged with and understood the material you have studied. Assessment tasks will vary from subject to subject and can range from problem-solving to reporting on experimental data to the development and presentation of coherent and cogent arguments. It is expected that in producing an assignment, you may need to read and gather information from a range of sources including books, journals, official reports, newspapers or material from the Internet as well as ideas generated in discussion with colleagues and other students. When presenting your assignment on a topic it is really important to do two things: • Be explicit about any material or ideas presented by other people that you have included in your assignment; • Acknowledge the information that you have used to inform your assignment by including a complete list of references. These actions are the basis of good practice in the presentation of your assignment and they show academic integrity on your part. It means that you are being honest about showing how the work of others has helped you to form your own understanding and explanation of a topic.
The term assignment covers all forms of assessment required as part of a module, course or programme and its range includes, essays, papers, presentations, laboratory reports, theses and examinations.
Why is academic integrity important? The sort of knowledge you are dealing with in University doesn’t just happen and it is not simply a set of facts! Knowledge is created progressively by the work of academics and students in analysing, evaluating and interpreting existing theories and data presented by others. Academics and students work and rely heavily on established sources of knowledge to generate new ideas, but in doing so they observe academic integrity by giving credit formally, to the ideas they have used. You will probably notice your lecturers doing something similar, by quoting the ideas of another writer and then giving their interpretation of that information, during the course of a lecture, seminar or tutorial. When you present any assignment, you must ensure that you acknowledge any ideas, which are not your original thoughts, ideas or words. If you are careless about doing this, you could be accused of plagiarism. What is plagiarism? The University understands plagiarism to be the inclusion of another person’s writings or ideas or works, in any formally presented work (including essays, theses, examinations, projects, laboratory reports, oral, poster or slide presentations) which form part of the assessment requirements for a module or programme of study, without due acknowledgement either wholly or in part of the original source of the material through appropriate citation. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. In any assignment, plagiarism means that you have presented information or ideas...