University Calendar 2008/9
Section IV : General Regulations
Academic Integrity Statement for Students

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1. What is academic integrity and why is it important?
  1.1 The University is a 'learning community' within which students and staff learn from each other, from their peers and through original research. All members of the University are expected to maintain high standards of academic conduct and professional relationships based on courtesy, honesty and mutual respect. In maintaining this learning community, the concept of academic integrity is fundamental.
  1.2 Academic integrity means conducting all aspects of your academic life in a professional manner. It involves:
  • taking responsibility for your own work;
  • respecting the rights of other scholars;
  • behaving with respect and courtesy when debating with others even when you do not agree with them;
  • fully acknowledging the work of others wherever it has contributed to your own (thereby avoiding plagiarism [see Appendix 1]);
  • ensuring that your own work is reported honestly;
  • following accepted conventions, rules and laws when presenting your own work;
  • ensuring that you follow the ethical conventions and requirements appropriate to your discipline;
  • if you are studying on a professionally-recognised vocational programme, maintaining standards of conduct which are appropriate to a practitioner in that area;
  • supporting others in their own efforts to behave with academic integrity;
  • avoiding actions which seek to give you an unfair advantage over others.
    As a member of the academic community at Southampton, you are expected to work in accordance with these principles.
  1.3 Acting with academic integrity enables you to demonstrate your own knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject and then to receive feedback to help you progress. You will also be developing professional skills and values which are sought by employers. Conversely, failure to act in this way means that you will not be developing the skills which are essential in the longer term for your personal and academic growth. The feedback you then receive on your work will not help you to improve as it will not be a genuine reflection on your knowlege and abilities.
2. Good Academic Practice
  2.1 A key element of academic integrity is understanding good academic practice in written work and creative practice. Understanding how to use the work of other scholars, including your peers, to develop your own insights into a subject and spark new ideas is an important professional skill. The skills you need to succeed in higher education in the United Kingdom may be different from those you have learned at school, college or in your workplace as you will be expected to follow professional academic conventions. Within the professional international academic community it is never acceptable to use the words of others or their creative output (whether published or unpublished, including material from the internet) without explicit acknowledgement. To do so would not be seen as a mark of respect but rather as plagiarism (see Appendix 1).
  2.2 When you take notes from sources, make sure you do so in ways which identify where you are recording your own observations based on the document your are reading, where you are paraphrasing and where you are recording direct quotations. This will be particularly important if you are taking notes over a longer period and then reviewing them later.
  2.3 Learn to plan your study time effectively, be aware of deadlines and leave plenty of time for writing to avoid the need to take 'short cuts' which could lead to bad academic practice.
  2.4 To demonstrate your knowledge and ability effectively in assignments you need to ensure that you address the question you are asked. Including large amounts of acknowledged pasted material, or over-quotation from external sources, is likely to detract from the quality and originality of the work and is therefore unlikely to secure good marks.
  2.5 The purpose of assessment is to enable you to develop and demonstrate your own knowledge and understanding of the learning outcomes of a unit or programme or particular professional skills or competencies. It is entirely appropriate that your work should be informed by, and refer to, the work of others in the field or to discussions with your peers, tutor or supervisor. However, such contributions must always be acknowledged in accordance with conventions appropriate to the discipline. This requires more than a mention of a source in a bibliography which may be a practice you are used to at school or college. You should acknowledge each instances of another person's ideas, artworks or words using the appropriate referencing conventions. It is important to make clear which are your words, ideas or artworks and which have been taken from others.
  2.6 It is often helpful to discuss ideas and approaches to your work with your peers and this is a good way to help you think through your own ideas. However, work submitted for assessment should always be entirely your own except where clearly specified otherwise in the instructions of the assignment. In some instances working in groups will be required, and there may be occasions when work is submitted from the whole group rather than individuals. In these instances the instructions will make it clear how individual contributions to the joint work should be indentified and will be assessed. If you are in any doubt, check with the person setting the assignment. If you have worked with others you should make sure that you acknowledge this in any declaration you make (see below).
  2.7 When you submit a piece of coursework you will be asked to declare (eg: through use of a signed declaration or ticked box for electronic submission) that you are aware of the requirements of good academic practice and the potential penalties for any breaches.
3. Information from your School
  3.1 To support you in developing your understanding of academic integrity and academic good practice, your School will provide you with:
  • a copy of this policy and an explanation of how it applies within your School and programme;
  • opportunities to participate in learning experiences to improve your understanding of academic integrity and academic good practice appropriate to your level of study;
  • advice and information about referencing conventions within your discipline as appropriate to each level of study;
  • information about sources of advice if you have particular learning needs;
  • advice as to what information in the discipline may be regarded as 'common knowledge' and therefore does not need to be referenced;
  • information about copyright and intellectual property and when you need permission to reproduce figures or other printed material (including material from the internet);
  • feedback on your work to help you perform to the best of your ability;
  • information, where applicable, about the use of electronic methods of plagiarism detection;
  • information about the ways in which poor academic practice and breaches of this statement will be handled and the possible penalties which may be incurred.
4. Seeking Further Advice and Assistance
  4.1 If you wish to improve your study skills, always seek advice sooner rather than later. Your personal tutor, supervisor or equivalent will be able to help you identify sources of assistance. It is an important element of independent learning, and a normal part of academic development, to recognise when you need to seek advice and to learn to benefit from it. This would not necessarily mean that you are 'struggling' with your work; you may feel you need additional advice to reach your personal potential. Specialist advice is available for students with disabilities or learning difficulties.
  4.2 If in doubt about what is required in any particular assignment, what referencing styles are appropriate, etc., always ask. Your tutor or supervisor will be able to point you in the direction of appropriate sources of advice and information.
5. Breaches of Academic Integrity
  5.1 If you are to work with academic integrity there are a number of practices you must avoid which are explained in Appendix 1.
  5.2 You are responsible for your own work and conduct and for ensuring that you neither fall accidentally into poor academic practice in your written work nor engage in practices which breach academic integrity such as those outlined in Appendix 1. Such practices are unacceptable whether they have been followed deliberately or through a lack of understanding. As well as damaging your own development, failure to work with academic integrity is unfair to other students who complete work honestly and fairly. It can also potentially damage the relationship between staff and students which is at the heart of the University community, and relationships with other partners, eg: business and the NHS. Ultimately your results will not be a true reflection of your performance which may potentially damage the academic standing of the University's awards.
  5.3 Should you have reason to believe that a fellow student is not working with academic integrity, you should speak in confidence to the unit tutor. Your identity will not be revealed as part of any investigation; however, no further action would be taken unless additional evidence is identified by the marker or unit convenor.
  5.4 If it is suspected that a student has not worked with academic integrity and has used any of the practices outlined in Appendix 1, this will be investigated. The University has defined procedures for undertaking such investigations which may be found in Section IV of the University Calendar. If a student is found to have followed one of these practices there are a range of penalties which may be applied. These penalties will always affect the mark you receive for the piece of work in question and the most serious cases could lead to a reduction in degree classification or even termination of prgramme. There is likely also to be an impact on any future reference written from your School.
  5.5 Any student involved in an investigation will have the chance to put their case forward. Students in this position are encouraged to seek support from the Students' Union Advice and Information Centre. There is also provision to request a review of the outcome of any investigation.

Academic Integrity Statement : Appendix 1

Plagiarism is the reproduction or paraphrasing, without acknowledgement, from public or private (ie: unpublished) material (including material downloaded from the internet) attributable to, or which is the intellectual property of, another including the work of students.

Plagiarism may be of written and also non-written form and therefore would also inlcude the unacknowledged use of computer programs, mathematical/computer models/algorithms, computer software in all forms, macros, spreadsheets, web pages, databases, mathematical deviations and calculations, designs/models/displays of any sort, diagrams, graphs, tables, drawings, works of art of any sort, fine art pieces or artefacts, digital images, computer-aided design drawings, GIS files, photographs, maps, music/composition or any sort, posters, presentations and tracing.**

** (this is not an exhaustive list).

Examples of plagiarism are:

  • Including in your own work extracts from another person's work without the use of quotation marks and crediting the source.
  • The use of the ideas of another person without acknowledgement of the source.
  • Paraphrasing or summarising another person's work without acknowledgement.
  • Cutting and pasting from electronic sources without explicit acknowledgement of the source of the URL or author and/or without explicitly marking the pasted text as a quotation.
  • Submitting a piece of work entirely as your own when it was produced in collaboration with others, and not declaring that this collaboration has taken place (this is known as 'collusion').
  • Submitting appropriated imagery or creative products without indicating the source of the work.
As one means of detecting plagiarism, some Schools now use software to check assignments for evidence of plagiarism.

Cheating is any action before, during or after an assessment or examination which seeks to gain unfair advantage or assists another student to do so.

Examples of cheating are:

  • Gaining access to, or using, unauthorised notes or other material relating to an assessment.
  • Introducing any information, including electronically stored information, into the examination room (whether belonging to yourself or another person) unless expressly permitted by the examination or programme regulations.
  • Communicating during an examination with any person outside the examination room or with other students within the examination room.
  • Copying the work of another student with or without their knowledge or agreement whether in examinations or in other assessments.
  • Allowing another person to impersonate you, or impersonating another person, with the intention of gaining an unfair advantage for yourself or the other person.
  • Ghosting; that is, submitting as your own work a piece of work produced in whole or part by another person on your behalf (eg: the use of 'ghost writing' services), or deliberately seeking to make available material to another student with the intention that the other student should present the work as his or her own.
    (Note: this does not include the use of an amanuensis in examinations or legitimate input from University study skills tutors and/or mentors.)
Falsification is any attempt to present fictitious or distorted data, evidence, references, experimental results or other material and/or knowingly to make use of such material.

Examples of falsification are:
  • Presenting data based on controlled investigations, experiments, surveys or analysis falsely claimed to have been carried out by you.
  • The invention of references and/or false claims.
  • Including data etc. in your work which you know to be false or incorrect, whether or not this has been created by you.
  • In connection with programmes leading to a professional qualification, falsely claiming to have completed non-academic requirements such as hours in practice, or to have achieved professional competencies.

Recycling is where a piece of work which has already been used in one context is used again (without declaration) in another context.

Examples of recycling are:

  • Re-submitting work which has already been assessed and marked in full or in part for another assessment in the same or in a different course.
  • Failure to disclose that a piece of work was submitted for assessment and has been or will be used for other academic purposes.
  • Publishing essentially the same piece of work in more than one place without delaration.

In some instances it may be acceptable to use work previously submitted for a written assignment as the basis for an examination answer or to further expand and develop such work at a higher level; eg: developing the ideas formulated in your third year dissertation into a Master's level thesis. Such situations would be governed by the specific regulations of the appropriate programme of study.

There may be other breaches of academic integrity which are not specifically referred to here, and some breaches may fall into more than one category.


Definitions and specific examples are largely taken from Edinburgh College of Art Misconduct Policy, approved November 2004, Section 1 Definitions and Examples. The University of Southampton may, however, have associated these specific examples with different types of breaches of academic integrity.

Definitions and examples also based on: University of Kent: Achieving Good Practice.

Approved by AQSC on 31 May 2006 and Senate on 21 June 2006
This supersedes previous University guidance on plagiarism included in the QA Handbook and the Calendar in 2005/06.

The Academic Integrity Statement for Students is also accompanied by the documents 'Encouraging Academic Integrity: Procedures for Handling Possible Breaches of Academic Integrity for undergraduate and postgraduate Taught Students'; 'Academic Integrity Procedures relating to postgraduate Research Students'; and 'Using the Academic Integrity Statement for Students - Guidance for Schools'.

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Submitted by the Secretariat
Last reviewed: 28-Jul-2008
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