Plagiarism is defined as using, without acknowledgment, another person's work and submitting it for assessment as though it were one's own work; for instance, through copying or unacknowledged paraphrasing. This constitutes plagiarism whether it is intentional or unintentional.
- The use of any quotation(s) from the published or unpublished work of other persons which have not been clearly identified as such by being placed in quotation marks and acknowledged;
- Summarising another person's ideas, judgments, figures, software or diagrams without appropriately attributing that person in the text and the source in the reference list;
- The use of the services (paid or un-paid) of 'ghost writing' agencies in the preparation of assessed work;
- The use of unacknowledged material downloaded from the Internet;
- The submission of another student's work as though it was one’s own.
This list of examples is not exhaustive.
Self-Plagiarism is not recognised in Swansea University regulations. Faculties/Schools are expected to take steps to ensure that the design of programmes/modules/assessments does not allow students the opportunity to submit the same work twice. In addition, Faculties/Schools should take steps to inform students that they cannot submit work or sections of their work on more than one occasion. A statement to this effect should be included on the coursework submission form. Where a student has self-plagiarised work, the Faculty/School will mark the work in accordance with the normal marking criteria.
Collusion is defined as two or more students or other persons working together without prior authorisation in order to gain unfair advantage and to produce the same or similar piece of work and then attempting to present this work entirely as their own.
- Two or more students working together to develop data or other materials without prior authorisation. Such materials would then be presented for assessment without acknowledging the originator(s) of the work.
- Sharing data, materials or other coursework with another student(s) which is then presented for assessment without the knowledge or permission of the originator(s).
Commissioning of work, which is the act of paying for, or arranging for another to produce, a piece of work whether or not this is then submitted for assessment as though it were the student’s own work.
- Commissioning an essay to be written by another.
- Downloading materials from essay exchange sites.
- Paying another for the collection, manipulation or interpretation of data, where this is a requirement of the student’s studies.
Commissioning of work may also include the submission for assessment of the commissioned work as though it were the student’s own work.
- Purchasing material from internet sites or another and then presenting that material for assessment as though it were one’s own work.
- Paying for another to write coursework which is then submitted as though it were the student’s own work.
- Paying for another to write draft coursework which is then presented to a supervisor for scrutiny and feedback.
This list is not exhaustive.Falsification of the results of laboratory, field-work or other forms of data collection and analysis also constitutes academic misconduct.
3.1 Academic Integrity Vivas as a means of Detecting Academic Misconduct in non-examination conditions at Faculty/School level
In cases where Faculty/School academic staff, the Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer and/or the Director of Academic Integrity has concerns about whether a piece of coursework, or any work completed under non-examination conditions, submitted by a student is their own work, the Faculty/School may invite the student to attend an academic integrity viva. The purpose of the academic integrity viva is to test the student’s knowledge of the work which they have submitted and to provide the student with the opportunity, prior to any academic misconduct proceedings, to demonstrate that the work is their own.
The student should be given no less than two days notification of the academic integrity viva in writing. A standard template must be used which will be available from Academic Services. A student may be accompanied by a friend or representative from the Students’ Union Advice Centre and contact details for the Advice Centre will be included in the letter. However, such person(s) accompanying the student will not be able to respond to any questions on behalf of the student. The student will be advised to bring with them evidence of preparatory work relating to the submission such as drafts, sources, feedback. If a student has had any third party assistance with their work (e.g proof reader) they will be advised to bring with them the original un-amended copy of the work to assist the panel in assessing the extent to which amendments have impacted on the quality of the work. In cases where the student is unable to physically attend a viva, the viva may be conducted electronically (e.g by Skype/Zoom or Video Conferencing). All parties will be expected to enable their webcam.
The viva process would normally involve a Panel of at least 2 members of Academic Staff, normally a Chair and a Subject Expert (normally the module leader or module marker). The Panel should not consist of any Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officers who have been or shall be involved in the particular case. A record of the viva must be kept; this may take the form of written minutes and/or an audio/media recording. At the discretion of the Faculty/School, a third member of staff may be nominated to record/transcribe the viva.
The terms of reference for the Viva Panel shall be:
- To test the students’ knowledge of the work which they have submitted.
- To provide the student with the opportunity prior to any academic misconduct proceedings, to demonstrate that the work is their own.
The procedure during the viva meeting shall be as follows:
The Chair will ask all participants to introduce themselves.
The Chair will inform all participants of the terms of reference for the Panel.
The Panel may ask questions relating to the work such as how the student approached the work, what research was carried out, what sources were used and how these were chosen, what the key concepts of the work are, how ideas/arguments/data was formulated etc. The student may also be asked to explain particular statements, theories or terms used within their work. The student may also be asked whether they received any help or support from any third party.
The student should be given the opportunity to demonstrate that the work is their own, including the opportunity to present any evidence which they have brought with them such as drafts, sources etc.
Where the student fails to attend the academic integrity viva without good reason, inferences may be drawn in relation to the student’s failure to attend by the Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer and/or Academic Misconduct Committee of Enquiry.
Following the academic integrity viva, the Chair will prepare a report setting out their opinion on the student’s knowledge of the work which they have submitted and the reasons for their opinion.
If the Panel, based on the academic judgment of the staff involved, determine that the student has not demonstrated that the assessment is their own work then the Chair will provide to the Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer or to the Director of Academic Integrity (as appropriate) a copy of their report and the recording/transcription of the viva, in addition to the normal supporting paperwork relating to the case - normally within five working days of the date of the student’s academic integrity viva (in accordance with 3.4 below.)
If the Panel determines that, based on the academic judgment of the staff involved, the student has demonstrated that the assessed work is their own, the Chair will inform the Module Leader/Marker that the work shall be marked in accordance with the normal assessment criteria for the module. The student shall be informed of this in writing and no further action shall be taken.
3.2 Investigating Academic Misconduct in non-examination conditions at Faculty/School level (excludes Taught Master's Directed Independent Learning and Research Degree Theses)
Each Faculty/School shall appoint a minimum of two Academic Integrity Officers to deal with Faculty/School level (first offence) cases. In each case one Academic Integrity Officer will carry out the investigation and make a recommendation on the case. A second Academic Integrity Officer will be responsible for determining whether an offence has been committed and for determining a penalty. The allocation of responsibilities shall be left to the discretion of the Faculty/School; however, it is the responsibility of the Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officers to ensure that all staff are aware of the reporting procedure.
In cases of suspected academic misconduct, in work completed under non- examinable conditions (excluding Taught Master's Directed Independent Learning and Research Degree Theses), Faculties/Schools will be expected to carry out the stages listed below. The burden of proof (duty of proving the allegation) shall rest on the Faculty/School and the standard of proof should be on the balance of probabilities: a fact will be established if it is more likely than not to have happened. Cases involving Taught Master's directed independent learning modules and research degree theses should be dealt with as directed in section 6.0.
3.3 Procedure for Investigating and Determining Academic Misconduct in non-examination conditions at Faculty/School level
3.4 Stage One - report to First Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer
If a member of staff considers, or suspects, that academic misconduct has occurred in relation to work submitted as a piece of coursework, or any work completed under non-examination conditions (excluding the directed independent learning element of postgraduate taught programmes and research degree thesis) they shall report the matter in writing or by email and provide any relevant evidence to the First Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer, normally within five working days of his/her consideration of the student’s work or the student’s academic integrity viva.
The member of staff (or their colleague) may require the student to attend an academic integrity viva to test the student’s knowledge of the work submitted before reporting the matter to the First Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer/Director of Academic Integrity, in accordance with 3.1 above.
3.5 Stage Two - establishing a Prima Facie case
The Faculty/School's First Academic Integrity Officer or nominee shall first determine whether a prima facie case of academic misconduct exists by referring to the documentation/evidence and where required through discussion with the student.
The First Academic Integrity Officer may request that an academic member of staff conducts an academic integrity viva to test the student’s knowledge of the work submitted, in accordance with 3.1 above.
Cases involving students of The College, Swansea University on integrated programmes shall be dealt with by the Academic College in accordance with regulations 3.3 to 3.12.
In cases involving only a student(s) of The College, Swansea University on a non-integrated programme the case should be referred to The College, Swansea University.
If no prima facie case of academic misconduct exists, the student should be informed and no further formal action shall be taken. However, where the Academic Integrity Officer decides that poor referencing has occurred, the student should be referred for advice and guidance on correct referencing (this may include a referral to the personal tutor, the subject librarian or the Centre for Academic Success). Once they have met with their tutor or subject librarian, students shall be required to sign a statement confirming that they have received advice and that they understand referencing. conventions.
3.6 Stage Three – Determining whether the case is dealt with by the Faculty/School or by the Director of Academic Integrity/Committee of Enquiry
If the Faculty/School's First Academic Integrity Officer determines there to be a prima facie case of academic misconduct, they shall then determine whether the case can be heard at the Faculty/School level or referred to the Director of Academic Integrity.
The Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer shall contact Academic Services to clarify whether the student has any previous offences of academic misconduct. First allegations of a less serious nature can be determined at the Faculty/School level. Any allegation subsequent to a substantiated offence must be referred to the Director of Academic Integrity.
Faculties/Schools should also examine any other work, previously submitted by the student, (including work submitted in other Faculties/Schools/subject areas where the student has pursued modules for other possible instances of academic misconduct).
Where additional evidence of academic misconduct is found or the Faculty/School considers that the case is of a serious nature (e.g. a significant part of the assignment has been plagiarised) the First Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer should take into account the following in determining whether it would be more appropriate to deal with the case at the Faculty/School level (in accordance with Stages Four to Six below), or refer the case to the Director of Academic Integrity:
- the weighting of the coursework within the module;
- the number of pieces of work affected;
- the seriousness of the offence;
- the total number of credits affected;
- the level of study.
The Academic Integrity Officer should refer initially to the guidance in the University's Code of Practice on Academic Misconduct, but may also approach Academic Services or the Director of Academic Integrity for additional advice in determining whether a case should be dealt with by the Faculty/School or the University's Committee of Enquiry.
In cases of a second allegation/offence (where a student has previously been found guilty of an academic misconduct offence) and in other cases referred by the Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer, the Faculty/School's Academic Integrity Officer should notify the Director of Academic Integrity who will review the case based on the evidence provided and in accordance with the guidance contained within the Code of Practice for dealing with cases of Academic Misconduct will decide whether to:
- refer the case back to the Faculty/School and request that the student is dealt with in accordance with 3.7 below with the requirement that the case is dealt with through interview with the student
- refer the case to Academic Services and request that a University Committee of Enquiry be established to consider the case (see regulation 9).
Academic Misconduct involving material purchased from a web site/essay bank/other agency
Cases of this nature are not dealt with at Faculty/School level and should be forwarded to the Director of Academic Integrity (see regulation 5.0).