Academic integrity at its core is about honesty and responsibility and is fundamental to Curtin’s expectations of you. This means that all of your work at Curtin should be your own and it should be underpinned by integrity, which means to act ethically, honestly and with fairness.
You are also expected to uphold the Student Charter and recognise that cheating, plagiarism collusion, and falsification of data and other forms of academic dishonesty are not acceptable.
Curtin recognises that students who are unfamiliar with the conventions of academic writing can sometimes unintentionally plagiarise or collude on assessments. This may happen if you inadequately acknowledge resources or collaborate with other students when an assessment should be done individually.
An academic integrity warning is used to assign you an educative action in these situations so you can learn from your mistakes. More serious academic breaches such as cheating are managed as misconduct.
Academic misconduct refers to conduct by a student that is dishonest or unfair in connection with any academic work.
Academic work means
During any exam, test or other supervised assessment activity;
In relation to the preparation or presentation of any assessed item or work; and/or
In relation to the conduct of research or any other similar academic activity.
You can confidentially report academic dishonesty through the Dixon Webform.
Types of academic misconduct
Poor academic practice is academic misconduct that is not dishonest and the advantage gained is only moderate. Examples of poor academic practice are inadequate paraphrasing or incorrect referencing.
This type of misconduct has more severe penalties than an academic integrity warning (educative action only) but has less severe penalties than plagiarism.
Presenting the work or property of another as your own without appropriate acknowledgement or referencing.
Copying of sentences, paragraphs or creative products (in whole or in part) which are the work of another without due acknowledgment. Creative products include Gen-AI output, webpages, books, articles, theses, unpublished works, working papers, seminar and conference papers, internal reports, lecture notes or recordings, computer files, images or video
Too closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs or themes without due acknowledgment
Using another’s work (including words, Gen-AI output, music, creative or visual artefacts, computer source code, designs, problem solutions or ideas)
In the case of collaborative group projects, falsely representing the individual contributions of the collaborating partners
Submitting work which has been produced by another – including friends, family, Gen-AI, or a paid contracting service (This is known as contract cheating, assessment outsourcing or ghost writing.)
Submitting one’s own previously assessed or published work for assessment or publication elsewhere, without appropriate acknowledgement (self-plagiarism)
Using language translation, Gen-AI, or paraphrasing services (either online or contracted) to disguise original source text (cross-lingual or back translation plagiarism, and spinning)
Acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. Examples include:
Cheating in an exam, test or supervised assessment activity.
Considered Academic Misconduct:
Being in possession of unauthorised materials
Having a mobile phone or other electronic device in an examination or testing environment
Copying answers from another person or permitting another student to copy answers
Exchanging notes, talking or communicating with another student in an examination or test
Improperly obtaining prior knowledge of an examination or test paper and using that knowledge in the examination or test or providing that information to a student(s) who are yet to undertake the examination or test
Using assignment help websites or Gen-AI software to answer an exam question
Considered General Misconduct:
Removing an examination paper from an examination room when it is specified that the paper is not to be retained by the student; storing or sharing an examination paper that was illegally obtained
Disrupting an examination or assessment activity in any way
Impersonating a student in an examination or arranging for another to impersonate, take or complete the assessment on your behalf.
Cheating in an assessment or other assessable work:
Submitting written or creative work which has been drafted or produced by another – including friends, family, Gen-AI, or a paid contracting service (this is known as contract cheating, assessment outsourcing or ghost writing) and claiming authorship for it. This includes:
Allowing someone or an organisation to draft or complete an assessment task on your behalf
Contracting another person to do the work for you
Purchasing work from another source
Allowing or contracting another to edit and substantially change your work
Unapproved, inappropriate, or undisclosed use of Gen-AI software
Where students act together in relation to the preparation or presentation of any assessed item of work in a manner that is dishonest or unfair. Examples include:
Working with another person (colluding) when the assessment should be completed individually;
In the case of collaborative group projects, falsely representing the individual contributions of the collaborating group members.
Misrepresenting data within an assessment or within research. Examples include:
Fabrication is making up results and reporting them
Falsification is altering results so that the research is not accurately represented
This includes submitting inaccurate or unsubstantiated quotes, references, or other information from the output of Gen-AI software as part of an assessment.
Academic dishonesty that does not fall into the other misconduct categories.
Falsifying medical certificates for assessment extension.
How do I avoid academic breaches?
The AIP is an online program that will help you better understand academic integrity at Curtin. It’s compulsory for all students beginning a new course. Learn more about the AIP.
It is important to learn the appropriate referencing style used within your course.
Referencing provides readers with information to determine where you have taken your ideas from, how widely you have read about the topic, and to decide how well you have understood the material and incorporated ideas into your own understanding. The Curtin library has a wide range of resources and workshops available to support you with writing, referencing, and other study skills.
EndNote is free software for students that can help you manage your references, automatically insert citations into your work, and generate a reference list.
Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen-AI) technology like Chat GPT, Bard, Midjourney, and GitHub Copilot is software focused on creating new content such as text, images, code or audio. This technology is rapidly improving and becoming available for mainstream use.
Curtin supports the philosophy of teaching students to appropriately use Gen-AI software in an ethical and responsible way to prepare them for future professional working environments. Visit the library website on Gen-AI for more information.
Gen-AI technologies can assist with some approved activities, but it should never replace your ability to think and critically analyse information.
Gen-AI systems contain bias
Training data (that teaches the system) often lacks diversity so the output replicates those biases.
It is unclear how Gen-AI systems produce outputs so transparency and accountability for the ‘thinking’ process is lacking.
Using Gen-AI software within assessment tasks:
Check your assessment instructions carefully before using any Gen-AI software.
You are not permitted to use Gen-AI software in any assessment task unless written permission is explicitly granted by the Unit Coordinator (e.g. within Blackboard or the assessment specifications).
If the use of Gen-AI software has been approved, you must:
Document its use
Screenshot/save all work such as prompts used, answers produced, how you edited the output, purpose of using it, etc.
Verify the accuracy of all output you use
Some Gen-AI software makes up information. If you submit that false output as part of your assessment task, it may be considered falsification or fabrication, which is considered misconduct.
Apply appropriate acknowledgement and attribution rules. This means:
Use in-text citations
Where you have quoted or paraphrased Gen-AI text, you must include an in-text reference acknowledging the tool you have used.
Include a declaration of use
A declaration must be included in your assignment after your reference list. It should detail which tools you have used to generate content in the process of completing your assignment and how they have been employed. The declaration must include the prompts you have used to generate information.
For specific details on how to cite and declare your use of Gen-AI outputs, follow the advice for the referencing style used within your faculty:
Unapproved, inappropriate, or undisclosed use may be dishonest or unfair behaviour, and therefore considered misconduct.
Gen-AI detectors are available and improving so your submissions may be checked for undisclosed use (even retrospectively).
This means that you must be transparent and honest about your use of Gen-AI software within your assessments to avoid misconduct.
The takeaway point: when submitting any assessment, the final product must be your own work, not just output copied from Gen-AI software.
Copyright is a legal concept which gives the creator of intellectual property a set of specific rights associated with their works. This means that you usually need their permission to copy, publish, communicate, adapt or publicly perform their works.
Also note that if you are using Gen-AI software, you are not permitted to upload work that does not belong to you. This includes, lecture slides, assessment questions, and tutorial content in which Curtin owns the copyright.
Curtin subscribes to an electronic text matching service called Turnitin, which compares text in submitted students’ work with text from a database of sources. The database contains copies of text from websites, in published works, in commercial databases and in assignments previously submitted to Turnitin by students from Curtin and other universities all over the world, including assignments from websites that sell student papers. Turitin also detects content written by Gen-AI software therefore you must be transparent about your use of these tools as part of any assessment task.
Keep your long-term goals in mind. They can motivate you.
Schedule due dates, work times, & social occasions on a semester planner.
Prioritise tasks for the week, and cross them off the list as you finish them.
Break down large tasks into smaller tasks.
Focus. Identify your time wasters (social media etc.) and manage them.
Schedule in short breaks.
Plan to study at times when you are alert and motivated.
Establish a comfortable study space.
Reward yourself when you finish a task.
Manage your thoughts and attitude to get the most out of your study time.
Preparing for exams
Schedule your exam preparation early.
Read the unit outline and revise notes once a week all semester.
Attend lectures and tutorials and listen for cues for what is important.
Find out about the types of questions, exam length, and main topics.
Review past exams for hints. You can find these in your unit resources and in the library.
Make a plan of the order in which you will do the exam questions: 1st easiest, 2nd hardest; 3rd medium range.
Use mnemonics such as concept maps to organise study material and use colours and illustrations for better memory recall.
Exercise focus techniques and take breaks regularly, eat and sleep well.
Know where the exam is, and make sure you have enough time to get there.
Find out about eustress. You need it to get you going. Remind yourself of past successes.
Note making for assignments
Keep the key words of the assignment written and in mind whilst reading and note-making.
Underline key words and phrases, circle words, and make question marks and notes in the margin.
Copy any quotes and the referencing details precisely.
Write in point form, using abbreviations and symbols.
Use colours and highlighters to mark relevant parts.
Choose a note-making style that suits you, such as Cornell.
Cover your notes and write summaries of your notes for understanding.
Write out questions and answer them for recall and to help your long-term memory.
Write some assignment body paragraphs before you make more notes from other texts. This will help you make better, more useful notes as you go.
Always record the references in full as you make notes.
Keep in mind that you reference in academic writing to have evidence to support your main idea.
Be meticulous. Note publishing details: author, title, date and place of publication, page number and URL.
Develop your own voice and use citations to support your point.
Do not directly quote too much – normally, less than 5%. Follow the assignment guidelines.
Decide the best way to cite your source: direct quote, paraphrase or summarise.
Synthesise ideas from different sources to demonstrate your understanding and strengthen your argument.
Make sense. Make connections. Use transition phrases to link yours and others’ ideas.
Use reference management software such as Endnote for formatting or find a current model of the style required on your library homepage.
Good note making helps you to put what you have read into your own words and is the first step towards using citations.
Plagiarism occurs when you do not acknowledge the original author and write directly from the source rather than making notes in between reading and writing.
Avoiding academic integrity breaches
Study the academic integrity guide for students booklet.
Read your unit outline carefully or clarify with your unit coordinator whether you need to work individually or if you can work with someone else on an assessment.
Don’t use the copy and paste function.
When taking notes: first read an important passage, close your book or webpage, write down your understanding of what you have read in your own words, then go back and check to make sure you have understood the information correctly. Put the citation next to your notes.
Make sure you keep track of all resources used as you go, and use reference management software such as Endnote to help keep track of them as you write.
Don’t contract cheat, user Gen-AI software when not allowed, or use so called ‘assignment help’ websites like Chegg.com.
Always acknowledge the ideas and words of others who influenced your thinking.
If you have worked with someone else on an assessment – give them credit.
Don’t forget to reference images and diagrams.
Use the plagiarism checklist before submitting your assessment.