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Durham University

Learning and Teaching Handbook

6.2.4: Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct is a major offence which will be dealt with in accordance with the University's General Regulation IV – Discipline, and which may lead to expulsion from the University.

1. Academic Misconduct will be penalised, and takes various forms including:

a. plagiarism: the copying or paraphrasing of other people's work or ideas without full acknowledgment, which amounts to the presentation of someone else’s work or ideas as one's own. Plagiarism includes the following:

(i) Collusion, which is when students work together in an unauthorised way to develop a submission for an assessment where such input is not permitted. Collusion does not depend on a fee being paid for the work;

(ii) Contract Cheating, which is when when a student submits work for assessment where they have used one or more of a range of services provided by a third party. The third party contract with the student can include payment or other favours, but this is not always the case. 'Services' may include essays or other types of assignments, conducting research, impersonation in exams and other forms of unfair assistance for completing assessed work. 'Third parties' include web-based companies or auction sites (essay mills), sharing websites (including essay banks), or an individual such as a lecturer, colleague, friend or relative. This applies in any case where the third party makes a contribution to the work of the student, such that there is reasonable doubt as to whose work the assessment represents;

(iii) Multiple submission, which is the inappropriate submission on multiple occasion of the same or substantially the same work of one's own for summative assessment in connection with an academic award;

b. Impersonation: presenting work on behalf of someone else as if it were the work of the other individual (this can be linked to collusion, or to cheating in examinations, and may include the facilitation of plagiarism through publication);

c. Cheating: using any inappropriate or unauthorised means to achieve credit for a piece of coursework or an examination answer. Cheating includes the following

d. Use of inadmissible material: using any material which is not permitted to achieve credit for a piece of coursework or an examination answer (which may also include falsification of results or evidence, or use of unethical research methods).

It is also an offence for a student to provide work such as essays to facilitate plagiarism, for example by placing it on a website.

2. Boards of Studies must ensure that undergraduate and postgraduate students are aware of the seriousness of these practices and of the penalties which may be incurred.

Procedures and Policies

3. Procedures to follow where Academic Misconduct is suspected are set out over the following pages. The most appropriate procedure will be followed in each instance.

4. In each instance, initial investigations will begin at the departmental level. Where investigations indicate that the student may have intended to cheat (for example, where the allegation implies dishonest practice, an intent to deceive or is a repeat offence), the allegation of Academic Misconduct will considered to be major offence, and will be referred to Senate Discipline Committee, where explusion will be considered.