Academic misconduct and penalties
For serious breaches of academic integrity, students can be charged with academic misconduct. Possible penalties include cancellation of results and expulsion resulting in the cancellation of a student's program. Breaches of academic integrity include:
- Significant failure to appropriately and accurately acknowledge the work of others
- Failure to appropriately and accurately acknowledge one’s own work where original work has been reused from previous assessment tasks (also known as self-plagiarism)
- ‘Washing’, or the use of software services to disguise plagiarism
- Submitting the work of another person or from an online study platform as one’s own, or undertaking an assessment task for another person (contract cheating or ghost writing). See below for a definition of contract cheating
- Collusion or unauthorised collaboration in the preparation or presentation of work
- Falsification, fabrication, manipulation or misrepresentation of data or results
- Attempting to gain unfair advantage in an invigilated assessment, breaching the rules for the conduct of invigilated assessment in a manner that defeats or compromises the purposes of the task
- Behaviour that violates assessment instructions thereby defeating or compromising the purpose of the assessment
- Unauthorised sharing of course materials and previously submitted assessment items including via online study platforms
- Misuse or unauthorised use of technology or equipment
What is contract cheating?
Contract cheating is the use of outsourced material for the purpose of submission by a student for assessment. The person submitting the work is being dishonest by representing it as their own. This differs from traditional forms of plagiarism, which more commonly involves copying of existing submitted or published work. Contract cheating can take on many forms and is not limited to the purchasing of assessment material from online sources. Students may obtain assessments from peers or ‘tutors’ and the arrangement may not involve a financial exchange.
Contract cheating services
Commercial cheating services, which are now illegal in Australia, are targeting students at RMIT. These services offer to provide answers or complete an assessment for you, sometimes asking for payment. These services may keep a student’s personal details to harass them and ask for more money. If you use these services, it's considered contract cheating and is a breach of the Academic Integrity Policy. To find out more information you can read the TEQSA information and resources. If you have any concerns or questions about this, email firstname.lastname@example.org.