Why is academic integrity important?

Academic work in a university depends on the practice of academic integrity as a core value. It is an important part of academic life for both staff and students, and essential to academic thought and practice. All work produced must acknowledge the sources of ideas presented and cite the original written work which informed it.

How do I ensure my own academic integrity?

You can achieve academic integrity by honestly submitting work that is your own. Presenting work that fails to acknowledge other people’s work within yours can compromise academic integrity. This includes:

  • plagiarism
  • cheating in an exam
  • copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files as if they are your own (e.g. web pages).

You must reference the following types of information:

  • thoughts, ideas, definitions or theories
  • research and other studies
  • statistics
  • information from the Internet, including images and media
  • designs or works of art
  • facts that are not common knowledge.

For assistance visit Referencing Styles.

If you don’t reference information in your work, it is assumed that:

  • it’s your own idea
  • it’s common knowledge, eg you wouldn’t need to reference that Sydney has the largest population in Australia
  • it’s common knowledge in your field of work or study, eg children generally learn to read in Grade 1

To maintain academic integrity:

  • Make sure you understand how to reference your sources.
  • Don’t leave your assignments around for others to read.
  • Make sure you take your discs out of the computers in the library or the labs.
  • When photocopying or making notes from texts, make sure you record all bibliographic information.
  • Make sure your work clearly distinguishes between the ideas of others and your own ideas. If you’re not sure how to do this, check with your program staff about requirements for referencing. You could also make an appointment at the Learning Skills Unit.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of cheating in assessment and may occur in oral, written or visual presentations. It is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing, as though it is your own.

The penalties for cheating in assessment are severe, whether the cheating involves plagiarism, fabrication, falsification of data, copyright infringement or some other method. Penalties can include charges of academic misconduct, cancellation of results and exclusion from your course. It is also a disciplinary offence for you to allow your work to be plagiarised by another student. You are responsible for keeping your work in a secure place. RMIT has a policy on plagiarism.

Plagiarism covers a variety of inappropriate behaviours, including:

  • failure to properly document a source
  • copying material from the internet or databases
  • collusion between students
  • purchasing pre-written or on-demand papers from the numerous paper mills and cheat sites

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is an online assignment submission service.

Get help and advice on using Turnitin.

Where can I get further support?

Using the correct citation and knowing how to reference your work is one of the most important things you can do to uphold your academic integrity.

  • Referencing Styles 
    The RMIT Library provides an easy to use guide to different citation styles. Use this site to make sure that you are clearly acknowledging your information sources.
  • EndNote 
    EndNote can help you organise your footnotes, citations and bibliographies. Click here for more information.

RMIT has policies and processes around assessment practices which are of relevance to all RMIT students.

Your obligations with respect to copyright and particularly the use of material from the Internet: