Academic integrity

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.

As a Curtin student you are part of an academic community and you are asked to uphold the principles of academic integrity and Curtin’s five core values of integrity, respect, courage, excellence and impact during your studies.

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. Instances of academic dishonesty may result in a determination of academic misconduct, which will be managed in accordance with Statute 10: Student Discipline. The University’s Code of Conduct provides guidance about ethical behaviour and how community members are expected to conduct themselves. If you become aware of instances of misconduct, you can report it confidentially through the Dixon Webform.

Learn about Curtin's required Academic Integrity Program

New to Curtin students

You are considered to be a New to Curtin student if you are enrolled in:

  • a Higher Degree by Research course prior to the successful attainment of candidacy; or
  • in all other cases:
    1. have not yet successfully completed the designated academic integrity unit (or appropriate alternative); or
    2. have completed fewer than 50 credit points of study at Curtin; or
    3. are currently enrolled in an enabling program.

Curtin recognises that new 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.

It is important that you learn the skills to avoid plagiarism and collusion early in your studies because if you are not New to Curtin, academic integrity breaches will be considered academic misconduct, which attracts penalties and shows on your academic record. As a New to Curtin student, these actions may be classified an Academic Integrity Warning, which is not considered to be academic misconduct. In this case, you may be required to receive educational advice and correct the issue.  Your designated academic integrity unit, taken in your first study period, will help you learn appropriate acknowledgement skills relevant to your discipline.

What is academic misconduct?

At Curtin academic misconduct refers to conduct by a student that is dishonest or unfair in connection with any academic work. Academic work means all assessment activities including examinations, tests, assignments, group work, projects, and presentations. If you become aware of instances of academic misconduct, you can report it confidentially through the Dixon Webform.

Some examples of academic misconduct:

Plagiarism - presenting the work or property of another person 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 other persons without due acknowledgment. Creative products include 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 person’s work (including words, 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 someone else – including friends, family 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)

See these resources for more detailed definitions of plagiarism, examples, and guidelines on how to avoid it:

Cheating - acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage

  • Cheating in an exam, test, or supervised assessment activity
    • Being in possession of unauthorised materials
    • 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
    • Having a mobile phone or other electronic device in an examination or testing environment
    • Impersonating a student in an examination or arranging for another to impersonate, take or complete the assessment on your behalf
    • 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
  • Cheating in an assessment or other assessable work
    • Contracting another person to complete an assessment on your behalf, purchasing an assignment. This is also a form of plagiarism.

Collusion - agreement between people to act together in order to deceive or cheat

  • Working with another person (colluding) when the assessment should be completed individually
  • Putting the name of a group member that did not contribute to a group project

Falsification or fabrication of data or other content

  • Fabrication is making up results and reporting them
  • Falsification is altering results so that the research is not accurately represented

How do I avoid academic misconduct?

  1. Complete the Academic Integrity Program
  2. Explore Curtin’s academic integrity cartoon series
  3. Learn about correct copyright procedures
  4. Learn about Turnitin – Curtin’s text matching system
  5. Use the library resources to learn how to reference your work
  6. See below for information about Intelligent Remote Invigilation System (IRIS)

Academic Integrity Program (AIP)

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.

Academic Integrity Cartoons

What is copyright and how to I adhere to it?

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.

For more detailed definitions of copyright, examples, and guidelines on how to adhere to it see Curtin’s copyright website.

Referencing and study skills support

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 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.

Turnitin text matching system

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.

Intelligent Remote Invigilation System (IRIS)

IRIS or Intelligent Remote Invigilation System is a computer program that helps provide assurance of integrity for online assessments, while allowing students to work in a convenient location.

How does IRIS work?

During an online test or exam, IRIS records the audio signal from the student computer’s microphone, video signal from their webcam and takes successive screenshots of what the student is seeing on their computer screen. Facial markers are identified and tracked to determine the orientation of the student’s head and eyes during the test. IRIS analyses the recorded information and flags behaviour that may indicate unusual behaviour and potential academic dishonesty.

Why do I need to use IRIS?

Curtin is implementing IRIS to ensure that students are not breaching academic integrity standards when they are taking online tests and exams. IRIS facilitates invigilation for online students during assessments, regardless of their location and helps to ensure greater invigilation equity between online and on campus modes of study.