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 University’s Code of Conduct, 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.

Learn about Curtin's required Academic Integrity Program

New to Curtin students

Are you New to Curtin?

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.

As a New to Curtin student, academic breaches may be classified an Academic Integrity Warning, where you receive advice rather than misconduct.

Why you need to know if you are New to Curtin

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 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.

Your designated academic integrity unit, taken in your first study period, will help you learn appropriate acknowledgement skills relevant to your discipline.

Academic Integrity Warnings

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.

An Academic Integrity Warning may be used to assign a New to Curtin student an educative action when the student has:

  1. inadequately paraphrased or included inconsistent acknowledgement of sources or both; or
  2. collaborated with others in an assessment task beyond that which is considered reasonable by the Unit Coordinator.

The Management of Academic Integrity Warnings for New to Curtin Students Procedure outlines academic breaches for New to Curtin students.

Academic breaches for students that are no longer considered New to Curtin are managed as misconduct.


What is academic misconduct?

Academic misconduct refers to conduct by a student that is dishonest or unfair in connection with any academic work.

More details on academic misconduct

Academic work means

  1. During any exam, test or other supervised assessment activity;
  2. In relation to the preparation or presentation of any assessed item or work; and/or
  3. In relation to the conduct of research or any other similar academic activity.

Allegations of misconduct are managed in accordance with Statute 10: Student Discipline. The student conduct guide for students helps explain the process if you receive an allegation of misconduct.

You can confidentially report academic dishonesty through the Dixon Webform.

Types of academic misconduct


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)
  • Using language translation 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

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 someone else – including friends, family 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 person to edit and substantially change your work.


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.

Falsification or fabrication of data or other content

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

Academic misconduct ‘other’

Academic dishonesty that does not fall into the other misconduct categories.

  • Falsifying medical certificates for assessment extension.

How do I avoid academic breaches?

Complete the 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.

Use the student guides and checklist

The academic integrity student guide provides:

  • Good practice advice to help develop your academic integrity skills including appropriate writing, referencing and acknowledgment conventions.
  • Information on warnings and misconduct, and guidance on how to avoid them.

The student conduct guide for students provides guidance on warning (academic integrity warnings and student charter breaches) and misconduct processes.

Use the student checklist to prevent plagiarism when submitting assessments.

Learn how to reference

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.

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

Learn about correct copyright procedures

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.

The library has created an information sheet for students. For more detailed definitions of copyright, examples, and guidelines on how to adhere to it see Curtin’s copyright website.

Develop your English language skills

Curtin has a range of English language support programs for you to better develop your skills.

Learn about Turnitin – Curtin’s 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.

Academic integrity comics