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

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 appropriate acknowledgement skills relevant to your discipline early in your studies.

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.

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


What is academic misconduct?

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

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.

You can confidentially report academic dishonesty 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.

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.

Collusion Agreement between people to act together in order to deceive or cheat.

Collusion is 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

Falsification or fabrication of data or other content means 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

How do I avoid academic breaches?

  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. IRIS analyses the recorded information and flags behaviour that may indicate potential academic dishonesty. IRIS is used to help ensure assessment integrity and fairness for all students.

Why do I need to use IRIS?

Curtin is using 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 assessment integrity and fairness for all students..