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Academic Integrity Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The University is responsible for upholding academic integrity through its policies and procedures, plans and activities.

(2) This Policy sets out the principles, responsibilities, and practices that underpin the University’s commitment to promoting and upholding academic integrity. Academic integrity is vital to sustain ethical standards in all aspects of academic activities.


(3) This Policy applies to all applicants seeking admission to the University and to students (including graduands) enrolled in coursework awards, non-award courses, units of study, preparatory or other programs, and participants in micro-credentials offerings (subsequently referred to as students within this Policy).

(4) This Policy applies to all academic and professional staff engaged in learning, teaching, and research, including those responsible for the design, approval, delivery, and administration of, coursework awards, non-award courses, units of study, preparatory or other programs and offerings (subsequently referred to as staff within this Policy).

(5) This Policy does not replace the requirements specified in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018, (Australian Code) or the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Macquarie Research Code). Staff and students engaging in research activities must read and comply with these Codes in conjunction with this Policy.

(6) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the University’s Rules, policies and procedures which address academic and research conduct.

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Section 2 - Policy

(7) Staff and students are required to uphold the principles and values of academic integrity as a shared responsibility across all learning and teaching activities.

(8) Academic integrity information and resources are provided to applicants seeking admission, prospective and current students and staff, to support the development of good practices in maintaining academic integrity and positive educational outcomes.

(9) Alleged breaches of academic integrity are managed following the Academic Integrity Breach Procedure according to the principles of procedural fairness.

Academic Integrity Principles

(10) Academic integrity informs our behavior and actions in learning, teaching, and research as follows:

  1. academic integrity is fundamental to learning, teaching, research, and discovery at the University. It involves using, generating, and communicating information in an ethical, honest and responsible manner;
  2. the University is committed to fostering a collective culture of awareness and development that empowers all staff and students to become champions of academic integrity; and
  3. academic integrity is a commitment to and active engagement with the six interconnected values of honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness, and courage in academic scholarship and scholarly activities.

Academic Integrity Values

(11) Macquarie University expects the following academic integrity values to be applied by staff  and students engaged in learning, teaching and research :

  1. Honesty: the foundation of integrity and the prerequisite for full realisation of trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility, encouraging openness, and acknowledging / giving credit where required;
  2. Respect: valuing diversity, being inclusive, listening to others’ viewpoints, and treating others fairly in a context of academic freedom as expressed in the University’s Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Policy;
  3. Trust: reciprocal, and refers to being reliable, applying academic standards unfailingly and fairly, and acting with genuineness;
  4. Responsibility: being proactive, taking ownership, and holding oneself and others accountable;
  5. Fairness: communicating clear and reasonable expectations, acting predictably and transparently, responding consistently (including impartial treatment), and engaging equitably; and
  6. Courage: a willingness to hold oneself and others to highest standard of academic integrity even in challenging circumstances.

Shared Responsibility for Academic Integrity

(12) The pursuit of academic integrity is a shared responsibility among staff and students to:

  1. demonstrate and uphold the University’s academic integrity values;
  2. embed, promote and maintain a positive culture that supports the University’s academic integrity values;
  3. be familiar with the policies, procedures, and supporting materials that promote and uphold academic integrity;
  4. access and use information, applications, and systems in a manner authorised by the University;
  5. act in accordance with this Policy in respect to their academic conduct and whilst engaging in any academic exercise; and
  6. report any suspected breaches of academic integrity in accordance with the Academic Integrity Breach Procedure.

(13) It is the responsibility of all students of the University to:

  1. conduct their learning practices in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

(14) It is the responsibility of the University to:

  1. provide a supportive, inclusive, and safe learning environment;
  2. provide resources and support to staff to assist them in providing appropriate academic integrity guidance and relevant feedback to students;
  3. provide resources and support to students to develop their knowledge and skills in academic integrity;
  4. provide appropriate mechanisms for all members of the University to report alleged breaches of academic integrity in an accessible, anonymous and confidential manner;
  5. maintain transparent and accessible policies and procedures regarding the management of alleged academic misconduct; and
  6. ensure that all information collected, created, stored, or processed using the University’s computer and network resources are handled and protected in accordance with the Cyber Security Policy and related procedures.

Academic Integrity Training

(15) Academic integrity training, appropriate to educational level, discipline, and delivery context, is mandatory for all students, and participants in micro-credential offerings where applicable.

(16) Students who do not complete the relevant mandatory training within a specified timeframe will be prevented from  accessing further unit content in iLearn. Access will be reinstated once the training has been completed.

(17) Students found to have engaged in academic misconduct may be required to complete additional training.

(18) Staff are required to satisfactorily complete the training relevant to them.

Academic Conduct

(19) When setting or engaging with an academic exercise, the pursuit of academic integrity is supported by an understanding of acceptable and unacceptable academic conduct in learning, teaching, and research.

Acceptable Academic Conduct

(20) Acceptable academic conduct refers to the practice of completing academic work responsibly, honestly, and in an appropriate academic style, employing suitable referencing, and acknowledging all information sources.

(21) Acceptable academic conduct is supported by, but not limited to, the following acceptable academic activities in learning and teaching, and research:

recognises the contributions of those who have provided content or who have been involved in a work or research. An author is an individual who has made a substantial intellectual or scholarly contribution to a work or research and its output.
is the process of evaluating the technical correctness of written work produced by another author(s) and may include identifying basic errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Proofreading does not involve rewriting the text, changing the words of the author(s), or rearranging the structure of the text. A proof- reader may identify errors, but it is important that the author(s) make the actual corrections, as this practice will contribute to improving academic practice. While it is acceptable to have work proofread, the University does not endorse any commercial proofreading services.
is the process of checking and suggesting changes to a text which extends beyond proofreading. While it is acceptable for a third party to advise on ways to improve a paper, the author(s) must make the changes themselves. It is acceptable for higher degree research students to work with an editor after they have obtained permission from their supervisor. This process is governed by the Guidelines for Editing Research Theses as set out by the Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd).
is a system used in academic assignments to indicate which sources, evidence, ideas, theories, facts or any other information can be attributed to other authors. It can be used in both spoken and written work.
is a means of identifying the contributions of others that do not justify the attribution of authorship.
is a form of cooperative learning where two or more staff / students work together to produce an outcome or output.
Group work
is a type of assessment task that requires collaboration between students. The assessment task must clearly outline which items or aspects are permitted to be the result of student collaboration.
Data management
is the practice of managing data to support and enable learning, teaching, and research. It involves planning and making decisions about how to collect, organise, maintain, store, back-up, preserve, and share data throughout its lifecycle.

Unacceptable Academic Conduct

(22) Unacceptable academic conduct may lead to an allegation of an academic integrity breach.

(23) An academic integrity breach is a failure to apply the principles of academic integrity.

(24) A breach of academic integrity includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Contract cheating
Contract cheating is a type of illegal commercial cheating. It involves getting someone else to complete part or all of your work and then submitting the work as if you had completed it yourself. This can include asking someone else to sit an exam for you or having them write an essay, report or some other kind of assignment, which is sometimes referred to as 'ghost-writing'.
Actions that support illegal contract cheating services are also considered as another form of cheating and a breach of academic integrity. This includes students uploading teaching materials such as practice exams, lecture slides and assignment questions to websites.
Using, offering, or advertising academic cheating services is illegal and may lead to fines and penalties in accordance with the Prohibiting Academic Cheating Services Bill 2019.
Collusion involves engaging in illegitimate cooperation with one or more other students to complete assessable work. This is different to working on group assignments that are set by your teachers.
Examples of illegitimate cooperation include working with a friend or group of friends to write an essay or report that is meant to be an individual piece of work. It can also include sharing quiz or test questions and answers with other students, as well as written assessments like reports and essays. Illegitimate cooperation can unfairly advantage a student or group of students over others. Students should also never share their work with others as there is a risk the person you share it with could upload it to an illegal commercial service or circulate it to others.
is knowingly providing false or misleading information to others or the University.
Exam cheating
Exam cheating includes:
writing ‘cheat notes’ on your body or materials you take into the exam room attempting to copy from other students
communicating with other students or people outside the exam venue or by using technologies while the exam is in progress using electronic devices to access information related to the exam while it is in progress
bringing prohibited items, such as unapproved calculators or textbooks into exams.
Fabrication involves making up information for research-focused assessment tasks, such as experimental or interview data. It can also include inventing sources of data, evidence or ideas by citing publications that are incorrect or that simply don’t exist.
is a form of cheating whereby an individual pretends or assumes another individuals’ identity or a substitute person is used for the purposes of providing/gaining an advantage.
is behaving in a way that intentionally and inappropriately impedes, interferes or limits the academic opportunities of another person or their access to educational resources.
Plagiarism is submitting work that is not your own without acknowledging, citing or referencing the original source of the work. It doesn’t matter whether this is done accidentally or on purpose, whether the words are changed or simply copied and pasted. When another person’s thoughts and ideas are being used, the source material must be properly referenced.
is acting to prevent or hinder another person from completing an academic exercise to the best of their abilities including by making information or material unavailable to others or disrupting or destroying a person’s work so that the person cannot complete an academic activity successfully.
is unacknowledged use of material that an individual has previously published or submitted. It is the replication of work already completed without appropriate referencing.
Recycling or resubmitting work
Involves submitting (or resubmitting) work that has already been assessed, without your teacher’s permission. For example, submitting a report that you were graded on in a first-year class as part of your work in a third-year class. If you want to build on your previous work, you should discuss this first with your teacher.

Responsible Conduct during Research Activities

(25) Staff and students engaged in research activities should refer to the:

  1. Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research for the principles and responsibilities expected to be applied, and
  2. Macquarie University Research Code Complaints, Breaches and Investigation Procedure (Macquarie Research Code Procedure) for the process for how potential or actual departures from the principles and responsibilities (a breach of the Macquarie Research Code, including research misconduct) will be reported, assessed, investigated and managed.

Reporting Breaches of Academic Integrity

For Students

(26) An alleged breach of this Policy may amount to a breach of the Student Code of Conduct and/or an academic integrity breach allegation. Academic integrity breaches are handled in accordance with the Academic Integrity Breach Procedure.

For Academic staff

(27) An alleged breach of this Policy may amount to a breach of the Staff Code of Conduct. The provisions set out in the Macquarie University Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement 2018 may be used to manage academic staff misconduct allegations.

For Academic staff Macquarie University College (The College)

(28) An alleged breach of this Policy may amount to a breach of the Staff Code of Conduct. The provisions set out in the Macquarie University Teaching Staff Greenfields Agreement 2015 may be used to manage Macquarie University College academic staff misconduct allegations.

For Professional staff

(29) An alleged breach of this Policy may amount to a breach of the Staff Code of Conduct. The provisions set out in the Macquarie University Professional Staff Enterprise Agreement 2018 may be used to manage professional staff misconduct allegations.

For research activities

(30) An alleged breach of either this Policy and / or the Macquarie Research Code, including any breaches that may amount to research misconduct, will be, managed according to the provisions in the Macquarie University Research Code Complaints, Breaches and Investigation Procedure.

Academic Integrity Reporting

(31) An annual report on academic integrity breaches will be prepared by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar for Academic Senate and its committees.

(32) The Faculty Integrity Committees and Macquarie University College Integrity Committee will report to the relevant Faculty Board on academic integrity breaches and appropriate actions.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(33) See Academic Integrity Breach Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(34) See Academic Integrity Breach Sanctions Matrix.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(35) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Academic cheating service means the provision of work to or the undertaking of work for students, in circumstances where the work:
    1. is, or forms a substantial part of, an assessment task that students are required to individually undertake; or
    2. could reasonably be regarded as being, or forming a substantial part of, an assessment task that students are required to individually undertake.
  2. Academic integrity: acting with the values of honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness, and courage in academic scholarship and scholarly activities in learning, teaching, and research.
  3. Academic integrity training: Mandatory academic integrity training (MAIT) ensures that staff and students are aware of the academic integrity principles and values they are required to uphold and foster at Macquarie University. MAIT provides staff and students with a foundational understanding of shared responsibilities, ethical obligations, and good practice in academic integrity.
  4. Academic exercise:
    1. An examination, that is, a time limited assessment task including tests, practical assessments, and final examinations; and
    2. the submission and assessment of a thesis, dissertation, essay, practical work or other coursework, and any other exercise (including in the case of graduate students transfer and confirmation of status exercises) which is not undertaken in formal examination conditions but counts towards or constitutes the work for a student academic award or for admission to the University or enrolment in any unit or course/program of study or research at the University and includes related research.
  5. Academic integrity breach: when referring to misconduct relating to an academic  exercise. This is distinct from general student misconduct.
  6. Research activities: Research activities include conducting or assisting with the conduct of research under the auspices of Macquarie University following the Macquarie Research Code Procedure. Students should be considered as “engaged in research activities” and the matter referred for management per the Macquarie Research Code Procedure, if they are undertaking:
    1. the research component of an undergraduate or postgraduate coursework unit which has a research project report or thesis above 10,000 words.
    2. the research component of any degree or award for which research equates to a minimum 25 per cent of the entire degree or award.
    3. a non-award research internship/scholarship or research experience and an Academic Integrity Officer and/or Research Integrity Officer consider the matter relates to research per the Macquarie Research Code.
    4. a research component of any degree program and an Academic Integrity Officer and/or Research Integrity Officer consider the matter relates to research per the Macquarie Research Code.
  7. Research misconduct: A breach of the Macquarie Research Code which is considered serious and is also intentional or reckless or negligent, following the Macquarie Research Code Procedure.
  8. Students:  For the purposes of this Policy, a student is a person:
    1. seeking admission to the University
    2. enrolled in a unit of study at the University (including participants in micro-credentials offerings)
    3. who is a graduand
    4. suspended from the University
    5. on a leave of absence
    6. who has deferred enrolment
    7. who was a student at the time the alleged conduct occurred.
  9. University Regulation: the by-laws, rules, codes of conduct, policies and directions from time to time of the University.