Academic integrity, plagiarism and collusion

Monash University is committed to upholding high standards of honesty and academic integrity. A range of approaches is in place to help students develop the knowledge and skills to avoid plagiarism and collusion.

Student responsibilities

As a Monash student, you are required to:

  • undertake studies and research responsibly and with honesty and integrity
  • ensure that academic work is in no way falsified
  • seek permission to use the work of others, where required
  • acknowledge appropriately the work of others
  • take reasonable steps to ensure other students can't copy or misuse your work.

You are also required to submit an assessment cover sheet with any assessable work (except exams). This may be a hard copy or electronic document, as specified by your teaching staff. For an example, see assessment cover sheet (doc 20kb). The cover sheet lists the documents you must read to ensure you understand how to avoid breaches of academic integrity. These are:

Your faculty will be able to provide you with resources and support to help you develop study skills that uphold the University's academic integrity standards.

We encourage you to complete the Library's online academic integrity modules, a set of interactive tools to provide you with practical skills and knowledge.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism means to take and use another person's ideas and or manner of expressing them and to pass them off as your own by failing to give appropriate acknowledgment. This includes material sourced from the internet, staff, other students, and from published and unpublished works.

Plagiarism occurs when you fail to acknowledge that the ideas or work of others are being used, which includes:

  • paraphrasing and presenting work or ideas without a reference
  • copying work either in whole or in part
  • presenting designs, codes or images as your own work
  • using phrases and passages verbatim without quotation marks or referencing the author or web page
  • reproducing lecture notes without proper acknowledgement.

Collusion

Collusion means unauthorised collaboration on assessable work (written, oral or practical) with other people. This occurs when you present group work as your own or as the work of another person.

Collusion may be with another Monash student or with people or students external to the University. This applies to work assessed by Monash or another university.

Collusion occurs when you work without the authorisation of the teaching staff to:

  • work with one or more people to prepare and produce work
  • allow others to copy your work or share your answer to an assessment task
  • allow someone else to write or edit your work (except for the use of a scribe approved by the Disability Liaison Unit)
  • write or edit work for another student
  • offer to complete work or seek payment for completing academic work for other students.

Proofreading compliant with the University's definition is acceptable.

Suspected breaches of academic integrity

If a staff member suspects you have breached the Student Academic Integrity Policy (e.g. by plagiarising or colluding) they are required to:

  • inform you of the suspected breach (this must be in writing for Monash Malaysia students)
  • identify the work and its source
  • ask you to respond
  • report the matter to the Chief Examiner (or nominee).

You will have the opportunity to respond, usually in person. You can request to have a support person with you in the meeting. At the Malaysia campus, this must be a Monash student or staff member.

If you are not able to attend a meeting, you will receive details of the breach, asking for your response within 10 working days.

Possible outcomes

If the staff member believes that a breach took place, they must decide whether the breach was intentional or reckless. The staff member will also inform you of the penalties that may be applied.

Plagiarism or collusion that is not intentional or reckless
If it's found that the breach is not intentional or reckless, you will have to participate in additional academic skills development. To ensure that you have not gained an unfair advantage, other actions may be taken, which could include:

  • loss of marks
  • remarking to exclude the section of work that breaches academic integrity
  • resubmitting of all or part of the work.

The outcome is recorded on a University register for seven years to document that you have been counselled about academic integrity rules.

Intentional or reckless plagiarism or collusion
If the breach is found to be intentional or reckless, the matter is reported to the Associate Dean of the faculty. The Associate Dean (or nominee) may deal with the matter or refer it to a faculty discipline panel. For more information on the panel hearing process, see Part 7 of the Monash University (Council) Regulations (pdf 266kb).

The penalties applied will depend on the seriousness of the offence and whether you have been counselled before. These may include:

  • the work not being assessed
  • a zero grade for the unit
  • suspension
  • exclusion from the University.

Where a penalty or disciplinary action is applied, the outcome is recorded and kept for 15 years.

Related links

Policy and procedure