What constitutes unfair means?
The basic principle underlying the preparation of any piece of academic work is that the work submitted must be the student’s own work.
Plagiarism, submitting bought or commissioned work, double submission (or self plagiarism) collusion and fabrication of results are not allowed because they violate this principle. Cheating in examinations is also classed as using unfair means.
The following six examples of unfair means in non-invigilated examinations are serious academic offences and may result in penalties that could have a lasting effect on a student´s career, both at University and beyond. These are the formal University definitions and should be used in information and documentation provided to students.
- Plagiarism (either intentional or unintentional) is the using of ideas or work of another person (including experts and fellow or former students) and submitting them as your own. It is considered dishonest and unprofessional. Plagiarism may take the form of cutting and pasting, taking or closely paraphrasing ideas, passages, sections, sentences, paragraphs, drawings, graphs and other graphical material from books, articles, internet sites or any other source and submitting them for assessment without appropriate acknowledgement.
- Submitting bought or commissioned work (for example from internet sites, essay “banks” or “mills”) is an extremely serious form of plagiarism. This may take the form of buying or commissioning either the whole piece of work or part of it and implies a clear intention to deceive the examiners. The University also takes an extremely serious view of any student who sells, offers to sell or passes on their own assessed work to other students.
- Double submission (or self plagiarism) is resubmitting previously submitted work on one or more occasions (without proper acknowledgement). This may take the form of copying either the whole piece of work or part of it. Normally credit will already have been given for this work.
- Collusion is where two or more students work together to produce a piece of work, all or part of which is then submitted by each of them as their own individual work. This includes passing on work in any format to another student. Collusion does not occur where students involved in group work are encouraged to work together to produce a single piece of work as part of the assessment process.
- Fabrication is submitting work (for example, practical or laboratory work) any part of which is untrue, made up, falsified or fabricated in any way. This is regarded as fraudulent and dishonest.
- Facilitating the use of unfair means is where any student assists a fellow student in using any of the forms of unfair means defined above, for example in submitting bought or commissioned work.