Academic integrity and plagiarism

Honesty, fairness and respect are vital values for teaching and learning at Victoria. Learn more about academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism on this page.

What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity means that university staff and students, in their teaching and learning, are expected to treat others honestly, fairly and with respect at all times. Lying, stealing and misusing others’ academic work are not acceptable.

All members of the Victoria University community are responsible for upholding academic integrity.

Academic integrity is important because it is the core value on which the University’s learning, teaching and research activities are based. Victoria University’s reputation for academic integrity adds value to your qualification.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as if it were your own, whether you mean to or not.

‘Someone else’s work’ means anything that is not your own idea. Even if it is presented in your own style, you must still acknowledge your sources fully and appropriately. This includes:

  • material from books, journals or any other printed source
  • the work of other students or staff
  • information from the internet
  • software programs and other electronic material
  • designs and ideas
  • the organisation or structuring of any such material.

Plagiarism undermines academic integrity simply because it is a form of lying, stealing and mistreating others. Plagiarism involves stealing other people’s intellectual property and lying about whose work it is. This is why plagiarism is prohibited at Victoria.

Upholding academic integrity

Academic integrity is simply about being honest when you submit your academic work for assessment. Just follow a few simple rules:

  • You must acknowledge any ideas and assistance you have had from other people
  • You must fully reference the source of those ideas and assistance
  • You must make clear which parts of the work you are submitting are based on other people’s work
  • You must not lie about whose ideas you are submitting

Acting with integrity is about both honesty and skill. Learning to act with academic integrity will give you useful skills for your future employment.

Avoiding plagiarism

You can learn how to avoid plagiarism by brushing up on some key skills, such as:

  • note-taking
  • summarising
  • paraphrasing
  • referencing
  • citing sources.

The Student Learning will help you develop the skills you need to avoid plagiarism. They can give you one-to-one assistance, and they also offer workshops and resources. You can also download the Plagiarism and How to Avoid it brochure that contains helpful information to prevent plagiarism.

Many other universities have developed useful websites to help students become more aware of plagiarism and develop skills to avoid it. Check out these sites:

Penalties for plagiarism

Plagiarism is a very serious matter. It is prohibited at Victoria.

If you are found guilty of plagiarism, you may be penalised under the Student Conduct Statute. You could fail your course or even be suspended from the University.

Plagiarism is easy to detect. The University has systems in place to identify it. Plagiarism is simply not worth the risk.

Information for staff

The Centre for Academic Development (CAD) assists academic staff to improve those skills that help reduce plagiarism. CAD resources, training programmes and workshops support academic staff to:

  • Teach students about academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism
  • Improve course planning and assessment
  • Detect plagiarism
  • Deal with suspected cases of plagiarism

The CAD website contains useful resources on plagiarism.

The Student Learning also has valuable resources to assist staff to combat plagiarism.

Dealing with suspected plagiarism

Plagiarism is treated very seriously by Victoria University. All academic staff must be vigilant in detecting and responding to suspected cases of plagiarism by their students. Incidents of plagiarism should be recorded on the Academic Misconduct Register (staff only access).