Plagiarism


Purpose and Context

Smart Academy is committed to academic excellence and high ethical standards in relation to work that is produced by students. 

Smart Academy supports the rights of a scholar’s ownership of their intellectual property. For students to act with academic and ethical integrity, it is essential that they give due acknowledgement to authors of the work they are using. Failure to do so is equivalent to stealing. 

Definition

Plagiarism means presenting another person’s work as one’s own. This is often done by taking passages of text from another and representing them as one’s own, but plagiarism can also assume other forms, including:

    • The direct duplication of the thoughts or work of another without appropriate acknowledgement. 
    • Paraphrasing another person’s work with minor changes but keeping the meaning, form and/or progression of ideas of the original. 
    • Piecing together sections of the work of others into a new whole. 
    • Presenting assessment as an independent work when it was produced in whole or part in collaboration or collusion with other people. 
    • Submitting an assessment that has already been submitted for assessment in another subject. 
Plagiarism can be negligent (Negligent Plagiarism) or dishonest (Dishonest Plagiarism).

Negligent Plagiarism means innocently or carelessly presenting another person’s work as one’s own without appropriate acknowledgement of the source. It often arises from a student’s fear of paraphrasing or writing in their own words, and/or ignorance of this Policy.

Dishonest Plagiarism means knowingly presenting another person’s work as one’s own without appropriate acknowledgement of the source.

Alleged plagiarism will be deemed to be alleged Dishonest Plagiarism where:

    1. Substantial proportions of a student’s work have been copied from the work of another person in a manner that clearly exceeds reasonable academic practice; 
    2. A student’s work contains a substantial body of copied material (including from the internet) without appropriate acknowledgement of the source, and in a manner that cannot be explained as negligent plagiarism; 
    3. There is evidence that the student engaged another person to produce or conduct research for the work, either partly or wholly, for payment or other consideration; or 
    4. The student has previously received a written warning. 

Preventing Plagiarism

Students are required to sign a declaration on the assignment cover sheet which states:

I certify that this assignment is my own work in my own words. All sources have been acknowledged and the content has not been previously submitted for assessment to Smart Academy or elsewhere.

Students can avoid plagiarism by ensuring that:

    • They only submit work which they have prepared themselves; 
    • They do not submit work that has already been presented for assessment in another subject; and 
    • They acknowledge all items used in their assessment which come from the work/s of others. 

Detecting Plagiarism

Students are advised that in some modules, submission of assessments may be in electronic form. Although moral and legal copyright to this material vests in the student as the author, the student, by enrolling in an accredited program, provides an implied consent to Smart AcademySmart Academy which authorises:
    • Reproduction and storage of electronic material which they may author and submit as part of their program assessment; and 
    • Scanning this material for purposes of detecting, through software processing, any plagiarized material used in assignments. 

Procedures

Fairness

Smart Academy is committed to dealing with student plagiarism in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness, including the right of a student to:
    • Be informed of the allegations in sufficient detail to be able to respond appropriately; 
    • Have a reasonable period of time within which to respond to the allegations; 
    • Have the matter resolved in a timely manner; 
    • Be informed of their rights under this policy; 
    • Invite a support person or student representative to any meeting regarding alleged plagiarism; 
    • Impartiality in the investigation and decision-making process. 
This does not preclude penalties being imposed if detection occurs at a time after assessments have been returned or after results have been issued.

Negligent Plagiarism

First Breach: Students in their First Session of Study 

If the student is in their first session/semester of study, the student should be educated about the ways to avoid plagiarism. A warning should be given about the penalties for future breaches. The warning should be noted by the Lecturer and given to the Registrar to be placed in the student’s file.

Subsequent negligent breaches will be dealt with as a breach under the section ‘First Breach: Other Students’.

First Breach: Other Students 

The student can be given an appropriate mark and the breach is noted on the student’s file. The grade will be determined by the lecturer in consultation with the Head of Faculty, or nominee. The student will also be required to seek remedial advice concerning plagiarism.

Subsequent breaches will be dealt with as alleged Dishonest Plagiarism.

Dishonest Plagiarism

Instances of alleged Dishonest Plagiarism will be referred to the Faculty Head unless the Faculty Head considers the allegation to be serious enough to warrant formal review by the Faculty Executive.

Notification

Within ten working days of receipt of the allegation, Smart Academy will advise the student in writing of the nature of the allegation and the processes that will follow.Smart Academy will arrange to meet with the student within twenty working days to discuss the allegation.

If the student advises in writing that the allegation is accepted, the Faculty Head will determine the appropriate penalty, in accordance with this policy.

If the student wishes to attend a meeting, he/she must, within ten working days of the posting of the notification of the allegation, confirm their attendance either in writing or by telephone.

The Meeting

The student is permitted to invite a support person  to any meeting regarding alleged plagiarism. The Smart Academy delegate is permitted to invite other nominated officers of the College to the meeting.

Penalties

For a first breach involving Dishonest Plagiarism, the following penalties may be applied:
a. A warning given and no further action taken;

b. The student be required to resubmit the item of work;

c. The student be required to complete a new assessment task;

d. Downgrading the mark for the assessment;

e. Downgrading the final grade in the unit;

f. Imposing a fail grade in the unit;

g. Any combination of the above.

For subsequent breaches involving Dishonest Plagiarism, in addition to the penalties outlined above, Smart Academy may, impose one or more of the following penalties:

a. Suspending the student for a period of time, between six and 12 months;

b. Excluding the student for a period of time, between 12 and 24 months; and/or

c. Excluding the student permanently.

Appeals

Appeals against decisions regarding plagiarism will be handled via the Principal. Applications for Appeal will acknowledge in writing, receipt of the request for an appeal and inform the student of the following information:
  • who will be responsible for conducting the investigation;
  • that he/she has the right to a personal meeting to present his/her case (verbally and/or in writing) and the name, address and telephone number of the person to contact if a personal meeting is required;
  • that he/she has the right to submit addition information in writing, should a personal meeting not be desired; and the name and address of the person to whom the additional information should be submitted;
  • the timeframe during which the internal investigation will be conducted, generally within 45 days of receiving the request for an investigation
A formal letter will be sent to the student advising:-
  • of the outcome of the investigations;
  • of a recommendation to resolve the appeal; and
  • of the external review process available.