CSM student and staff handbook

4 Academic misconduct

The University expects students to uphold the principles of academic honesty. No student should behave in a way which would give them, or someone else, and unfair advantage. Academic misconduct is principally the falsification of data or failing to fully credit others’ work.

You will notice that the scientific articles and books you read contain many references to published work of other academics, institutions and individuals either in a reference list. You must learn how to reference the data and ideas reported in books, articles or webpages that appear in your work in this way (see Section 9.7 to learn how to use the Harvard Referencing system for this purpose).

The Teaching Quality Assurance Manual (TQA) has a section academic conduct and practice which gives more details on forms of Academic Misconduct, investigation and disciplinary procedures as well as penalties. The University takes Academic Misconduct very seriously, and severe cases can result in expulsion. The use of e-submission tools such as Turnitin as well as other detection protocols means that work containing Academic Misconduct is likely to be intercepted. In 2016, 260 cases of alleged misconduct were investigated.

A non-exclusive list of common forms of Academic Misconduct is given below, with some examples. This is an illustrative list, and students should refer to the TQA for more information. Furthermore, students are required to complete the ELE module: Academic Honesty and Plagiarism.

  • Impersonation could include impersonating someone else by completing their assignment for them.
  • Collusion includes working with someone else (excluding group work) to produce a single document (in whole or part) which is submitted without acknowledgement of the other person’s contribution.
  • Fabrication could include making up results and passing them off as your own experimentally-derived data.
  • Falsification includes the manipulation of data to produce a desired result.
  • Plagiarism is one of the most common forms of Academic Misconduct and is the use of unattributed ideas. An obvious example is direct copying of text without proper referencing. A less obvious form is that of paraphrasing (re-writing text in your own words) without including a reference. Plagiarism relates to the idea, not the words; it is someone else’s intellectual property that is being copied.
  • Misrepresentation is similar to plagiarism in that it includes the presentation of another person’s data without reference to the data source.
  • Coercion involves pressuring someone (student or University staff) to behave in a way that confers an academic advantage.


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