Academic integrity is one of the most important features when it comes to any type of research published or used to succeed and progress at an academic level. All the work prepared by anyone must be correctly referenced, so the ideas within the work would be correctly credited to the people who are the owners of the intellectual property. It means that research conducted by others can be still part of your work, however the right referencing techniques must be used to acknowledge it.
There are different ways how to fail the standards of academic integrity. From innocent mistake to purposeful cheating – the work is still going to be considered as a copy right. It is of high importance that the work is of your own. Things such as poor academic practice, academic misconduct, fabrication or collusion are not allowed and will lead to serious consequences. (Students.shu.ac.uk, 2019, p. 1).
Some of the most common types of cheating in academic field is re-submission of work and fabrication of data. Both are very different and unique; however, both classify equally the same – as cheating.
Re-submission of work is unique in a sense that not often it is mentioned when it comes to academic integrity. Some might even think that it does not belong in a same category with other types of cheating however it fully qualifies as cheating and consequences should apply to it the same.
This type of cheating can be viewed in two ways. First, there is a term defined as double-submission or self-plagiarism. It essentially means that, ‘’submission of work that is the same as, or broadly similar to, assessments you have submitted previously for academic credit, without proper acknowledgement and the prior consent of the module leader for subsequent assessments.’’ (Students.shu.ac.uk, 2019). Therefore, the same work cannot be used twice by student. Second way to look at is by considering actual re-submission of work. There are multiple rules that apply when a student has failed to get a good grade on his assignment or even has failed to submit it prior deadline. If student has failed due to a bad score / mark, then, depending on educational institution he might be allowed to remedy his work according to set of rules set by institution. However, if student has failed to submit in time, then he should not be allowed to re-submit the same assignment, since it would put in disadvantage the rest of the students as they had less time to get the work done. How to continue depends from educational institution, however normally it is either a new assignment, different project or some other task that can be proposed to a student for completion. (Warwick.ac.uk, 2019, p. 3).
Interestingly, this type of cheating applies to a student and a tutor / professor of the class. Student, even if it is not an excuse, might not know all the rules. On the other hand, all the correct academic practices should be known by tutor and he should always consider them before assessing how to proceed in specific situations.
Fabrication of data is a type of cheating that has been done with a clear intent to cheat. On a website of University of Sheffield, it is noted that, “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.” (Sheffield, 2019, p. 4). Facts and data cannot be made up just to serve the purpose of your academic work.
It is worth noting that fabrication of data also might be done accidently by more inexperienced academics. There is a difference between selective data used to support specific claim and falsified data. In one case, research is very biased and simply might not receive high marking, while in the other – serious consequences may follow.
Consequences depend on severity of the case therefore different outcomes are to be expected. In some cases, a person may get away with just a warning, while in other cases – a person might fail a module without a chance to re-do it the year after, which means expulsion from course. Depending on circumstances, there might be a possibility that a person is issued another attempt to complete assignment under specific conditions. (Students.shu.ac.uk, 2019, p. 7).
Irrelevant of the type of cheating and consequences, it will always remain on a record that a person has conducted malpractice in academic environment. It is strongly recommended to ensure that good academic practice is followed at all times, and if not sure – always double check your referencing before submitting your work.
- Students.shu.ac.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://students.shu.ac.uk/regulations/conduct_discipline/Academic%20Conduct%20Regulations%202017-18.pdf [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
- Warwick.ac.uk. (2019). Failure and resubmission. [online] Available at: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/postgraduate/masters/mahandbook/failureandresubmission/ [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
- Sheffield, U. (2019). Plagiarism, collusion and the use of unfair means in assessment – Postgraduate Taught Students – Current Students – ScHARR – The University of Sheffield. [online] Sheffield.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/scharr/current/pgt/plagiarism [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].