Plagiarism and Unfair Means index

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Contents

Principles

The basic principle underlying the preparation of any piece of academic work is that the work submitted must be your 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.

University guidance

It is vital that every student reads and understands the University's guidance on the use of unfair means, below, which explains these matters in full. The University’s guidance can be found in full at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/ris/pgr/code/plagiarism. Students are strongly advised to read these pages in full. You are also required to go through the University Library's Information Skills tutorial, which can be accessed here, and to confirm in writing within your first weeks of registration that you have read and understood the School's and University's policies on this subject.

Any form of unfair means is treated as a serious academic offence and action may be taken under the Discipline Regulations. For a student registered on a professionally accredited programme of study, action may also be taken under the Fitness to Practise Regulations. Where unfair means is found to have been used, the University may impose penalties ranging from awarding no grade for the piece of work or failure in a PhD/Confirmation Review examination through to expulsion from the University in extremely serious cases.

What constitutes unfair means?

The basic principle underlying the preparation of any piece of academic work is that the work submitted must be your 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. Rules about these forms of cheating apply to all assessed and non-assessed work. You can full find definitions of these terms in the ‘guidance for students’ document which can be downloaded here.

How can I avoid the use of unfair means?

To avoid using unfair means, any work submitted must be your own and must not include the work of any other person, unless it is properly acknowledged and referenced.

The following websites provide additional information on referencing appropriately and avoiding unfair means: The Library provides online information literacy skills tutorials [1] The Library also has information on reference management software [2]

The Information School strongly recommends that students use reference management software (also known as personal bibliographic software) to store and manage references to journal articles, books and other publications for their research. A reference management software package allows you to import references from bibliographic databases, library catalogues, etc., to format citations automatically in different styles and insert them in word-processed documents. The iSchool currently recommends Zotero, a free open-source reference management tool, which can be downloaded from http://www.zotero.org/.

What happens if I use unfair means?

Any form of unfair means is treated as a serious academic offence and action may be taken under the Discipline Regulations. For a student registered on a professionally accredited programme of study, action may also be taken under the Fitness to Practise Regulations Where unfair means is found to have been used, the University may impose penalties ranging from awarding no grade for the piece of work or failure in a PhD/Confirmation Review examination through to expulsion from the University in extremely serious cases.

Detection of Unfair Means

The University subscribes to a national plagiarism detection service which helps academic staff identify the original source of material submitted by students. This means that academic staff have access to specialist software that searches a database of reference material gathered from professional publications, student essay websites and other work submitted by students. It is also a resource which can help tutors to advise students on ways of improving their referencing techniques. Your upgrade report, confirmation review and final submission is likely to be submitted to this service. Other submitted work (e.g. as part of the DDP, etc) will also likely be submitted to this service.

Other useful sources

http://www.shef.ac.uk/ris/pgr/code/plagiarism
http://www.shef.ac.uk/ssid/ourcommitment/research
http://www.shef.ac.uk/ssid/procedures/grid.html#discipline

See also

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