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The Advice Centre

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY 2011-2012 University of Southampton Students’ Union


The Advice Centre OPEN Monday-Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm Contacting:

The Advice Centre:


023 8059 2085


023 8059 5235




Students’ Union Building 40 Southampton University University Road Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

• We are an appointments based service, however occasionally quick queries can be dealt with immediately. All other enquiries will need an appointment. • The advice and information service is provided by a team of trained and experienced staff who deal with matters of particular relevance to students.

The Advice Centre Mission Statement: The Advice Centre aims to provide all students at the University of Southampton with free, independent, confidential advice and representation in a friendly, relaxed environment.


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ACADEMIC INTEGRITY What is Academic Integrity? Plagiarism, collusion, falsification, cheating, recycling or simply bad referencing are all considered under the University’s Academic Integrity Statement for Students. You can find this at:

How can I avoid a breach of Academic Integrity? Ways to avoid a breach of Academic Integrity 1. Read the University’s Guide to Academic Integrity at: 2. Read the course handbook. 3. Attend any special seminars or lectures about referencing. 4. There are specific guidelines for working in groups or pairs. Ensure that you understand and follow them. 5. Listen to podcasts at: 6. Ask for help from your tutor if you are not sure whether you are referencing properly. 7. Take advice! Follow feedback on written work. 8. Make careful notes detailing page numbers of books and websites where you got your ideas. Do this as you go along. 9. Don’t rely too heavily on the ideas of others. 10. Put ideas into your own words so your tutors can see you understand. 11. Reference all material you’ve read in your Bibliography even if you haven’t referred to it in the assignment.

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I’ve been told that a possible breach of Academic Integrity has been found in my work What happens first? The regulations treat cases differently according to how serious they believe they may be.

Stage 1 = Minor If a small breach is identified by the tutor marking your work, and you have never been given previous feedback about problems with other work then it is likely they will consider the breach as ‘minor’. This means that you will be given a warning, some feedback on your marking sheet and you may lose some marks. You will be advised in writing about it and informed about what can happen if the situation recurs again. A copy of the note will be kept on your student file. You will not need to take any further action. If you do not agree that your work contains a breach, or you want to make the school aware of problems that were affecting your ability to study when you completed the work, then you should do so as soon as you can. If you are in this position then you should firstly contact The Advice Centre for guidance.

Stage 2 = More significant This can mean that the school believes the breach is more serious. This could be for various reasons. It may be that you have already had a warning and feedback for a minor offence in the past. It can also be when it can be demonstrated that you had participated in a learning activity (seminar, lecture), before completing the assignment, to reinforce the principles of the academic integrity statement, but still failed to follow the guidelines. In this case the school will ask their Academic Integrity Officer to consider the case. If the Academic Integrity Officer believes the case is more significant s/he will invite you for a meeting.


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Stage 3 = Major When the school suspects an extremely serious breach of the statement they will treat the case as ‘major’.

Examples of a major breach are: • Extensive plagiarism (very large amounts of copied work) • Serial plagiarism (you have been warned more than once or for several pieces of work) • Ghosting/use of essay bank services • Impersonation • Falsification • Deliberate breaches of examination regulations You will be asked to attend a stage 3 Academic Integrity Panel Meeting.

I’ve been asked to attend a meeting with an Academic Integrity Officer (Stage 2) What happens now? A meeting will be arranged for you to speak to the Academic Integrity Officer who will describe the suspected breach and allow you to give an explanation as to why you believe there is no breach, or for the reasons one may have occurred.

Sometimes there can be circumstances that will be taken into account when deciding a penalty such as: Illness or mitigating circumstances that you were unable or unwilling to inform the school about at the time of completing the work. That the school did not provide you with information, seminars, tutorials about how to avoid breaches. There may be other individual circumstances that may be considered. You can take a Student Adviser from The Advice Centre along to support you, and it is recommended that you seek advice from us before the meeting. The meeting will be between you, the Academic Integrity Officer and a note-taker. It is not designed as a punishment it is an information gathering exercise so that a decision can be made based on all the facts of your case. The Advice Centre



Following the meeting the Academic Integrity Officer will decide firstly, whether there really is a breach and secondly, on an appropriate penalty. The range of penalties can be found in the procedures (Appendix 1):

I’ve been asked to attend a Stage 3 Academic Integrity Panel meeting What happens now? You will be invited to attend a formal panel meeting. There will be 3 members of staff on the panel who will consider your case. You can seek guidance from The Advice Centre beforehand and you can take an adviser with you for support. We will normally advise you to write a statement or bullet points to cover everything you wish to say at the meeting. Although the meeting is formal it is not intended to intimidate you or be part of a punishment. It is about establishing the facts of your case so that the panel members can make a decision.

I don’t agree with the decision that I am guilty of a breach of Academic Integrity What happens now? If your case has only been considered so far by the Academic Integrity Officer (stage 2) then you are able to ask for an Academic Integrity panel to meet to reconsider. You can do this by contacting the school to say that you dispute the findings of the Academic Integrity Officer. If you have already had a panel meeting (stage 3) then you will need to consider whether you have grounds for an appeal. See our booklet How to Deal with Problems Affecting your Studies (Complaints and Appeals) at: life/ You should seek guidance and support from The Advice Centre in either case.


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Will anything stay on my record? This may vary from school to school but in general any breach will remain on your record. This does not necessarily mean that it will be mentioned in any references your school writes for you, but you should be aware that if they are directly asked about matters of integrity they may note that there was a breach. This is more likely if the breach was found to be more significant or major.

CONTACTS, SUPPORT AND RESOURCES: CONTACTS Dyslexia Services 45 University Road (in a house just past the Jubilee Sports Centre), Highfield Telephone: 023 8059 2759 (internal: 22759) Email: Assistive Technology Service


Blackboard Your Course Handbook Education Support 39 University Road Highfield Campus shtml Disability E-mail: Tel: 02380 597241 index.html

Nightline – 8.00pm to 8.00am (term time) Externally 023 8059 5236 Internally 25236

Mentoring Student Services Centre Email: Tel: 023 8059 7241 mentor/index.html

Counselling Service Tel: 023 8059 3719 Email: counselling/index.html

Career Destinations Student Services Centre Building 37 Tel: 023 8059 3501

RESOURCES Study Skills Websites: And academicskills/index.html The Advice Centre

The Advice Centre Students’ Union Building 40 Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ Tel: 023 8059 2085 Email:


University of Southampton Students’ Union The Advice Centre Please note that at time of publication every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this booklet. The Advice Centre and University of Southampton Students’ Union cannot accept responsibility for errors, omissions, or subsequent changes in legal requirements. The Information and figures quoted in this publication were believed to be accurate at the time of going to print, but may be subject to change. August 2011

Alternative Formats of this leaflet are available on request. The Advice Centre