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Academic integrity

Academic integrity is a fundamental value of teaching, learning and scholarship. The demonstration of academic integrity is integral to the development of a graduate's ethical perspective necessary for beginning professional practice or for a future in publishing and research. Academic integrity links to, and prepares our students for professional integrity in their chosen careers.

The University of South Australia has designed a systematic and coherent framework to foster academic integrity and manage academic dishonesty.


University of South Australia Policy

UniSA has a comprehensive policy framework which guides academic assessment practices. Section 9 of the Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual deals specifically with academic integrity, plagiarism and the procedures that must be followed if plagiarism by a student is suspected.

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Academic Integrity Officers (AIOs)

Each school has at least one Academic Integrity Officer that oversees each case of suspected academic misconduct. They ensure that all cases are handled quickly and consistently. This flowchart provides an overview of the process (PDF 20kb - opens in a new window. Download Adobe Acrobat).

AIOs facilitate the:

Note: For research degree students academic integrity matters are dealt with by the Deans of Research.

The coordination of Academic Integrity Officers across the University is managed by Dr Rowena Harper, Head, Language and Literacy at the Learning and Teaching Unit.

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Turnitin

Turnitin is an online tool that helps to promote in students an understanding of academic integrity. You can access the tool easily from within a learnonline course site. All UniSA students' text-based assignments are automatically submitted to Turnitin when uploaded from a learnonline course site and are compared with millions of other documents in the Turnitin database and on the Internet. A colour-coded similarity report is generated which summarises any matched text. This is called an 'originality report'. Every document submitted is stored in the Turnitin database for comparison with future assignment submissions.

Short instructive videos are available for both students and staff to assist in understanding Turnitin's originality reports. The student link to the video is displayed next to their similarity score in their assignment upload screen and in Student Help on Assignments and also in the Turnitin Help site. The staff link to the video can be found on the Gradebook and Extensions Help site. There is also a useful video produced by Oxford-Brookes University in the United Kingdom about how to interpret Turnitin originality reports. At nearly nine minutes it is longer than the videos made by Turnitin but it is contextualised well to the academic setting. The presenter is a Senior Lecturer in Business.

Post graduate students wanting to upload their work to Turnitin need to obtain their Supervisor's written approval and forward this to the IT Help Desk to access Turnitin for Post Graduate Students site.

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Teaching strategies

Ensure new students are familiar with academic conventions. Point them towards the Academic Integrity for students web site. Consider setting an early assessment activity that allows students to become aware of referencing conventions in your discipline and reinforce how to avoid plagiarism. Redesign assessment tasks to minimise opportunities for plagiarism (your school's AIO or an Academic development staff member from the LTU can assist you with this process).

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Further Resources

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