Plagiarism and Turnitin

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism means deliberately or accidentally using someone else's work or ideas as if they were your own. Deliberately plagiarising work whilst you are at UCA can have very serious consequences, which is why it's important to follow good academic practices and to reference your work properly.

Plagiarism is deemed to have occurred where:

  • A student copies another person's work without acknowledgement of the source; simple changes to words or the order of presentation of sections or paragraphs does not avoid this categorization.
  • A student copies some or all of another person's art and design work, including work of other students, without acknowledgement.
  • A student substitutes another's work as though it was their own.
  • A student appropriates another's research work or ideas without acknowledgement.
  • A student sources work from the Internet or contracts with another party for work to be done.

Collusion is where a student either:

  • Submits work done in collaboration with another as entirely their own; or
  • Collaborates with another student to complete work which is submitted as that other student's work.

 

Where students in a class are instructed or encouraged to work together in the pursuit of an assignment or other assessed task, such activity is regarded as approved collaboration and not collusion, although there may be a requirement for each student to identify their own contribution.

Unintentional plagiarism happens when you do not have a clear understanding of what plagiarism is. It is also often attributed to poor referencing, citing and quoting skills.

Unintentional plagiarism occurs when:

  • You have not been taught how to paraphrase properly - paraphrasing takes skill and practice.
  • When you try to put information from a source into your own words (paraphrasing) but fail to do so completely.
  • You have cut and pasted a reference from a source, but have forgotten to reference the source.
  • You have failed to indicate that some text is a direct quote (See our Harvard Referencing Guide).
  • You have paraphrased a chapter and included the source in the reference list, but not acknowledged the source in the text (See our Harvard Referencing Guide).
  • You have composed a paragraph by joining sentences from a number of sources together and not acknowledged the sources in the text.

Remember, it is just as important to reference your visual work.

This is a type of plagiarism in non-text based practice, i.e when using images in your studio and written work. While most public visual forms of communication have some sense and regulation of copyright, the particular issues of visual plagiarism in an academic context are much less visible. The information contained in these pages gives useful advice on what is/is not acceptable and links to teaching materials that will help explain the boundaries to students.

Related Links:

How to avoid plagiarism

The most effective way to avoid an accusation of plagiarism is to reference correctly using the Harvard system, making sure to cite all of your sources and have a bibliography at the end of your work.

  • use quotation marks around the words and cite the source, or
  • paraphrase or summarize acceptably and cite the source.

Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional so be careful to reference all your sources. You can use a Reference Management App to help you. 

Referencing correctly is a skill which takes time to develop. If you need help or support with referencing and improving your academic skills, book an appointment with your Learning & Teaching Librarian by contacting the Gateway.

What happens if I plagiarise?

Plagiarism will be treated as academic misconduct.

At UCA, an act of plagiarism or other form of academic misconduct constitutes a breach of our Assessment Regulations, and as such will be treated very seriously. We will take action against any student who contravenes the policy through negligence, foolishness or by deliberate intent.

Students found to have breached the regulations by behaving dishonestly will be dealt with in accordance with UCA's policy and procedures governing academic misconduct. The precise sanction to be imposed on the student will be determined by the Academic Misconduct Panel subject to the features of the individual case.

Using Turnitin

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is an online service which helps us to identify suspected cases of plagiarism. It will compare a submitted assignment with a database of journal articles, books, web pages past and present and previously submitted assignments and will indicate the sources of any matching text which it identifies.

Accessing Turnitin

Turnitin is accessed via myUCA. Log in using your UCA username and password and you will see the myCourse home page, which gives you access to your entire course, units and a range of other resources. Your tutor will tell you in which course or unit Turnitin has been set-up. Your tutor will inform you if you are required to submit an assignment via Turnitin. You will be given an opportunity to try the service to see how it works before the final submission date.

Turnitin help for students

The following guides have been created to support students in the use of TurnItIn. Remember, the most effective way to avoid plagiarism is to reference correctly.

Contact Gateway

For information on our services, please contact the Gateway.

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