Facebook Twitter Yammer

Academic Misconduct

The University has zero tolerance on all forms of academic misconduct within assessment.

Academic misconduct means any form of academic dishonesty relating to a unit, whether in an undergraduate, postgraduate or honours course, and includes, but is not limited to:

  • Cheating in relation to assessment;
  • Plagiarism;
  • Submission of the same, or substantially the same, completed assessment in a different unit;
  • Failure to comply with rules for a particular assessment (for example, what material can be brought into an examination room);
  • Collusion;
  • Purloining or misappropriation (copying the work of another without his or her knowledge);
  • Ghostwriting (submitting the work of another person as your own); and
  • Fabricating, falsifying or misstating results as part of an assessment,

and also includes any attempts to commit any form of academic dishonesty listed above.

Unauthorised collaboration ('collusion') constitutes joint effort between students, or students and others, in preparing material submitted for assessment, except where this has been approved by the Unit Coordinator. Students are encouraged to discuss matters covered in units, but when writing an assignment, computer program, laboratory report or other piece of assessed work, the recording and treatment of data and the expression of ideas and argument must be the student's own.

Purloining -- copying the work of another without their knowledge -- is not acceptable, neither is ghostwriting which is submitting the work of another person as your own.

Dishonesty in assessment applies to work in any medium (for example, written or audio text, film production, computer programs, etc.)

Depending on the severity of the case, dishonesty in assessment can lead to a requirement to undertake additional work, failure in a unit or in a part of it, suspension from the University or even permanent expulsion from the University. The University regards any form of cheating as a serious matter of academic dishonesty that threatens the integrity of the assessment processes and awards of the University, to the detriment of all other students and graduates of the University.

More information on academic misconduct is available at:
Student Discipline Regulations
Student Discipline Procedure
Educational Development website



Urkund is a pattern-matching system designed to compare work submitted by students with other sources from the internet, journals/periodicals, and previous submissions that have been made to Urkund. Its primary purpose is to detect any submitted work that is not original and provide a thorough comparison between the submitted document and the original sources.

The software is integrated into the Assignment module on the LMS as a default setting, to help all staff to guard against plagiarism. As with any pattern-matching software, Urkund should be considered as one source of information about a student’s submission, rather than a be-all and end-all solution.

Setting a fixed acceptable percentage is not recommended because Urkund picks up correctly cited references and commonly used terminology that may not easily be replaced without loss of precision.
Note that Urkund will detect any duplicated text regardless of context and flag it as a possible match. This includes material such as assignment cover-pages or other standard templates. It is recommend students do not submit their work with these pages attached (the Assignment Declaration on the Submission page takes the place of a traditional cover-page. Students submitting their work digitally can tick this box in place of including a cover-page).

More information is available at the Educational Technologies Help for Staff.

Information on Urkund for students is available at Educational Technologies Help for Students. This includes a step-by-step guide to Urkund.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Murdoch’s definition of plagiarism is as follows:
“Plagiarism constitutes using the work of another without indicating by referencing (and by quotation marks when exact phrases or passages are borrowed) that the ideas expressed are not one's own. Students can use the ideas and information from other authors, but this use must be acknowledged. It is also not acceptable to submit an assignment that is simply a paraphrasing of extracts from other authors: the work submitted must include some intellectual contribution of the student's own.” (Handbook 2014, pp 20)

Plagiarism is one form of academic misconduct. Murdoch University regards academic integrity as a fundamental value of student learning. It requires all students enrolled at the University to adhere to academic integrity in fulfilling each assessment task. Plagiarism can take many forms, including:

  • Copying and pasting without citation or acknowledgement;
  • Downloading or buying research papers;
  • Using information (including graphics and graphs) from the Internet without acknowledgement; and
  • Copying someone else’s work and submitting it as your own work.

Generally, students do not plagiarise intentionally. Plagiarism could result from:

  • Unaware of what constitutes plagiarism;
  • Unaware of citation and referencing conventions of the university or unit;
  • Carelessness and lack of time; and
  • Inadequate English language skills and understanding.

It is important for the Affiliate Lecturer to encourage students to avoid plagiarism. The student must reference all work correctly to avoid plagiarism and acknowledge the work of others. Referencing will also add weight and credibility to the student’s work, demonstrate the breadth of the student’s research on the topic, and enable the reader to trace the sources. The referencing style should be indicated in the Unit Information and Learning Guide. More information about the different referencing styles is at http://library.murdoch.edu.au/Getting-help/Referencing/.

Further information on referencing and citing, including examples of errors made by students is available at the Student Life and Learning website.


Reporting Academic Misconduct

As stipulated in the Student Discipline Procedure, allegations of academic misconduct are to be made to the Unit Coordinator of the relevant Unit. The Unit Coordinator must commence an initial review of academic misconduct within 10 working days of receiving a report of alleged misconduct by a student. If the alleged misconduct involves a student at a TNE location, the Unit Coordinator “may report the misconduct to the TNE Investigator (TNE Academic Dean), following discussion with the School-based Investigator”. Further details can be found in the Student Discipline Procedure.