The purpose of academic assessments is to provide a demonstrable measure of the extent and the standard to which a student has acquired and understood the subject(s) being studied.
Good academic practice requires students to complete their academic work through their own efforts and with all sources fully attributed according to academic requirements.
When submitting an assignment students are always asked to confirm that the work they are submitting is their own and has not been written by another person. Whilst collaboration with others in studying is a normal and accepted practice, submitting work copied from or created jointly with others is not acceptable, unless collaboration is required in the particular assignment.
Plagiarism, at Marshall Gurney Institute, is defined as submitting as one's own work, irrespective of intent to deceive, that which derives in part or in its entirety from the work of others without due acknowledgement. It is both poor scholarship and a breach of academic integrity.
Examples of plagiarism include copying (using another person's language and/or ideas as if they are a candidate's own), by:
- quoting verbatimanother person's work without due acknowledgement of the source;
- paraphrasing another person's work by changing some of the words, or the order of the words, without due acknowledgement of the source;
- using ideas taken from someone else without reference to the originator;
- cutting and pasting from the Internet to make a pastiche of online sources;
- submitting someone else's work as part of a candidate's own without identifying clearly who did the work. For example, buying or commissioning work via professional agencies such as 'essay banks' or 'paper mills', or not attributing research contributed by others to a joint project.
Plagiarism might also arise from colluding with another person, including another candidate, other than as permitted for joint project work (i.e. where collaboration is concealed or has been forbidden). A candidate should include a general acknowledgement where he or she has received substantial help, for example with the language and style of a piece of written work.
Plagiarism can occur in respect to all types of sources and media:
- text, illustrations, musical quotations, mathematical derivations, computer code, etc;
- material downloaded from websites or drawn from manuscripts or other media;
- published and unpublished material, including lecture handouts and other students' work.
Acceptable means of acknowledging the work of others (by referencing, in footnotes, or otherwise) is an essential component of any work submitted for assessment, whether written examination, dissertation, essay, registration exercise, or group coursework. The most appropriate method for attribution of others' work will vary according to the subject matter and mode of assessment. Students are required to familiarize themselves with this policy, to follow it in all work submitted for assessment, whether written paper or submitted essay, and may be required to sign a declaration to that effect. If a student has any outstanding queries, clarification should be sought from her or his Tutor or the Institute Director.
Failure to conform to the expected standards of scholarship (e.g. by not referencing sources) in examinations or assessed work may affect the mark given to the candidate's work. In addition, suspected cases of the use of unfair means (of which plagiarism is one form) will be investigated and may be brought to the The Institute's Academic Standards Board. The Board has wide powers to discipline those found guilty of using unfair means in an examination, including depriving such persons of membership of the Institute, and deprivation of any awards.
The Institute makes use of text-matching software for the purpose of plagiarism education and detection, and reserves the right to submit a candidate’s work to such a service. For this purpose, candidates consent to the submission of their papers to the service and for the submitted papers to form part of the service’s comparative source work database. To facilitate use of the service, students (and participating Examiners and Assessors) may be required to agree to the service provider’s end-user agreement and provide a limited amount of personal data upon registration to the service, for instance, their name, email address, and study programme details.